4 Jul 2012

Survey: Canadian small businesses not planning to increase

With many consumers expected to reduce their spending this year, a recent survey shows small businesses are not planning on raising prices anytime soon.The survey, by BMO Bank of Montreal, found that 67 percent of Canadian small businesses will not be raising prices in 2012. This was in line with the 22 percent who said reduced consumer spending would be the biggest challenge this year, the most popular response."Modest economic and wage growth, the lure of cross-border deals and global economic uncertainty have convinced many Canadian businesses not to raise prices," said Sal Guatieri, senior economist for BMO Capital Markets. "For many businesses, remaining competitive and focusing on productivity are primary concerns, both of which will help Canadian businesses in the long run."Approximately 58 percent of businesses said they'd be looking to increase their business' productivity through new investments, according to the report. One way to do this is to invest in a new workspace from Jiffy Self Storage. These…

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3 Jul 2012

What was supposed to be a renovation turned into disaster for one Toronto homeowner after his house shifted to the side as the basement was being dug up.Contractors were reportedly digging out the basement as part of home renovation work, but the soil apparently shifted and caused an issue with the foundation of the house. Now, the home is facing demolition after part of it slid downwards, threatening to fall on the house next door, reports The Toronto Star."Right now it's looking like demolition is the only safe thing to do," Mark Sraga, the city’s director and deputy chief building official, told the news source. "Something shifted inside with respect to the soils which caused the house to shift and…

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2 Jul 2012

Some shoppers simply can't pass up a good sale, and they'll frequently talk about how much money they saved on their recent purchase. But are these buyers actually saving money, or spending more of it?A recent article on Moneysense says those addicted to sales are actually costing themselves money. Many buyers feel compelled to purchase something when it's on sale, even if they don't particularly need the item. Some actively seek out sales even if they have no prior intent to purchase anything at the store.While ads claiming 50 percent off may be alluring, buyers should resist this temptation, according to the news source. This isn't to say that they should be paying full price. When it comes to things…

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29 Jun 2012

Small business owners today have access to tools that those who ran businesses years ago could only dream about. Fortunately, it appears company owners are taking advantage of technology in order to better run their businesses.The BMO Annual Business Survey found that roughly 60 percent of businesses are using online tools and resources in order to manage cash flow. These simple tools allow owners to keep track of money coming in and going out. While back in the day business owner may have "balanced the books" with a calculator, nowadays computers allow owners to have all of this handled for them.""Business owners are increasingly looking for ways to better manage their cash flow, both to help them meet their obligations…

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29 Jun 2012

With the price of Canadian houses on the rise, many homeowners may struggle to make a down payment on the homes they are looking at. For example, the average price of a house in Toronto for May 2012 is $516,787, according to Moneyville.ca. At that price, the minimum down payment would be somewhere around $25,000.Fortunately, Canadians have an option for assisting with their down payment. The Canadian Home Buyer's Plan allows first-time buyers to take up to $25,000 out of their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). However, this money needs to be paid back over time for the buyer to avoid a tax penalty.For those buying a home with a spouse, the rule allows for both wife and husband to…

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27 Jun 2012

A new report indicates small business owners may be paying too much in property taxes in British Columbia. The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) says small business owners in B.C. pay approximately 2.78 times as much in tax for a property of the same value as a homeowner.According to the CFIB, property tax for business owners increased for two decades before local leaders did anything about it. Property taxes for B.C. businesses have decreased for three straight years, but only by small margins. Although the CFIB acknowledges property taxes have not increased, the group says more needs to be done to help businesses and offset the years of increases.According to the group, 69 percent of business leaders polled say…

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27 Jun 2012

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty recently announced new rules for the housing market designed to cool off the red-hot cities like Toronto and Vancouver. Prices in these places are skyrocketing and some economists are worried homebuyers are biting off more than they can chew. So how do the new rules work?The big change has to do with amortization, or the length of time for a mortgage. Those who put down less than 20 percent for their down payment are now limited to 25-year mortgages. Larger down payments can still have standard 30-year mortgages.According to Moneyville, this affects the homes a family might be able to afford. For example, the ceiling on a 30-year mortgage for a house with annual income…

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26 Jun 2012

The life of a small business owner can be very different from that of a regular paid employee. There are many financial factors to consider and manage when running a business, but a recent study finds owners may not be thinking of their own future as much as they should.A report by Statistics Canada finds just 74 percent of small business owners are saving up for retirement, according to The Financial Post. This is in comparison to normal employees, 85 percent of whom have some kind of savings plan in place. This discrepancy may be explained by the complexity of planning for the future of a company, but also may be due to owners simply having little time to deal…

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26 Jun 2012

Many young Canadians are moving into cities and urban centers, which might explain high real estate prices as of late and why so many are looking into Toronto self storage facilities. Unfortunately, the rural communities these youngsters are abandoning are being hurt by the migration, according to a new study.A report released by the BMO Bank of Montreal finds the mass shift away from rural areas toward urban centers is having a big impact on agriculture in Canada. Approximately 62 percent of family farms say they're being negatively impacted by young adults moving away from home. In many cases, farms that would have once passed down to the next generation instead see the kids moving to different career paths in…

