Rural Development

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Alberta’s Rural Communities Their Economic Contribution to Alberta and Canada
The Conference Board of Canada’s landmark study on the economic contribution of rural Alberta is a comprehensive overview of the rural economy. The Conference Board of Canada estimated Alberta's rural economic footprint at $77 billion annually.
The report includes:
  • Demographic trends and key economic indicators in rural Alberta
  • Sector-specific data on employment, housing, and gross domestic product (GDP) for rural municipalities
  • Economic outlooks on population, employment, energy and selected industries.
Webinar: The Economic Contribution of Alberta's Rural Communities Update.

Rural and Small Town Alberta Factsheets
Click here for Factsheets on rural Alberta and trends. Includes:

  • Aboriginal Identity
  • Education
  • Health Service Providers per Capita
  • Population Change
  • Labour Force
For more Alberta statistics visit the Alberta Office of Statistics and Information.

Resource Directories

Business Incubators in Alberta and Canada
  • Information on business incubators located in Alberta and other provinces of Canada.
  • Includes brief profiles and contact information.
Attracting and Retaining People to Rural Alberta
  • A resource guide for Alberta rural communities seeking to attract and retain population to address their long-term economic needs.
  • Includes information and links to web based resources, initiatives and programs.
Economic Development Resource Directory
  • Economic development resources for rural communities and organizations
  • Includes links to resources, tools, initiatives and programs

Alberta Innovates: Bio Solutions - Alberta Bio Future Equipment Utilization program
Companies are invited to apply to the Alberta Bio Future Equipment Utilization program. The purpose of this new $2.5 million program is to:
  • Expand a competitive, sustainable and profitable bioindustrial sector;
  • Increase the value from Alberta’s renewable biomass resource, and;
  • Provide opportunities to diversify the provincial economy.
For further information and application guidelines visit the Alberta Innovates website.

Alberta’s Small Business Strategy is a short-term action plan that responds to the needs expressed by Alberta’s small businesses and makes it simpler to do business in the province.
  • The strategy supports Alberta’s recently released Economic Development Framework.
  • The Framework will strengthen and broaden the Alberta economy and build resilience to boom-and-bust economic cycles.
For more information view the link.

Featured Resource

Business Vitality Alberta
The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) developed Business Vitality Alberta to maximize the business and economic vitality of small communities.
  • Designed to be self-administered by communities and community organizations
  • Modeled after the successful Business Vitality Initiative (BVI)
  • View the supporting manual, survey, sample results spreadsheet, and training video.
State of Business Vitality in Rural Alberta
This study outlines the results of 12 rural Alberta communities that participated in the Business Vitality Initiative (BVI) between 2008 and 2012. The BVI:
  • Helps communities assess their capacity to work with and support entrepreneurs
  • Foster small business growth
  • Measures the business environment based on perceptions of community leaders, business people and citizens
  • The study is available on-line.
For more information about the content of this document, contact Drew Hiltz.
This document is maintained by Stacey Tames.
This information published to the web on April 10, 2008.
Last Reviewed/Revised on January 16, 2017.