The government of Alberta, offers numerous grants, tax credits, and funding programs focused on stimulating economic development and support business innovation in Western Canada. These grants aim to encourage innovation and can provide support for small businesses and startups, provided they can generate value through their projects and research.

In this article, we will go through all the grants available in Alberta, their eligibility, and what you need to know to apply for them. We will also cover government funding for Alberta employers that own businesses in the area, self-employment support programs, as well as profit and not for profit companies to support community futures and business development opportunities for the Alberta business community as a whole.

Finding small business grants and small business loans in Alberta

The purpose of government grants is to supply funds to fulfill a goal. While certain business loans allow you to satisfy numerous financial needs, small business grants tend to encourage specific activities. For example, a government funding program might focus on research and development activities, green economy projects, support technologies, or an employer-driven training program. In many cases, they are also restricted to specific groups such as indigenous communities or women entrepreneurs.

Before you apply to any of these programs, make sure you read through the eligibility requirements. Provincial and federal government grants are usually classified by industry and might require your small business to fulfill certain conditions. For instance, eligible businesses must have over or under a number of employees, be located in a particular coverage area, or to meet special objectives. You will also need to explain your project or study in detail. Lastly, keep in mind most grants work on a reimbursement basis; you can only use the money for the intended purposes and might be required to give leftover funds back to the grantor.

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The best Alberta government business support programs for 2022

Below are the planned small business government funding grant rounds for Alberta for this year. We have included assistance packages, funding opportunities, and various financial assistance and training initiatives for start up owners.

Alberta Export Expansion Program

This funding program aims to help export-ready companies and non-profits access and attract global buyers. Its goal is to help small and medium-sized enterprises, industry associations, municipalities, and Indigenous communities promote Alberta exports by bringing international buyers to the region and financing outbound business travel. For-profits can be reimbursed up to 50% of their eligible costs and non-profits 75%. This includes airfares, accommodation, inter-city travel, tradeshow and events registration, conference room space, and translation and interpretation services. Although SMEs from all sectors can apply, priority will be given to those in the energy, mining, agriculture, manufacturing, nutrition, environment, culture, and technology sectors.

Eligibility: In order to apply to this funding program, for-profit organizations must have at least one full-time employee in Alberta, be an incorporated legal entity, have annual sales of at least $50,000, and present a market entry plan. Learn more about this business support funding program here.


Innovation Employment Grant

This grant aims to support small and medium businesses and encourage economic growth by investing in research and development activities in Alberta – mainly when the companies are still in the early developmental stages of operation and are not yet profitable. The grant provides those that qualify with an 8% payment (as long as the research is carried out in Alberta) for the base level of spending and 20% for R&D that exceeds it by up to $4 million annually. The grant also aims to help create jobs and offer support service programs to eligible employers. One thing to keep in mind is that the Innovation Employment Grant is delivered through the tax system, so you will need to complete and file a new Schedule 29 to the Alberta Corporate Income Tax Return (AT1). Repayments will only be processed after verifying the eligible expenses for your business idea.

Eligibility: To be eligible for this innovation grant money, your firm must not have more than $50,000 in taxable capital. Other than that, any corporation that undertakes research and development in Alberta can apply. You can read more about this scheme here.

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Have an approved government grant? You can get grant-based advance funding today to help complete your project milestones.

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Canada Alberta Job Grant

The Canada Alberta Job Grant is a training program for employers who want to cover their future employees’ training costs (this is an employer driven training program). The applicant can decide which type of training is required, and the government commits to funding two-thirds of it, up to $10,000. Funds can be used for tuition fees, textbooks, digital technologies and software, eligible travel costs, agriculture training support, and more. The funding for his program is provided by Workforce Development Agreement.

Eligibility: Any Alberta small businesses can apply, but you must be a private sector employer, non-profit sector employer, First Nations or Metis Settlement, and have new and existing employees that require training. Trainees need to be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or protected people and must live in Alberta. Find out more about the Canada Alberta Job Grant here.


