We envision a diverse and thriving economy where innovation and a strong talent base drive our growth. Calgary’s entrepreneurial spirit will continue to power our economy and thoughtful investments will bring stability, growth and opportunity to our city.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be uneven among industries, and many businesses still do not have the certainty and stability they need. In addition, issues that existed pre-pandemic have been exposed or exacerbated, highlighting the need to take a proactive approach with economic recovery and diversification:
Economic recovery, particularly coming out of this pandemic, will require an all-hands-on-deck approach. Governments at all levels, industry, small businesses, post-secondaries and non-profit organizations will need to come together to ensure we achieve our economic potential.
Through collaboration, coordination and creative thinking, we can support small businesses in recovering and thriving, and help many access new markets. We can build an economy full of opportunity – and ripe for attracting and retaining talent. We can ensure an inclusive economic recovery that doesn’t leave anyone on the sidelines. We can invest in a more diversified economy that enables us to be more resilient to commodity price volatility.
In doing so, provide appropriate support measures to business in hard-hit sectors. Focus on sectors that have been severely impacted and do not have high-risk tolerance or access to capital, including hospitality and tourism, retail and non-profit.
Shift support programs from helping businesses survive to helping businesses grow through job creation, debt relief programs and tax credits.
Streamline government support programs to enable businesses to more easily navigate and access available resources. Additionally, when businesses apply for government support, inform them of other resources available to them, including at the provincial level.
Support new businesses through procurement with targeted support for regions, as well as Indigenous, minority and women-led businesses.
Invest in affordable and high-quality child care to increase labour force participation and provide a stronger start for our children, which yields considerable economic benefits and creates a larger tax base. We can achieve this result by increasing support for early childhood educators and training programs to increase the number of people in the profession, while at the same time creating grants catered to Indigenous and newcomer children and families to support early learning and child care centers.
Invest in and incentivize businesses to incorporate social procurement efforts into their organizational strategies.
Invest in technology at all stages of the value chain including through incubators, accelerators, grants and novel equity arrangements, including start-ups, commercial demonstration and commercialization to ensure projects with a strong business case can reach markets.
Identify and connect businesses with opportunities that support access to capital and allow for direct investment, commercialization, and deployment of Canadian technology into new markets.
Ensure a focus on clean technology, artificial intelligence and sports.
Commit to supporting basic and applied research at post-secondary institutions.
Now is the time to find ways to get to an agreement on the new arena, which will serve as a signal to the talent we must attract and retain to support Calgary’s economic recovery, growth and diversification.
Our economy and public health landscape are in a very different position today than in March 2020. With the means to protect the health of our community and economy, we call on government to take action.
Alberta is standing on the edge of a field of investment opportunity. We sat down with leaders in investment attraction to explore opportunities to position Alberta for a strong economic future.