The Brooks Region's economic development team is enthusiastic about assisting businesses and investors. We're constantly coming up with new ideas to help our current businesses, get businesses started and also attract new development. Those ideas include researching and conducting studies, marketing our current assets and offering programs to our local entrepreneurs. Here's a list of those endeavours:

NewGrow

Download the NewGrow 2019 INFORMATION PAMPHLET


Download the NewGrow 2019 APPLICATION FORM

The NewGrow program was first launched in October 2018 and after a very popular and successful first year, the Brooks Region is excited to announce that the program will be continued in 2019. NewGrow is a program aimed at supporting new and existing businesses in the Brooks Region. Businesses make a pitch to a panel of judges and compete for funding. The funding is a grant (not a loan, and no matching funds are required) and is intended to break down barriers and stimulate business growth in the Region, hopefully leading towards better business retention and expansion.

The NewGrow program gives community entrepreneurs and innovators the opportunity to start up or expand a business or create a new product, service or invention through a business plan and public pitch competition. All participants who take part in NewGrow will have a chance to receive an award package including up to $10,000 in funding plus valuable business services, promotions and mentorship.

You can propose any type of business, new product/service or business expansion/enhancement, as long as it meets a few simple requirements as listed in the NewGrow Program Parameters. 

Timelines for NewGrow 2019 are as follows:

Application available online - Friday August 30th
Judges announced: Friday November 15th
Application packages due: Friday November 29th
Pitch night: Friday December 6th

Based on feedback from last year, some minor changes have been made to the Program Parameters and application process.  Details will be available for interested participants on August 30th.

Download the NewGrow 2019 INFORMATION PAMPHLET
Download the NewGrow 2019 APPLICATION FORM
View the NewGrow SCORING MATRIX

For more information or if you have any questions, email ecdev@brooks.ca 

Marketing Makeovers

Thank you to everyone who applied for the Marketing Makeovers program! We are excited to be working with the following businesses during the next two and a half months:

  • Tack N Treasurez
  • Newfie Mini Mart
  • Work ‘n’ Play
  • A1 Irrigation

These four businesses will receive one-on-one coaching on how to further improve their marketing, advertising and promotions. Over the course of the summer, they will be working in close communication with Myra Altwasser and other members of the Brooks Region Economic Development team. Businesses will be expected to set specific marketing goals, monitor progress and continue marketing activities after the program term reaches completion at the end of August.

Other businesses that applied are invited to contact Myra Altwasser at maltwasser@brooks.ca to receive informational videos on using social media to market your small business!

For more information: Marketing Makeovers News Release

Energy from Waste Feasibility Study

Brooks Region (formerly Newell) Energy from Waste Feasibility Study

The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of an Energy-From-Waste (EFW) Waste Management Processing Facility in the Brooks (Newell) Region that would serve the County of Newell, City of Brooks, Town of Bassano and the Villages of Duchess and Rosemary.  

The study was led by the Palliser Economic Partnership Ltd. and Newell Region Economic Development.

An EFW Waste Management Processing Facility would serve to attract external investment, along with associated industries, and create jobs in the region.  Such a facility would also provide generated heat / energy and marketable by-products to generate revenues.

In the eventuality that the results / recommendations of this feasibility study are affirmative to the development of infrastructure, regional benefits could include:

  • Investment in new infrastructure, either municipally or privately owned;
  • New EFW Waste Processing facility constructed in the region;
  • Waste heat/energy from new processing facility could be used to incent greenhouse, or other mutually beneficial operations on site; and,
  • Investment by CP Rail in rail spur line enhancements / extensions and a rail tie storage yard.

Investment Attraction Study

The Brooks Region (formerly known as the Newell Region) completed an Investment Attraction study to build on previous economic development efforts and provide direction into sectors that the Region should continue to target.

MDB Insight was contracted to conduct the study and an economic base analysis for the Region’s municipalities was developed to provide insight into the current state of the economy. It showed that, in general terms, the Region’s agricultural economy has been successful over the last few years, in comparison with the rest of Alberta. Growth in the oil and gas and manufacturing sectors has slowed down, however, both remain strong economic drivers for the Region. One sector that is projected to grow in importance is tourism and hospitality, especially building off the Region’s provincial parks and recreational facility assets.

To access the full document, please click here.

Tourism Operator Business Plans

Annually, approximately 100,000 tourists visit Dinosaur Provincial Park, which is located within the County of Newell and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourists come to camp and experience the naturally occurring beauty, but there is a lack of other tourist destinations and tourism opportunities to expand or enhance their experience.

The County is also home to Lake Newell, a large man-made reservoir located 14 kilometres south of the City of Brooks. Travel Alberta refers to the lake as “one of Alberta’s best kept secrets - Southern Alberta’s largest and warmest lake. Perfect for canoeing, sailing, fishing, swimming, etc.”

To best leverage the region’s tourism assets and recognizing the need for more adventure tourism opportunities, the Newell Region embarked on something new; the creation of business plans for tourism operators. These plans create opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs to capitalize on existing and popular tourist destinations.

Outcomes for the project included;

  1. Increasing support for entrepreneurs;
  2. Improving the local business environment;
  3. Enhancing support for industries that provide job diversification to our region;
  4. Increasing the ability to attract visitors, which aids in the promotion of rural Alberta;
  5. Job creation; and,
  6. Enhancing collaborative inter-relationships in the Newell Region.

This project was made possible through the province of Alberta’s Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) grant program.

Click here to view the full information pamphlet

Business Retention & Expansion Survey

Business Retention & Expansion Survey 2018

The Brooks Region's economic development team partnered with Community Futures Entre-Corp and the Brooks & District Chamber of Commerce in completing a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) survey. In 2018, we focused specifically on the retail and food & beverage sector.

The first phase of the BRE survey focused on resident feedback and the second phase focused on business feedback. Our team collected 420 completed surveys from residents and 51 business surveys/interviews in the second phase. These interviews helped us identify, among other things, the business needs, concerns and opportunities in the region.

Highlights from Phase 1 and 2

Second Phase: Business Survey