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24 Jun 2012

Marketing rep works from Jiffy instead of plugging up apartmentJiffy Self-Storage, Toronto’s leading self-storage service provider is proud to announce a new and unique product for Toronto area businesses. We have converted our storage units into fully functioning Workspaces. What is a Workspace? Well it is simply what the name implies. A multi functional unit, equipped with lighting, heating, air conditioning, power outlets, and internet access for you to comfortably do your work.  These units were designed with saving costs in mind. We understand that some people do not need or want lavish décor or fancy trimmings, just a practical area where you can come in and do your work. Our Workspaces are versatile enough to…

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22 Jun 2012

The Canadian housing market has been red-hot in recent months, especially in places like Toronto. With economic advisors fearful the spending spree could get out of control for Canadian homeowners, new mortgage rules were recently adopted that are expected to curb the market a bit.Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was worried that homeowners could get in over their heads when it comes to mortgages, leading to a "burst bubble," where people cannot pay back their debt. The new rules are minor changes, but should ultimately curb the high spending by homeowners.For starters, insured mortgages will now be limited to 25 years, rather than 30, giving home buyers less room to spread out payments over time. In addition, those refinancing their home…

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21 Jun 2012

A new survey indicates that a vast majority of Canadian men would love to start their own business, according to BMO Bank of Montreal.The report finds 82 percent of men would like to own their own company, although what they'd like to do varies, according to Canadian HR Reporter. Popular choices for businesses include food and hospitality, skilled trades and construction and information technology."Small businesses account for almost one-third of Canada's GDP annually and are important sources of job creation and wealth," said Cathy Pin, vice president of commercial banking at BMO Bank of Montreal. "Many of the newest small and medium-sized businesses are also among the most successful, productive and fastest growing enterprises in Canada."While many clearly want to…

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21 Jun 2012

A new report by Ernst & Young shows that while small businesses contribute strongly to a nation's economy, they often have trouble attracting investors.The Calgary Herald reports the study shows small businesses account for 50 percent of the employment in G20 nations, indicating that these smaller companies are a key factor in any country's economic growth. Despite this, the companies only attract 6 percent of the total investment in these nations."Access to funding continues to be one of the most significant challenges for the creation, growth and survival of SMEs, particularly innovative ones," Colleen McMorrow, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Services Leader in Canada, told the news source. "In our survey of more than 1,000 entrepreneurs across the G20, almost two-thirds…

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20 Jun 2012

A recent survey indicates many Canadian small businesses are backing up their financial data, but many are leaving the critical files on-site, where they are not necessarily protected.The study, by Sage Simply Accounting, found that nearly all small businesses back up critical data. However, many are then storing their files within the building, which essentially defeats the purpose of having a back-up. A fire in the building, for example, would wipe out the original copies and the back-ups. With affordable Toronto self storage rates available for small business and document storage, owners should consider using off-site backup for their files instead."An overwhelming 98 percent of Canadian small businesses are backing up their financial data, but only 28 percent are doing…

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20 Jun 2012

Many Canadian small businesses realize that social media can help them reach new customers, but company owners may not know the best strategies for utilizing services like Facebook and Twitter. The Globe and Mail recently revealed some tips for companies looking to engage with consumers online.A recent study by bit.ly finds that the best times to tweet or post to Facebook are between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday. These sites tend to see less usage after working hours and on the weekends, the study showed. Activity is popular in the morning on these sites, but the study found many businesses posted in the morning, so there was more competition for attention.While small businesses need…

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19 Jun 2012

Jiffy Self Storage, a leading provider of Toronto storage solutions, is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and helping the environment. The popular self storage facility has installed a number of "green" systems in recent years in order to reduce energy usage and help save the Earth.Perhaps the most significant change is the company's energy-efficient HVACs (heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems). Jiffy's HVAC system uses naturally cool air from outdoors to keep the temperature down in inside spaces. If the outside temperature is below a certain point, all air conditioning is automatically turned off and the outside air is filtered inside so no energy is wasted.Jiffy's new roof also serves to reduce energy usage. Insulation is typically measured by…

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18 Jun 2012

According to GreenLiving, Canada is one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. Annual emissions of 20.3 metric tons rank Canada as the second-worst country in the world in this regard. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies Canadian citizens and businesses can develop to reduce their environmental impact.The news source recommends taking steps such as buying energy-efficient appliances, recycling and reducing water usage as smart ways to help the environment. Canadians can adopt these practices with little to no change to their current lifestyle. For example, buying a low-flush toilet can reduce water consumptions, whereas starting a separate bin for recyclables can help greatly with cutting down on waste.Jiffy Self Storage, a…

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15 Jun 2012

Self storage facilities have been in the spotlight recently thanks to the craze started by the A&E series "Storage Wars." The popular program follows a group of people who bid on the contents of storage units whose owners have defaulted.Many self storage facilities sell units and their contents in order to recoup losses once the owner stops paying the storage rates. Before the show hits the airwaves, it was a somewhat small group of people who bid on these units. In most cases, the bidder only gets a glimpse of what's inside the unit and has to offer their best guess for what's inside. Sometimes there's valuable items, while other times it's mostly junk.As the show has gotten more popular…

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14 Jun 2012

With the high prices of today's real estate market, it's important for those selling their home to get every penny possible out of their sale. One of the most important steps in the selling process is the appraisal, and self storage units can play a big role in getting a good one.Appraisers have certain things they will look for in a home, but it's not an exact science. While the appraisal is for the house itself and not the items inside it, appraisers are human and can have their opinion influenced by the way a home is presented.Inman News recommends buyers take some steps to get the best appraisal possible. If you've done any recent work on your home, be…

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