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Province grants $50,000 to city to help stimulate region’s economy
SANDRA M STANWAY
Brooks Bulletin

The City of Brooks representing the city-county joint services committee received $50,000 in matching Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) grants from the provincial government.
The two 50-50 grants will be used to help communities create jobs and diversify local economies.
The first plan is to open a business incubator. The city received $25,000 of the requested $30,000.
An additional $5,000 will be put into the program through economic development. The funds will help businesses gain a foothold on the business community to help them make the leap into a commercial space.
The businesses will move into a building at a reduced rent and share common facilities such as printers a conference and furniture if required as well as have access to a business advisor.
“The more obstacles that we can eliminate for new businesses or expanding businesses the more we can act as a catalyst for new development and growth,” said Jessica Surgenor, the city’s economic development officer.
“We are looking at two locations and both are centrally located. Our hope is to have it in place by May 1,” she said.
“The whole purpose is to stimulate growth.”
With the funds in hand, Surgenor and her team are developing the qualifications that will be accepted under the plan.
The second grant is $25,000 to develop a tourism operator business plan using a consultant to work on tourism business cases and create shovel ready tourism projects for investors and entrepreneurs to create businesses around attractions.
“We’re creating adventure attractions and stimulating the tourism growth within the region. We want tourists to have other adventures while in the region and staying at our parks and campgrounds. We want to find other things for them to do while they are here.”
In her grant announcement recently, Maria Fitzpatrick, MLA for Lethbridge-East said so much of Alberta’s economic strength and entrepreneurial drive is centered in Alberta’s smaller cities and towns.
“Every region of Alberta brings multiple strengths to our way of life, whether in energy, agriculture, forestry, mining, tourism, or in other areas.
“This funding will help communities with common interests tackle economic development projects that they might not have been able to individually. Through these projects local leaders are working together to grow and diversify our economy, and make life better for Alberta families,” she said.
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