Here are some resources that will be of interest or helpful to you as you do business in Okotoks.
Business Support Resources
Okotoks Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (OEE)
Formed in 2020, the OEE brings together organizations that support business growth and development. Contributors recognize that by staying connected we can MAXIMIZE RESOURCES, REDUCE DUPLICATION and pursue NEW INITIATIVES that provide benefits to the community. Along with Okotoks Economic Development, founding members of the OEE include:
With Bow Valley College's Regional Campuses, your education needs are met where you live. Gain access to higher education without the need to relocate. Expand your horizons, build lifelong connections, and embark on a successful academic journey right in your own backyard.
Regional programming serves the educational needs of residents living in areas surrounding Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Programming is offered through a blend of in-person and online methods.
The primary role of Community Futures Highwood (CFH) is to promote small business growth, generate jobs and build capacity within its shareholder communities. They initiate and implement strategic programs aimed at creating a sustainable, diversified economy. CFH offers a flexible financing program (SME loans and lines of credit) to assist start-up entrepreneurs and existing business owners who are unable to obtain conventional financing. CFH services Okotoks, Diamond Valley, Foothills County, High River, Nanton and surrounding area, Vulcan and Vulcan County and is governed by a board of volunteer directors.
Community Futures Highwood
Inclusion Foothills is a family advocacy organization committed to providing individuals with disabilities and their families support that contributes to an inclusive, meaningful life. Of utmost importance is creating a safe, non-judgmental space for all in offering support, education, and information.
Services cover a range of programs and change over time to meet the current needs of families and funding. Services include support groups, one-to-one assistance planning, access to resources and more. Inclusion Foothills also provides employment services, facilitating those with barriers to find meaningful and rewarding work.
MCG Careers began their work with unemployed Albertans in 1989, and has continually expanded services since then. They specialize in career consulting, employment support, occupational training, and professional development. They have offices in Okotoks and High River and many of their services are free of charge.
Okotoks Arts Council is a passionate volunteer-based organization on a mission to create and maintain a vibrant arts energy, and foster collaborative friendships within the unique communities of Foothills, Alberta.
Non-profit organization comprised of volunteers that are dedicated towards helping and promoting local businesses in the community. The Chamber is dedicated to helping and promoting local businesses. Chamber members have opportunities to engage in valuable activities, such as networking and new business contacts, problem solving, as well as lending support and planning for future growth and direction of the business community. The mission includes active promotion, facilitate and strengthen the business climate by providing: leadership, representation, networking opportunities, services and education to members.
Skills in Action, a project in partnership with Community Futures Canada and funded by the Government of Canada's Skills for Success Program, is an online portal comprised of a suite of training programs designed to enhance the skill sets of Canadian workers based on the Skills for Success model. The portal includes online training management tools to plan, deliver and manage the training programs. Expected outcomes include:
- Access to Skills for Success training tools is increased for the Canadian rural community.
- Increased awareness of SMEs and training providers to integrate the Skills for Success into HR practices.
- Participants improved their fundamental and transferable skills in reading, numeracy, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, adaptability, and creativity and innovation.
To learn more, contact Community Futures Highwood:
Ursula Sherwood, Executive Director
Direct Line: 403-842-0389
Office Line: 403-995-4151
Unleash your potential with the Dream Business Program in partnership with the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program and Community Futures offices in Western Canada.
Are you ready to transform your aspirations into a thriving business venture? Look no further! Our Dream Business Program (starting September 14, 2023!) is here to equip you with the tools, valuable resources, and unwavering support necessary to embark on your entrepreneurial journey.
We believe disabilities or ongoing health conditions should never impede your passion for entrepreneurship. Through our comprehensive range of services, you’ll gain access to an abundance of invaluable resources designed to empower you.
Start Now Incubator was born out of a shared passion for fostering connections and cultivating networks, mentoring opportunities, and resources/supports for women entrepreneurs. It takes a flexible approach to provide tailored services that help meet the needs of rural, Indigenous, diverse, and underserved women to start and grow their businesses. We are here to help you take that first step and the next step in your success.
Start Now Incubator
A nonprofit organization that helps people navigate the steps toward starting their own businesses. They provide one-on-one support and guidance, market research, access to experts, training, networking opportunities, and specialized support for Indigenous entrepreneurs.