Women’s Economic Recovery Challenge Grant Program

This grant program is designed for Alberta women entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations that want to enhance women’s economic opportunities. For example, by increasing female entrepreneurship, the representation of women and girls in STEM, helping women transition to new careers, and supporting employer training. Eligible expenses include communication costs, travel fees, materials, project planning, overhead costs and networking opportunities.

Eligibility: For your project to be eligible for this funding, you must explain how your idea can have a positive and measurable impact on at least one of the program’s focus areas. Learn more about this grant here.


Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program

This program was created to fund initiatives led by communities, regions, and municipalities of Alberta that want to enhance economic conditions and build more capacity for sustainable economic development. Funding is available for programs focused on improving regional collaboration and local business environments and those aiming to support Alberta entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses – particularly in the tourism, innovation, and investment attraction areas. The funding for such initiatives begins at $10,000, and applicants must be able to match 50% of the total cost for the project (25% for Metis Settlements, First Nations, and Rural Alberta Business Centers).

Eligibility: You must be an incorporated federal or provincial non-profit, municipality, Metis Settlement, First Nations, or have project-based formal partnerships with them. Your project must also support businesses and industries that provide diversification. Read more about the support programs here.


Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator

This initiative can help provide the services and infrastructure required to support new businesses in Alberta. The Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator (APBI) enables resident companies to place their products in the national and internal market and specializes in food regulation needs. The program aims to assist startups, and small businesses in establishing a market presence, developing and refining their production techniques, and sharing experiences with other Alberta entrepreneurs. The incubator is managed by the Food and Bio Processing branch and is federally registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Its facilities and programs can help businesses in the industry with commercialization, market launch, the establishment of facilities, and efforts to grow sales. APBI can also assist small businesses with new product and process development and refining and testing volumes.

Eligibility: To apply, you must show you have a complete business and marketing plan, be capable of meeting CFIA regulations, have adequate resources to cover rent, supplies, and overhead, and show managerial competence. You should also be able to explain why you need incubation services and be open to coaching. Learn more about the incubator here.

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Alberta Community Resilience Program

This multi-year grant program supports the integrated planning of functioning watersheds and the development of construction projects aiming to create long-term resilience to drought and flood events. The initiative does not intend to provide emergency funds but rather to support the creation of critical infrastructure that ensures public safety f. For approved projects, Alberta Environment and Parks can supply up to 90% of eligible construction and engineering costs of up to $3 million (and 70% of costs when exceeding that number). Funds are allocated to budget cycles and can be given over multiple years.

Eligibility: You must be a municipality, improved district, First Nations, Metis settlement, or be in a Special Area to apply (you can’t do so if you are a non-profit group, regional commission, or a private entity). You must also be able to present a project that enables or enhances the protection of critical infrastructure and/or mitigates hazards to public safety. You can read more about this program here.


Municipal Stimulus Program

This capital infrastructure funding is available for municipalities and Metis Settlements that want to create local jobs, enhance productivity and competitiveness, reduce municipal red tape for hiring, and position communities to participate in the economic development of Alberta. The funding is $500 million in total, which will be distributed with a minimum of $50,000 per capita for municipalities and $5,000 for summer villages. The projects this funding can be used for bridges, roads, public transit, water and wastewater systems, and recreation.

Eligibility: You must attest that your project would not be able to go forward without the support of the stimulus program. Construction must also have begun in 2020 or 2021, and you are not allowed to withdraw previously approved CCBF or MSI funding to re-apply. Learn more about this funding here.


If you’re looking for funding opportunities and business advisory services in Alberta, Fundsquire offers innovative alternative cashflow financing for economic development. They can assist you with debt financing, and financial planning, and provide your company with new ways to raise money and access non-dilutive funding.

Looking for grant-based funding?

Have an approved government grant? You can get grant-based advance funding today to help complete your project milestones.

Contact us