South Peace News
Rural businesses struggling to sell their operation now have access to a government program that will allow immigrants to set up shop in Alberta.
The Rural Entrepreneur Stream has been added to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program of the provincial government.
“This is for people who want to buy a business,” Diane Chiasson, economic development officer with Smoky River Regional Economic Development, told Village of Girouxville council at its meeting Sept. 14.
“For the region struggling with labour, this is a good program.
“We have to take steps to stop the decrease of population in the region,” Chiasson said.
Municipal support is required for businesses to participate.
“Each municipality must apply,” Chiasson told council.
Other streams in the program may be approached as a region of municipalities.
She is encouraging all local municipalities in the Smoky River region to apply.
“You may not have any businesses for sale now, but you may in the future,” Chiasson said.
She plans to also present the program to councils of the M.D. of Smoky River, the Town of Falher, and the Town of McLennan.
If a local community is approved, Chiasson said she would develop a website that would promote the program and other similar incentives.
The Rural Entrepreneur Stream allows the provincial government to nominate qualified capable immigrant entrepreneurs who intend to support the economic growth and revitalization of rural communities by establishing or buying an existing business, the program fact sheet states.
Nominated individuals, along with their spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children, must apply for permanent residence through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Program nominees must also meet medical, criminal and security checks to be eligible for permanent residency in the region.
To be eligible, candidates must have a minimum of three years of experience as an active business owner or manager, or a minimum of four years of experience as a senior manager within the past 10 years.
Candidates must also create at least one full-time job for Canadian citizens or permanent residents (not including relatives) when establishing a new business.
Candidates must also have a minimum net worth of $300,000.
A minimum investment of $200,000 is also required from the candidate or partner’s own personal holdings.