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Maximizing opportunities in rural communities

Indigenous and small communities play a vital role in the province’s economic landscape. Working together with non-profits, they tap into opportunities and address unique challenges to help develop local economies and grow the economic footprint in rural Alberta.

To support local projects that promote innovation and sustainable economic growth across the province, Alberta’s government established the Small Community Opportunity Program. Through Budget 2023, the program has awarded grants between $20,000 and $100,000 for 43 community-led projects that build capacity in agriculture, small business supports and local economic development.

“By providing financial backing, our Small Community Opportunity Program grants are empowering Indigenous and small communities to develop their local economies by building capacity in the agriculture and small business sectors. The fact is when these communities succeed, all of Alberta is made stronger.”

RJ Sigurdson, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation
Each of the successful projects aligns with the Economic Development in Rural Alberta Plan, which is working to ensure rural Albertans and Indigenous communities have economic opportunities where they live. Whether working collaboratively or independently, grant recipients have two years to complete their projects and make a measurable impact supporting, improving or enhancing economic development in rural and Indigenous communities and/or the agriculture industry.

“Mackenzie County has been exploring ways to expand irrigation initiatives to strengthen and diversify our agriculture sector. The Small Community Opportunity Program grant will enable us to continue this work and build on early irrigation adopters’ knowledge and experiences to advance economic development in the county.”

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