Export program refresh helps cut red tape
Starting Dec. 2, small and medium-sized enterprises, municipalities, First Nations and Metis Settlements, industry associations and economic development organizations can apply for funding through a single application stream to:
- Promote Alberta exports through international business travel, or
- Bring international buyers to Alberta.
“We received a lot of feedback from Alberta businesses and organizations on their experience with the former program, and we listened. We cut unnecessary processes and requirements, creating a more streamlined approach for businesses to get the support they need to grow, succeed and create jobs. These efficiencies also ensure we’re getting the best bang for Alberta taxpayers’ buck.” Tanya Fir, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism
The Alberta Export Expansion Program has a continuous intake with an annual budget of up to $1.2 million.
Key program improvements include:
- Replaced two program streams (former SME Export Support Fund and Global Buyers and Investors Program) with a new single program and application process that covers both outbound and inbound travel.
- Increased annual funding limit per application from $20,000 to $25,000.
- Removed the percentage sales cap for target countries to help broaden the list of eligible markets.
- Removed the eligibility requirement that for-profit businesses meet a minimum incorporation length.
- Reduced the length of follow-up reporting requirements from three years to one.
- Harmonized eligibility criteria to provide more direct support to Alberta small and medium-sized enterprises and non-profit organizations, including municipalities, First Nations and Metis Settlements.
- Introduced caps on some eligible expenses to ensure responsible use of taxpayer dollars.
The former SME Export Support Fund will not be accepting new applications. Applications that were submitted before the program was paused in March 2019 will be retroactively processed and approved in the order that they were received.
Going forward, Alberta businesses are encouraged to apply to the Alberta Export Expansion Program through the new online application process. Information on eligibility criteria, funding, and how to apply is available on the Alberta Export Expansion Program web page.