According to Statistics Canada retail sales in Alberta continue to grow and in April and May reached $6.81 billion. ATB Financial reports that retails sales have increased 9 out of the last 10 months. Some of the factors for this growth are higher employment rates and more consumer spending; plus the increase in minimum wages has allowed low income earners more disposable income which is being spent in the province. Michael Kehoe, with Fairfield Commercial Real Estate says the impact of the economic downturn was short-lived as consumer confidence and spending has returned to a new-normal. Restaurants and new stores particularly in Calgary are opening as there appears to be less dependence on the oil and gas industry. Kehoe is seeing Alberta with a more diversified economy and a get-on-with-it business attitude. Also, according to Statistics Canada, the take-home pay of employed Albertans has risen. Alberta has the highest level of wages among the Canadian provinces. Personally, this news reaffirms that government policies were not the cause of the recession and this government did “not” kill the economy. Such hysteria we heard from the naysayers is faulty again. Our government is helping with the economic recovery. Edmonton area innovators and entrepreneurs will have more help to get their ideas for new products and services to market. $1.5 million has been added to the Alberta Incubator Program. The new services for entrepreneurs, recent graduates and innovators include mentorship opportunities, business advice, product testing space and access to world-class prototyping and manufacturing equipment. Check online: “Alberta Jobs Plan,” and “Alberta Innovates.” Our government is helping economic diversity with the ‘Growing Forward 2’ program. Recently we awarded to Tiras Dairies Inc.
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