21 Sep 2012

Community Innovation Spaces helping Canadian small businesses

With global economies across the world a experiencing downturn, it's no wonder that confidence among small business owners in Canada is dropping.“Sliding confidence numbers suggest small business owners in our province are not immune to global trends,” Richard Truscott, Alberta Director for CFIB, told the Calgary Herald. “Thankfully, in spite of the ongoing turmoil, Alberta’s entrepreneurs are still maintaining a relatively positive outlook about the overall business environment.”The high prices associated with office buildings is one concern for Canadian small business owners. Cheap storage units are available as a way for businesses to avoid the high costs.Community Innovation Spaces such as makerspaces, hackerspaces and fabrication labs, are one way Canada is encouraging entrepreneurship and small businesses. Individuals are able to spark innovation by offering physical space and equipment that they would otherwise not be able to receive without these spaces. Small businesses are creating jobs and various opportunities on a shoestring budget, the Toronto Star reported.Jiffy offers businesses plenty of…

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29 Aug 2012

Small business growth in Canada has been impeded by excessive regulations or rigid conformity to formal rules that is considered redundant or bureaucratic and causes a lag in decision making, known as red tape, according to business experts. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business recently announced it will meet with seniors representatives from the Ontario Government to discuss some ways to to ease the regulations placed on small businesses in the country."Government red tape costs Ontario businesses a staggering $11 billion a year," said Satinder Chera, vice president on Ontario's branch of the CFIB. "Our members tell us that excessive red tape is their second-highest priority after taxes, so anything that can be done to make things easier for small business…

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24 Aug 2012

An inconsistent, struggling global economy has caused many businesses throughout the world the put off growth for the time being, however, firms throughout Canada are still looking to seek out potential funding opportunities, according to recent data compiled by the Business Development Bank of Canada.Recent BDC statistics showed that during the fiscal year 2012, its clients borrowed a total of $3.8 billion in loans and subordinate financing. By working to secure funding, expansion is clearly on the minds of many small businesses in Canada. Researching Toronto storage solutions is one of the considerations business owners undertake in the city as they look to add more inventory.  "BDC clients have shown resilience through difficult economic times and, as a whole, improved their…

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22 Aug 2012

Consumer spending in Canada may be on the downswing highlighted by recent data compiled by Statistics Canada, which found retail sales decreased in June, according to Reuters. The unexpected drop in sales occurred in seven of the 11 subsectors of the retail industry.Decreases in sales could mean that Canadian companies may be looking for cheap storage in Toronto to keep their excess inventory. Consumer spending must pick up in order to make sure the economy in Canada is able to recover."The surprise drop in June sales was broad-based, suggesting households are becoming a little more cautious, though cross-border shopping may have played a role as well," BMO Capital Markets senior economist Benjamin Reitzes wrote in a note to clients. "The…

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13 Aug 2012

Many business owners in Toronto are looking to expand their firms into the new markets throughout Ontario, Canada and the United States. Keeping this in mind, these business owners need to consider Toronto public storage to help them store their new supplies and inventory. Improving the logistics of their firm is a great way to make sure business owners see success when expanding their operations. Here are a few tips from The Globe and Mail to make sure logistics are cost efficient.•Find cheap shipping costs: One way business owners can get lower shipping costs is to outsource their distribution centers. Larger distributions centers often have more cost-efficient shipping than smaller warehouses.•Automate processes: Many business owners will find they will save…

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19 Jul 2012

A new study by BMO Financial Group finds that the number of Canadian small businesses with succession plans have doubled in the past two years.According to the study, nearly 30 percent of small businesses in Canada now have a plan in place for when the owner dies or retires. This is up sharply compared to just 15 percent in 2010, but many businesses still don't have a strategy outlined.Among those who did not have a plan, the top reason was that it was "too early" to begin thinking about it. Yet many small business owners are not all that young, and having a plan in place is a "better safe than sorry" type of measure."Just like creating a business plan…

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17 Jul 2012

Canadian small business owners are calling for more stringent regulations on the credit and debit card industry, hoping the Canadian government will change the way businesses are forced to handle these forms of payment.The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which is comprised of more than 100,000 business owners, says that new rules need to be put into place governing how retailers pay the major card companies, according to The Canadian Press. All businesses that accept credit cards pay fees to the companies that make the cards in order to process the payments. However, the card companies charge different fees depending on the exact type of card that's used – credit cards cost more than debit due to the risk that…

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12 Jul 2012

Confidence among Canadian small business owners continued to fall in the month of June, as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Business Barometer Index dropped to 62.1 from 64.8 the month before.The index is compiled based on answers to survey questions sent to small business owners across the country. The questions cover a variety of topics, including customer demand, expenses, getting financing and more."Insufficient customer demand was the most commonly cited constraint on business performance, although concerns about customer demand have gradually trended downward in 2012," said Ted Mallett, CFIB's chief economist and vice-president. "Meanwhile, concerns over shortages of working capital have increased slightly through the year, and about one business in four appears to have significant difficulties in…

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10 Jul 2012

New resources are now available online for Canadian small businesses, courtesy of the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA).The federal government has updated its taxation website as it relates to Canadian small businesses, making it easier for owners to access the information they need. The online resources are designed to cut through the red tape and help business owners get answers quickly."The CRA has a number of online resources available for businesses to help them manage their accounts and conduct business with the Agency quickly and efficiently," said Finance Minister Gail Shea. "Our Government continues to look for ways to improve these online services and is actively listening to businesses from coast to coast to coast on how to do it."One of…

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4 Jul 2012

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…

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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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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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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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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

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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31 May 2012

Canon Canada, a maker of copiers, printers and other equipment, recently moved nearly 40 employees from its office in Burlington, Ontario, to nearby Hamilton, according to The Hamilton Spectator.Hamilton, located just south of Toronto, has been making an effort to attract businesses, but in this case the move wasn't planned by the city. Canon didn't notify anybody they were moving until the switch was nearly completed."We knew nothing about it," Glen Norton, chief of Hamilton's downtown development, told the development. "They didn’t come to us for any incentives or advice or anything. This was a quiet move. They made the decision that Hamilton was where they wanted to go and then gave a broker the mandate to find them the…

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18 May 2012

Many Canadians may have heard of an organization called the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They may also know that this organization tracks consumer satisfaction with certain companies and can be a great resource for those who have an issue with a local business. But how exactly does the BBB work?The BBB has two key aspects to it. The first is accreditation. In order to become accredited with the BBB, companies must pay annual dues and comply with a number of rules and guidelines with regards to ethics, advertising, integrity and consumer protection. A company accredited by BBB is essentially given a stamp of approval by the bureau that they are generally honest. Some consumers choose to only deal with BBB-accredited…

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9 Apr 2012

A new survey shows that Canadian businesses are more optimistic about future sales, reports the Toronto Star.The latest survey commissioned by the Bank of Canada shows that 58 percent of businesses believe that sales will improve over the next year. That's a sharp increase from the previous quarter, when just 37 percent had a positive outlook.Respondents pointed to an improving economy in the U.S. and reduced concern about the European debt crisis as reason for optimism in the overall global economy. The survey also indicated that companies planned to hire more workers and possibly invest in machinery or equipment.Businesses that are hoping to expand or move as their sales increase may want to look into business storage solutions, as a…

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