Latest news

SAFE AND SECURE LINK FOR YOUR REGIONAL RELIEF & RECOVERY FUND APPLICATION

Applications for the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) are open.

We are continuing to help ease financial pressure on small and medium-sized businesses due to COVID-
19. If you operate a local business or non-profit organization, you may be eligible for a loan of up to
$60,000.

If you haven’t been able to qualify for other federal business support programs – we are here to help.


Apply now using our secure online portal by clicking on the picture above. Your information will be held in a queue until program funds
are received from the Federal Government.
You will be notified when your application is being processed. Applications will be accepted until June
30, 2021.

We’ve made changes to the CAJG to help grow your business.

The Alberta government is temporarily expanding eligibility to the Canada-Alberta Job Grant (CAJG) to help businesses access the training they need.

The expansion is effective until February 28, 2022. Expanded eligibility includes:

1. Funding mandatory training. Use the CAJG to fund courses or training that is required for a job.

2. Allowing employers to train employed family members. Enables family-owned businesses to access training funds.

3 Allowing some business owners to receive funding to train themselves. Supports entrepreneurs to expand their skill set to grow or pivot their business.

In addition, other changes will make the application process more efficient. For example, an employee’s training can start as soon as government receives an application, rather than having to wait for the application to be approved. This allows businesses to begin training sooner if required. Temporarily expanding the CAJG provides more opportunities for businesses to access support as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.

 Learn more about the program and apply online @ alberta.ca/CAJG

 

www.InvestSouthwestAlberta.com – A New Resource For Investors and Regional Businesses

The partnership of Community Futures Alberta Southwest, Alberta Southwest Regional Economic Development Alliance (Alberta SouthWest) and Community Futures Crowsnest Pass, has launched a new online presence, www.InvestSouthwestAlberta.com.

The website’s purpose is to serve as a gateway and a catalyst to regional business investment.  The initiative is the second phase of a program which began in 2014 entitled “Bringing Investment Home” which has engaged and received input and support from all 16 municipalities which make up Alberta SouthWest region.

InvestSouthwestAlberta.com is one of several tools that function to build capacity in the region, to diversify the economy, attract investment and expand business opportunities.  The region’s three leading industry sectors, Agriculture, Renewable & Alternative Energy and Tourism, and the growth opportunities that lie within them, are highlighted on the website.

The site is designed to be the first stop for five primary audiences:

  • Investors
  • Site selectors
  • Land developers
  • Businesses seeking Investment to expand, or that hold a business investment opportunity, and
  • Businesses seeking to relocate to the region

According to James Tessier, the Project Coordinator, “the features and functionality of the site are designed with these audiences in mind. The resources on the site will also be an additional tool for municipalities and economic development officers to utilize when attracting investment to their communities”.

This website, which is enhanced by downloadable pdf content, builds upon the identified need to improve access to accurate information about southwest Alberta’s identified economic growth and investment opportunities. 

The site targets six topics to accomplish its mandate:

  • A Regional Profile
  • Community Profiles
  • Industry Profiles (the three leading regional sectors)
  • Qualified Investment Opportunities
  • Regional Business Success Stories, and
  • Resources for Investors and Businesses

Visit www.InvestSouthwestAlberta.com or phone 1-800-565-4418.

Southwest Alberta Partnership Wins International Economic Development Award

“Bringing Investment Home” a partnership project between Community Futures Alberta Southwest, Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance, and Community Futures Crowsnest Pass, received award-winning recognition at the Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) conference held in Bridgewater Nova Scotia on June 24-26, 2015.

The Alberta SouthWest partnership received one of two awards presented at the conference that recognized project excellence and community impact. The city of Wellington Ontario won for a BREI project for a population of over 50,000 and the Alberta Southwest partnership won for a project with population under 50,000. Natalie Gibson, President of InnoVisions and Associates, who worked with the southwest Alberta communities, travelled to Nova Scotia to make a presentation about the Alberta project and to accept the award on behalf of the partnership.

“This was an interactive and participatory project, and the success is attributed to our businesses and municipal leaders who provided a lot of energy, support and ideas to make this a success,” says Bev Thornton, Executive Director of Alberta SouthWest Regional Economic Development Alliance.

The project developed innovative approaches to investment attraction and results greatly exceeded expectations.

  • It is estimated that the year-long project generated and supported about $7M of new and expanded business investment in the region;
  • 79 business consultation visits were conducted resulting in 105 referrals and action items for business and organizations;
  • 20 businesses were identified as having potential for foreign direct investment;
  • 39 consultation visits were held with municipalities to identify unique priorities of each community, define community assets, gaps, opportunities and roadblocks that affect investment attraction;
  • 50 business success stories are identified for inclusion in future marketing of regional opportunities;
  • Leading investment opportunity sectors are identified, as well as key challenges and assets

James Tessier, Project Manager for the initiative, acknowledges it was the strength of the collaborative partnership that led to the project’s success. “Each organization brought their skills and resources to the table leveraging their knowledge and their networks to make this project work”. 

According to Tessier, “Tremendous stakeholder engagement throughout the region was realized with the participation of forty-six representatives from municipal government, business and economic organizations committing time to the project, learning new skills to assist their community, and providing valuable input to move the project forward. The business consultations were a success and matchmaking opportunities were identified, many of which are ongoing as the project now enters its second year”.

Successful Southwest Alberta Partnership Merits two Prominent Provincial Awards from Economic Developers Alberta

April 9, 2015

Economic Developers Association of Alberta (EDA) Conference, Kananaskis, Alberta

A partnership between, Alberta Southwest Regional Alliance, Community Futures Alberta Southwest and Community Futures Crowsnest Pass was recognized twice by EDA for their 2014 “Bringing Investment Home” project in the category of Business Investment and Attraction.  InnoVisions and Associates worked with the community partners to achieve the excellent results.

