Alberta Opportunity Company
Alberta Opportunity Company (AOC), founded in 1972 and merged into the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation in early 2002, was a provincial Crown Corporation with an independent board of directors reporting to the Alberta legislature through the minister of economic development and trade. The company provided financial and management assistance to qualified small- and medium-sized Alberta businesses which were unable to obtain reasonable terms and conditions from the private sector. Loans were used for a number of purposes, including land or equipment, or the refinancing of existing loans. Management assistance included counselling its customers in areas such as accounting, construction, finance, marketing and production.
AOC had 10 branch offices and was headquartered in Ponoka. The board of directors was composed of a chairman, a managing director, a representative from the Department of Economic Development and Trade, and 12 private-sector business people who represent different regions of the province and different business backgrounds. In 2001, the last full year of its autonomous operation, AOC provided 267 loans and bank and export guarantees for a total of $39.4 million or almost $150 000 per loan on average.