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Business Beat: A Sunny Look at Downtown Medicine Hat

If you are looking for something to do this summer, I recommend taking a walk downtown Medicine Hat. There is a renewed sense of energy and it is reflected in all the new unique businesses that are opening at the heart of our city.

Flower shops, bakeries, bookstores, restaurants and patios, are just a few of the exciting new businesses you will encounter, and its only the beginning. Having recently spoken to two local developers, I asked them what their motivation was for their recent investments into the downtown. one investor's reply, new to the city from British Columbia, was that there was a special vibe downtown and one could feel that Medicine Hat was on the cusp of something big.

Another developer, who was successful in accessing the Downtown Development Incentive Plan (DDIP) for all four of her properties, felt similar. She stated the downtown was alive and well, and that she has a number of new businesses opening within the properties. While the details can't be released at the moment, we look forward to sharing the excitement in the coming weeks.

What we do know is that this developer commented on how helpful the DDIP program has been in bringing her buildings back to life. As a young entrepreneur getting capital for building upgrades can be challenging. She stated that accessing this program has been critical in allowing her to update the visual exterior of her businesses, keeping them modern year after year. When asked if she will apply again, her answer was "definitely!"

Besides Architectural and Visual Enhancements, the DDIP has four other grants for downtown businesses: Commercial Development, Multi-family Development, Live/Work Residential Development, and Environmental Site Assessment and Remedial/Risk Management. Up to $50,000 is the total one civic address can qualify for.

For more information or to apply for the DDIP, we encourage local businesses to visit Funding is still available for 2020, but act quickly as funds are moving fast with all the new activity downtown.

At Invest Medicine Hat, we want local companies to be successful in engaging in these programs as well as accessing other sources of capital. Stay in touch on our social media for #FundingFridays announcements with additional grants and financial support you can apply for.

If you have specific questions on funding for your business, please email us at: We wish you great success in accessing financial capital to grow your business.

Tracy Stroud is the Investor Services Coordinator for the City of Medicine Hat.

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