The mission of Destination Canada is to influence supply and build demand for the benefit of locals, communities and visitors through leading research, building alignment with public and private sectors, and marketing Canada nationally and abroad. In collaboration with our partners, we promote Canada as a premier four-season leisure and business tourism destination around the country and world.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada ( ISED ) works with Canadians in all areas of the economy and in all parts of the country to improve conditions for investment, enhance Canada's innovation performance, increase Canada's share of global trade and build a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace.
The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program uses tax incentives to encourage Canadian businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to conduct research and development (R&D) in Canada. These tax incentives come in three forms: an income tax deduction, an investment tax credit (ITC), and, in certain circumstances, a refund.
Tourism is defined as the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure or business. It may also include visiting friends and relatives, religious purposes, or medical treatment. Tourism export are receipts earned from expenditures by international visitors to Canada on Canadian merchandise and services. Tourism export accounts for 20% of total tourism activities in Canada.
Ready to do business internationally? Our trade commissioners around the world can support Canadian companies with market intelligence, identify new business opportunities, and find qualified contacts that will help them succeed in foreign markets.
Alberta Innovates solves some of the biggest industry challenges in our province and supports the growth of business while stimulating the start-up community to build new technology and drive new ideas. We want to build a bright future for all Albertans. Funding is available for innovative, technology based products.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a not-for-profit, non-government organization that provides consumers with confidence in their choices and businesses pride in their status. Businesses that become BBB Accredited are not only associating their business with trust, but are also helping BBB to continue its public service activities.
As Canada’s leading provincial destination management organization, Travel Alberta drives the growth of the province’s visitor economy, creating and promoting must-visit destinations throughout the province. We do this by helping businesses develop memorable products and experiences, marketing those products and experiences to the world, and ensuring visitors have access to them.
Mental/Physical Health Support
In alignment with the Town of Okotoks Social Wellness Framework, and to support the mental and physical well-being of the community, the Town offers Recreation Centre facility passes to community and regional corporate organizations with 10 or more employees. The facility provides year-round continued learning, sport, recreation and leisure opportunities for all ages and abilities!
Once an organization has become an approved corporate client, each employee will receive 10% off current annual pass rates. Direct billing and third party billing options are available and proof of employment is necessary. Please contact Recreation Centre Client Services at 403-938-8954 to discuss becoming a corporate partner in health and wellness in Okotoks!
Addressing Addiction & Mental Health in the Workplace
These AHS Addiction & Mental Health resources cover topics and issues specific to the workplace. Whether you're a manager, an employee, a safety supervisor, an allied health professional or a small business owner, you'll find useful resources to help you make your workplace safe, healthy and productive.
The Foothills Centennial Centre (FCC) is multi-purpose complex in Okotoks is made up of a seniors' centre, youth space, meeting rooms, covered outdoor patio, commercial kitchen, and a 10,000-square-foot hall that can be divided into four smaller halls. Accommodates functions from 10 to 1,000 people. The FCC is connected to the Okotoks Arenas.
Literacy for Life is a local non-profit organization that supports adults (18 to 80 +) in their learning needs. Some of the ways they do this is by providing GED preparation classes, English as a Second Language classes, Basic Computer classes, as well as tutoring services. They also assist parents in increasing children’s/youth literacy levels through a variety of programming.
The Regional Innovation Network of Southern Alberta (RINSA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting businesses in bringing novel goods or processes to market. It is provincial partnership that provides programs and resources to Alberta businesses, with a focus on technology and innovation support. The purpose of RINSA is to offer entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses access to:
- Innovation support, technology transfer and commercialization programs
- Marketing, business development, training and export development services
- Networking, match-making and business incubation opportunities
- Funding at various stages (vouchers, angel investment, venture capital)
- Funding through Community Futures’ lending services for start-up and/or expansion
RINSA also collaborates with other Alberta innovation systems to increase efficiency and collaboration across the province. It was established in 2011 as a collaborative partnership between Alberta Innovates and the following members.
University of Lethbridge
Okotoks Economic Development
Techconnect / EDL
Piikani Resource Development
Blood Tribe Economic Development
Southgrow Regional Initiative
Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce
Alberta Southwest Regional Economic Development