12 Oct 2011

Private businessowners optimistic about growth

While some market indicators have suggested the Canadian economy is contracting, private companies are still optimistic about their growth potential, a new survey indicates.According to professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and its Business Insights survey, an overwhelming majority of small business owners – 82 percent – believe their company will expand during the next 12 months, a significant jump compared to the 66 percent who said the same last year.Tahir Ayub, Canadian leader for the firm's private company services practice, said small businesses have adapted to the economy's downturn so that they're more able to adequately face financial challenges."They are ready for whatever the markets throw at them, which accounts for the optimism," said Ayub.Though businessowners expect to be in good shape overall, they nevertheless cited issues that may hinder peak performance levels. The potential problems cited most frequently were competition and profitability.Jiffy Self Storage can help entrepreneurs improve their bottom-line through Jiffy Home Office. The additional working space can help…

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6 Oct 2011

One of Canada's most popular pizza chains is expanding its footprint on the Greater Toronto Area and the country at large, only in a smaller package, a new report indicates.According to Boston Pizza International, Canada's leading casual dining restaurant will be building more restaurants, but they will be reduced in size. The company says this is being done to make owning a Boston Pizza franchise more affordable."With Boston Pizza locations in every province from coast-to-coast, we are excited to launch this new franchise opportunity perfect for markets that were previously challenging due to market size or real estate availability," said Ken Otto, COO of Boston Pizza International. "One of our core pillars is a focus on franchisee profitability. This new…

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4 Oct 2011

When asked to grade their businesses' economic performance in 2011, a majority of those polled gave themselves a B, a new survey finds.According to the 2011 TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey, 44 percent of business owners gave their company a B average. Twenty-two percent gave themselves a C, 11 percent a D and 5 percent an A.Alec Morley, senior vice president of small business banking, was encouraged that so many entrepreneurs considered their year to be a productive one."Sixty-five percent of Canadian small business owners gave their company's recent performance a B or above, so it's evident that many entrepreneurs are experiencing success despite the barriers in their way and this is due, in part, to good business planning,…

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29 Sep 2011

Baking enthusiasts will be delighted to learn that the country's largest bakery recently opened in the Toronto suburb of Hamilton.Maple Leaf Foods recently opened its 385,000-square-foot "Trillium" bakery, which is being hailed for its efficient design and high-class technology features.Bob Bratina, Hamilton's mayor, said the company will be a boon for the city in a variety of respects."A bakery of this size and scale in Hamilton means significant benefits to our local economy, providing sustainable jobs and an important anchor development in the Red Hill Valley Industrial Park," said Bratina.Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, said that he was proud to bring the new facility to Hamilton and is looking forward to providing Canadians with "nutritious, fresh…

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21 Sep 2011

While the Toronto economy is producing jobs at a prodigious rate, there may not be enough room in the city to accommodate them, a new report reveals.According to a report from the Canadian Urban Institute and Real Estate Search Corporation, approximately 15,000 new jobs are expected to be produced for the financial services sector between now and 2015. However, based on building projections and vacancy rates, there aren't enough developments to house these jobs, particularly in downtown Toronto.Jeff Orlans, chairman of the Toronto Office Coaltion, the organization the report was prepared for, said the ramifications could be significant."What this means is that those jobs will go to car-dependent locations outside the 416 region, adding to existing high levels of congestion,"…

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8 Sep 2011

Canada suffered a bit of a setback recently, as a new report from the Conference Board of Canada indicates the country fell two spots to 12th overall in global competitiveness rankings.The rankings are based upon the responses from 14,000 business leaders in 142 countries and their assessment of how business friendly the variety of economies were.While Canada's competitiveness score this year mirrored previous years', other nations showed marked improvement, particularly developing nations."Canada should not be satisfied with its 12th place ranking," said Michael Bloom, vice president of organizational effectiveness and learning at the Conference Board. "Businesses continue to underperform in using our peoples' skills and knowledge to generate new or improved products, processes or services."Canada's areas of strength included its…

