Small Business in Your Rural Community:
How to keep them growing and thriving
Small business is a main drive of the economy in rural Alberta. Alberta rural communities are constantly challenged to seek creative and effective ways to attract new entrepreneurs to their communities, keep their current small businesses thriving, and help existing small businesses plan for succession. Rural Economic Development Officers have multiple responsibilities, and do not have the time or capacity to provide business support services to entrepreneurs in their communities. Many rural entrepreneurs are also long distances from the supports that are accessible to urban entrepreneurs. A new plan of action is required to bridge this gap, linking rural communities, economic development officers and small businesses to the resources and strategies needed to grow and thrive. Business Link’s commitment is to provide cross Alberta business support coverage for all Alberta communities through deliberate entrepreneur-centric partnerships. Business Link is proposing a new platform for supporting all Alberta rural communities, and the businesses in those communities. The platform will be a multifaceted approach that will include online and remote access to key business resources, peer to peer mentoring programs, one on one support services, and business expansion support services including market research. This presentation will outline the needs of rural communities, invite them in to conversation and provide information on the new Business Link Rural Services Network and how rural communities can get involved.
Moderator: Martin Ebel, EDA Board Member
Introductory Remarks: Justin Riemer, WD
Panelists from the Business Link: Barbara McKenzie, Yoyin Familusi, Matt Hill, Dale Schaub