Supporting Alberta businesses and strengthening community resilience during COVID-19

EDMONTON, May 14, 2020 – Many communities are looking for ways to support local businesses that are struggling to survive the COVID-19 lockdown and the reopening of the economy. In response, Community Wealth Sharing, an initiative of the McConnell Foundation, is launching a pilot project to support Alberta businesses by working with ATB and its BoostR platform. The Community Wealth Sharing Initiative chose to support the BoostR crowdfunding platform because of its ability to help Alberta businesses be more resilient during this difficult time. 

The Alberta pilot of the Community Wealth Sharing Initiative will help expand ATB’s existing BoostR crowdfunding site so any business in Alberta can launch a crowdfunding campaign without any fees so that businesses can keep all the money they raise, whether or not they reach their fundraising goal. 

“At ATB Financial, we know it’s a difficult time and we are doing what we can to help Albertans navigate through the uncertainty,” said Chris Turchansky, Chief Experience Officer at ATB. “That includes quickly adapting BoostR—ATB’s unique virtual rewards-based crowdfunding platform that helps Alberta businesses—to give Albertans an easy way to support local businesses through the pandemic. The McConnell Foundation’s support for BoostR means more help for Alberta businesses and that means a lot to us at ATB.” 

“The Community Wealth Sharing Initiative can foster community resilience by helping to sustain local economies now, and as we emerge from the COVID-19 emergency. It complements other efforts by governments and financial institutions and lets everyone who can afford to do so contribute,” explains Stephen Huddart, President & CEO of the McConnell Foundation, a pan-Canadian, family foundation based in Montreal, which provided initial funding to the Community Wealth Sharing Initiative. 

This is the second pilot project for the Community Wealth Sharing Initiative, which aims to run in three regions across Canada. In Edmonton, the pilot project is exploring the use of targeted marketing campaigns in partnership with the Business Improvement Areas in order to reach business owners who may not be aware of options like crowdfunding, so that all businesses have access to support. 

The McConnell Foundation is partnering with ATB BoostR as part of the Community Wealth Sharing Initiative pilot and similar projects across Canada in its commitment to COVID-19 recovery efforts and its Civic Capital platform. More examples of Community Wealth Sharing, civic resilience, and documentation of initial projects will be shared soon at: Civic.Capital