Wood Buffalo Economic Development

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Additional Funding for Businesses Coming!

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo announced on August 9, 2016, additional information on the $15 million in financial assistance available for small and medium sized businesses affected by the wildfires.

With the assistance of Wood Buffalo Economic Development, Council has committed to allocating these funds to support labour assistance and wage supplementation. It is estimated that as many as 4,000 small businesses within the community were impacted by the wildfire and could benefit from the additional financial support.

Small businesses will be able to access the program by the end of September. Eligibility requirements for businesses will at a minimum include:

  • Operating within the wildfire evacuation zone as of May 2, 2016;
  • Located in Fort McMurray and the surrounding affected region;
  • Fifty or fewer employees (part-time and full-time);
  • Demonstrate intent to operate or resume operations within the wildfire evacuation zone prior to December 1, 2016.

Additional details about the support program – including detailed eligibility criteria, how to apply and application deadlines – will be announced at a later date.

For more information on emergency funding relief for businesses, please visit the Canadian Red Cross.

Wood Buffalo Economic Development Invites Residents to the YMM Home Show; Announces Rex Murphy as Keynote Speaker

ymm_home_show_thum(Fort McMurray, AB – August 8, 2016) – Wood Buffalo Economic Development invites residents to attend the YMM Home Show at MacDonald Island Park on Saturday, August 20 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The YMM Home Show is a direct response to the May wildfires that affected approximately 2,000structures and impacted almost 3,900businesses.

The event will showcase over 100 businesses that will offer residents rebuilding, renovating, decorating and landscaping products and services, and is free for all residents to attend.

“The YMM Home Show will be a fantastic opportunity to bring local businesses and residents together over the common goal to rebuild our community,” said Melissa Blake, Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “The YMM Home Show will assist local businesses in obtaining work and provide residents with greater access to local products and services available to assist in a healthy rebuild.”

The YMM Home Show will include engagements from keynote speaker, Rex Murphy, a long-time advocate and supporter of the region. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear Murphy address the community and share his thoughts on the region’s rebuilding and recovery initiatives. His deep insight into the issues affecting individuals and businesses will provide informative and entertaining commentary to show attendees. For more information on Rex Murphy and his career visit the National Speakers Bureau website.

In addition to vendor booths, the YMM Home Show will also host free educational sessions to inform and engage residents and local business owners. The schedule for these sessions will be available at the event. Breakout sessions topics will include:

  • Things You Should Know When Hiring a Contractor – Making Informed Decisions
  • Legal – Know Your Rights
  • Home Décor – The latest trends in home décor
  • New Provincial Enhanced Builder Requirements
  • Panel Discussion: “Your Community in Recovery”

The YMM Home Show has been made possible thanks to financial support from the Government of Alberta. Wood Buffalo Economic Development is hosting the show in partnership with

  • Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association (NAABA)
  • Fort McMurray Construction Association (FMCA)
  • Fort McMurray Tourism
  • Urban Development Institute
  • Community Futures Wood Buffalo
  • Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce

For more information on the YMM Home Show, please visit choosewoodbuffalo.ca.


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Learning Events and Programs at the Back to Business Resource Centre

If you are a business owner and looking to expand your knowledge base or acquire new skills to apply to your business. Check out our Back to Business Resource Centre page by clicking here and learn more about the events and programs we are offering to local business owners and entrepreneurs.

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Welcome Walks

Our team has been hitting the streets to welcome business back to Wood Buffalo. You will spot us around town come up and say hello! You won’t miss us in our bright pink shirts! Follow us on social media to see where we are #welcomewalks

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Expired RMWB Business Licenses

Please be advised the RMWB is aware many business licenses have expired since the mandatory evacuation. This will not restrict you from accessing the emergency relief funds available to your business. 

The new RMWB Business License system is up and running for both licenses and permits, please be advised license processing takes from 5 to 7 business days.  If you have specific questions please send an email to business.licensing@rmwb.ca

Click here to apply for Business Licenses and/or permits online.  The E-Permitting system is most compatible with Internet Explorer or Firefox (do not use Google Chrome).

Please visit our FAQ section for additional information and answer to questions regarding the Emergency Relief Funding for Small Businesses.