EDMONTON — Alberta's economic development minister says a new investor tax credit will provide $90 million to help small- and medium-sized tech companies.
Deron Bilous outlined the details of the new credit Monday at an Edmonton business management software firm.
Credits include VFX, game companies
Bilous said that as of Jan. 1, investors will be able to receive a 30 per cent tax credit for investing in Alberta information, health and green technology companies.
Others to benefits include those working in interactive digital media and game products, digital animation, post-production and visual effects.
"These are growing industries in our province and industries that require highly skilled workers,'' said Bilous.
"The majority of companies in these sectors have less than 100 employees, and new businesses and startups are big contributors to job creation.''
"These are growing industries in our province."
Bilous said the government will work out details, including the maximum investment amount, in the coming months.
The program is to run for two years and then be reassessed.
Alberta has 'lagged behind'
Bilous said Alberta is catching up to similar programs elsewhere.
"Over the last 10 years Alberta has consistently lagged behind other Canadian provinces in terms of venture capital dollars.''
The tax credit is part of the government's new jobs creation package outlined in last week's budget.
Listen to the press conference announcing the tax credit.
Premier Rachel Notley's government has already put up about $2 billion in loan and investment incentive programs in an attempt to create jobs and move the economy away from its reliance on fossil fuels.
That reliance has seen Alberta move deep into the red due to the prolonged slump in oil prices.
Alberta's deficit is expected to be more than $10 billion this year and $10 billion again the year after that.
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Revenue is pegged at $41.4 billion against $51.1 billion in spending. Projected revenue is down, as benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil is expected to average US$42 a barrel. If oil prices drop to $30 a barrel, the government plans to add a $700-million buffer.
Province is amalgamating 26 agencies, boards and commissions to save $33 million. Salaries and supplies for government will be cut by 2 per cent.
The only new tax is a carbon tax, that will cost households earning more than $100,00 a year about $500 annually. The new tax is part of the province's new climate change plan.
The province has created two new tax credits to encourage investment in small- and medium-sized businesses. Small-business tax will be cut to two per cent.
The government says its spending on employment incentives and capital will create about 100,000 jobs in Alberta over the next three years.