Bringing Home Investment 2014 was recognized for its success as a multi-stakeholder project which achieved measurable positive outcomes in community engagement and capacity-building.  It saw a financial investment of $100,000 generate regional business opportunities worth approximately $7,000,000.

The two awards presented to the partner organizations were the 2015 Business and Investment Attraction (BIA) Award for a medium community/region (population from 25,001–100,000), and the 2015 Alex Metcalfe Award which recognizes the top nominee in each of the three award categories for their superior performance and contribution to economic development in economic development in Alberta over the past year. The Alex Metcalfe Award recognizes the "best of the best", the award recipients are those that exhibit excellence in their category.

Some key successes of the project include:

  • Engaging a broad cross-section of community participants, thus building community leadership capacity;
  • Supporting networking and problem-solving with economic development professionals in the region;
  • Meeting with individual businesses to understand needs, research options, provide resources and referrals;
  • Matching businesses with investment opportunities.
  • Utilizing expert business consultants, InnoVisions & Associates as a resource to businesses, very effectively creating a “conduit” for information-sharing, needs identification and immediate access to resources and solutions.

James Tessier, Project Manager for the initiative, acknowledges it was the strength of the collaborative partnership that led to the project’s success. “Each organization brought their skills and resources to the table leveraging their knowledge and their networks to make this project work”.  “The project resulted in big wins by providing value and benefit to business and increasing the economic development capacity and the community and the regional level”.

Bev Thornton, Executive Director of AlbertaSW REDA agrees, and also sends a “thank you” to the Chambers, businesses, and municipal representatives who participated. “Such strong volunteer engagement is of incalculable value and represents a critical success factor in this initiative. It took the entire region to make this an award-winning effort.”

According to Tessier, “tremendous stakeholder engagement throughout the region was realized with the participation of forty-six representatives from municipal government, business and economic organizations committing time to the project, learning new skills to assist their community, and providing valuable input to move the project forward.  The business consultations were a success and matchmaking opportunities were identified, many of which are ongoing as the project now enters its second year”.

Building on Our Entrepreneurial Spirit: A Small Business Strategy for Alberta

We’ll help you find the small business information you’re actually looking for.
Receive answers to your small business questions within one business day by contacting a Business
Advisor at The Business Link, online at smallbusiness.alberta.ca or toll-free at
1-844-422-7705.

We’ve made changes to the CAJG to help grow your business.

The Alberta government is temporarily expanding eligibility to the Canada-Alberta Job Grant (CAJG) to help businesses access the training they need.

The expansion is effective until February 28, 2022. Expanded eligibility includes:

1. Funding mandatory training. Use the CAJG to fund courses or training that is required for a job.

2. Allowing employers to train employed family members. Enables family-owned businesses to access training funds.

3. Allowing some business owners to receive funding to train themselves. Supports entrepreneurs to expand their skill set to grow or pivot their business.

In addition, other changes will make the application process more efficient. For example, an employee’s training can start as soon as government receives an application, rather than having to wait for the application to be approved. This allows businesses to begin training sooner if required. Temporarily expanding the CAJG provides more opportunities for businesses to access support as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. 

Learn more about the program and apply online atalberta.ca/CAJG.

Community Futures Alberta Southwest Has Money to Lend

Rob Vogt

Special to The Macleod Gazette

May 28, 2014

 

Small businesses can receive assistance in a variety of ways from Community Futures Alberta Southwest (CFABSW).  The MD of Willow Creek learned more about [the organization and its programs] when Community Futures Alberta Southwest General Manager Tony Walker appeared as a delegation to the MD of Willow Creek Council meeting.

Community Futures is a federally-funded program started in 1992 as the Southwest Alberta Business Development Institute.  It changed its name to Community Futures Alberta Southwest in 2007. 

Community Futures Alberta Southwest is a non-profit organization guided by a volunteer board of directors.  The MD of Willow Creek is represented by David Mullholland.

There are 27 Community Futures offices in Alberta.  Each office receives an annual operating budget of $300,000 from the federal government.  CFABSW has a 3.5-million dollar loan portfolio, with $1-million loaned out and $2.5-million ready to loan.

It is a business centre that makes loans up to $150,000 to individuals interested in stating, expanding or purchasing a business.  CFABSW is a business development centre that provides business training, counselling, and coaching to individuals interested in starting a business. 

Community Futures can also offer loans to businesses turned down by traditional lenders; and work creatively with financial institutions on joint financing.

The services offered by CFABSW are: individualized one-on-one counselling; ongoing coaching and mentoring; access to local business expertise through their referral network; a resource library; and regional economic development.

Its partners are Western Economic Development Canada; chambers of commerce; economic development officers and committees; municipal councils; and regional economic development alliances.  From 1995 to 2013 about six percent of its loans went to businesses in the MD of Willow Creek.

Its current programs are: development of a foreign direct investment strategy; the Alberta Youth Entrepreneurship Camp; the Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge; a business visitation program; and the GOForth Institute training program.

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Get in Touch

Community Futures Alberta Southwest
436 – 24th Street (Macleod Blvd)
Box 1270
Fort Macleod, AB T0L 0Z0

403-553-0264 ext. 222
800-565-4418 ext. 222

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Communities Served

Aetna, 
Beaver Mines, 
Burmis, 
Cardston, 
Carway, 
Chief Mountain, 
Claresholm, 
Cowley, 
Fort Macleod, 
Glenwood, 
Granum, 
Hill Spring, 
Leavitt, 
Lundbreck, 
Mountain View, 
Pincher Creek, 
Pincher Station, 
Stavely, 
Twin Butte, 
Waterton, 

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