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December 20, 2011

Rural Business Pilot Program to Help Small Businesses Grow

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Rural entrepreneurs and small businesses will receive enhanced advice and support as the result of a three-year pilot program that will partner local community organizations with the Government of Alberta.

The Rural Alberta Business Centre (RABC) program will provide one-stop access to business information and advice, research services, seminars and workshops in locations across the province, beginning in early 2012.

“Small businesses are an essential part of Alberta’s economy and are important to the success of rural communities,” said Doug Horner, Deputy Premier and President of Treasury Board and Enterprise. “Through support from the Rural Alberta Business Centres, we will be able to help businesses grow by providing entrepreneurs with the tools they need to make informed business decisions.”

Each business centre will be staffed by a small business advisor, and managed by local organizations that are actively involved with the business community. Additional resources will also be provided through The Business Link information services.

The business centres will be located in the following communities:
·    Camrose, in partnership with the Community Futures East Central Alberta
·    Cold Lake, in partnership with the Northeast Alberta Information HUB Ltd., the local Regional Economic Development Alliance in the area
·    Fort Macleod, in partnership with the Town of Fort Macleod
·    Hanna, in partnership with the Hanna and District Association for Lifelong Learning
·    Grande Cache, in partnership with Community Futures West Yellowhead
·    Rocky Mountain House, in partnership with the Town of Rocky Mountain House
·    Slave Lake, in partnership with by the Slave Lake and District Chamber of Commerce
·    La Crete, in partnership with Community Futures Northwest Alberta

The $2-million pilot program is being jointly funded over three years by Alberta Treasury Board and Enterprise, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, and Alberta Human Services. This includes previously announced funding for the centre in Slave Lake as part of the Lesser Slave Lake Regional Wildfire Recovery Plan. More information about the program is available online at

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