Lacombe County hopes to tap provincial funding to boost its economic development efforts.
On Thursday, county council authorized staff to apply for a $30,000 grant from the Northern and Regional Economic Development Program, which is overseen by the province’s Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development ministry.
The $2 million grant program’s goal is to “enhance economic conditions and leverage regional resources to build capacity for sustainable economic development and diversification,” says the province.
The grant program came out of the provincial Economic Development in Rural Alberta Plan, a five-year commitment that was released by the province last December. It was developed after 18 months of consultation with municipalities, businesses and other stakeholders across Alberta.
Five priority areas have been identified: investment in economic development infrastructure, business supports, labour force attraction and retention, tourism planning, capacity building and infrastructure and economic development capacity building.
Lacombe County hired economic development officer and launched an economic development plan last year to take advantage of a surge in investor interest in the municipality.
The money would go towards creating and implementing action plans for the county’s business retention and expansion and business investment attraction initiatives.