CARES program offers new tools and training for rural businesses

by Morinville News Staff

The Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program is offering rural Alberta’s small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs with new support to start and grow their businesses.

The government is giving Community Futures Network of Alberta $109,887 to support their What If project to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas for new products or services into a business.

The province says the funding will add new components to training workshops and video segments focusing on new business communications strategies as well as improve the BizStream program which provides information and mentoring to rural Alberta businesses.

“Entrepreneurs see opportunity where others might only see challenges, and they work hard to give back to their hometowns and neighbourhoods,” said Minister of Economic Development and Trade Deron Bilous. “When rural Alberta businesses do well, Alberta does well. That’s why we are listening to their ideas and supporting initiatives they know will work best in their communities. Together, we are making lives better for Alberta families.”

Tony Stolz, Executive Director, Community Futures Network of Alberta, said Community Futures provides business loans and training across rural Alberta.

“Our What If project is designed to expand Alberta entrepreneurs’ access to business loans, training, and coaching that would not have been possible without this support,” Stolz said. “We believe that in this era of technological change, opportunities abound and the possibilities for Alberta small businesses are limitless. All you have to do is ask What If?”

The second intake for the CARES program will run from April 1, 2017 to May 31, 2017. Eligibility criteria and more information on how to apply are available at

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