Business Beat: Action for Accessing Financial Capital
Show me the money! That was the name of a webinar event recently put on by Alberta Innovates, where over 700 people attended from across the province. Access to financial capital is obviously a popular topic for Alberta businesses and our area is no different.
In the fall of 2019, a total of 476 local businesses were surveyed through the Business Retention & Expansion and Workforce Development (BREWD) strategy. This study identified that access to capital was a major barrier for growth. Fast forward to spring 2020 and the realities of COVID-19, and those needs have not changed, instead they are dramatically amplified.
Due to lack of confidence in the market, investor dollars have decreased. In response, many government stimulus programs have been announced, but the amount of information that has been released is overwhelming for many small business owners. Even before the pandemic, there were hundreds of grants available for companies, but if businesses were not aware, they of course did not apply.
In response, Invest Medicine Hat has taken the lead on a BREWD initiative, helping local business access financial capital opportunities with a straightforward 5 step approach:
- Create a grant database: We have compiled over 150 grants available for local businesses
- Create awareness through social media (#FundingFridays): Every Friday at 1p.m. we will release one of these 150 grants that local business can apply to.
- Create a Grant Writing 101 webinar for business; This June 26 at 12:15 p.m. watch for a webinar in partnership with Medicine Hat College about grant sourcing and writing basics.
- Create an easy place for business to access all this information: Watch for updates on our Invest Medicine Hat website where past information shared will be easy to find.
- Work with partners to promote local funding opportunities: We will be sharing other local funding opportunities of not only our BREWD partners, but other agencies in the community.
If you are a business, industry association or financial institution that have a grant opportunity you want to make others aware of, connect with us and we can work together to get the word out.
We want local companies to be successful in engaging in these programs and receiving financial capital. In addition to funding, many programs have learning supports and enhancement tools attached to them that can be just as valuable.
When companies are successful at sustaining and growing businesses, we all win with increase jobs for residents, and ultimately achieving better quality of life.
This article was written by Tracy Stroud, Investor Services Coordinator for the City of Medicine Hat.