07/23/2013 06:58 EDT | Updated 09/22/2013 05:12 EDT

Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Guarantee Program Launched

EDMONTON - The Alberta government is backing a program it says will provide low-interest loans for flooded out farmers, small businesses and not-for-profit groups.

Finance Minister Doug Horner says the province is partnering with banks to speed up economic recovery for communities that were hit last month.

The Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Guarantee Program will provide low-interest loans of up to $1 million, with three-quarters of each loan being guaranteed by the province.

Those who participate can apply for rebates of four per cent interest through another program.

"This financial assistance will serve to bridge short-term credit issues as well as longer-term financial needs as businesses recover and re-establish themselves in their communities," says Horner. "These programs are exactly the type of flexible financial tools that the business community has asked for."

Horner expects 1,500 small businesses affected by the flood will apply for aid.

"These organizations are the backbone of our economy and our communities," he says. "We must do what we can to help them get back on their feet. Many are struggling to restore their organizations and they need financial assistance now."

He believes the program will cost the province about $120 million, but will eventually create $1 billion in economic activity.

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