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1 Sep 2011

A new poll indicates that employees are generally unimpressed with companies, both large and small, and state they need to do more for their workers.The survey, conducted by Harris/Decima, found that of 1,000 Canadian twenty-somethings and baby boomers polled the two age groups had a great deal in common. For instance, among both generations, more than one in three agree that younger workers are not utilized to their fullest potential. In addition, one in three baby boomers and twenty-somethings also believe small and large businesses lack vision and could be more productive.Peter Gilfillan, senior vice president of international sales for the company that funded the study, Monster Canada, said businesses need to do more if they want to grow."We know…

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23 Aug 2011

Told the Toronto Blue Jays plan to overhaul its uniforms for the 2012 season, three clothing designers from the city were asked by the Toronto Sun recently to come up with a new style for the team.Designers Shawn Hewson, Christopher Bates and Michael Budman each took a whack at creating a new look for the team by providing the newspaper with sketches for the entire outfit – pants, jersey, socks, cleats and hat."My concept was to have the maple leaf be fairly prominent but also done in a tasteful, fashion kind of way," Bates told the paper. Budman stated his drawing revealed a more classic, old-school look, while Hewson said his sketch was a throwback to the team's original uniforms.One…

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19 Aug 2011

Fans of sea life in Toronto will get to see a variety of creatures in person, as construction of a new aquarium recently commenced.According to reports, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, located in front of the CN Tower, began construction this month. The $130 million project is expected to create roughly 600 jobs and $50 million in revenues, CityNews reports.Also, more than 13,000 fresh and salt water creatures will reside at the aquarium, which will have roughly 5.7-million litres of water."There are two things that are good" about the aquarium, Jim Pattison, President of Ripley's Entertainment, told the source. "It's a good tourist opportunity, certainly. But I think even more importantly it's a really nice asset for the families of the…

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18 Aug 2011

Balloon artists, clowns, dances and other festivities recently took place at the fifth annual BuskerFest Children's Picnic in Toronto, at which more than 500 children from area camps spent the day, the Toronto Sun reports.Additionally, the kids, their parents and other guests were treated to free food from St. Lawrenece Market, according to the newspaper."This is a fun assignment because you get to meet all the kids and I love this neighbourhood," auxilary officer Terry Birkett, who patrolled the event, told the paper. "It is so interesting and dynamic."The picnic is a precursor to the 12th Annual BunkerFest – the largest North American festival, according to event entertainment director Mackenzie Muldoon – which runs in the city from August 25…

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16 Aug 2011

Some of Canada's major corporations are expected to see revenues fall in the second half of the year, according to the latest report issued by the Conference Board of Canada.Based on the CBC's Leading Indicator of Industry Profitability index, earnings will falll for the first time in more than a year.Lin Ai, an economist with with the CBC, said Canadian businesses are being affected by global instability in countries' financial markets."The dismal economic recovery south of the border, as well as supply-chain disruptions linked to the Japanese earthquake and the dampening effects of rising inflation on consumer spending have all contributed to the deteriorating profitability outlook," said Ai.While most of the losses are believed to affect the manufacturing sector, the…

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11 Aug 2011

A new study is detailing the amenities Canadian business owners and travellers prefer when deciding on what hotel to stay in.According to the Canadian Hotel Food and Beverage Consumer Trend Report, having a wide variety of dining and food service options at a hotel is a particular draw for long-distance Canadian commuters."Darren Tristano, executive vice-president for the company that performed the study, Technomic, said Canadians put a premium on practicality and expedience."Many consumers are looking for a convenient and relaxing dining experience after a day of travel or before a day of meetings," said Tristano. "Providing them with a variety of quality food service options on premise drives traffic and enhances the guest experience.The survey also detailed what food service…

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9 Aug 2011

One of the worst things Canadian consumers can do is to buy a product or service without being aware of all it has to offer. And according to a new poll, many Canadians are doing just that when they purchase various insurance plans.According to Allstate Canada, a whopping 71 percent of Canadians admitted to being unclear about what their insurance policies included. For instance, one in four said they weren't sure if their auto insurance plan covered them should they be involved in a traffic accident. All standard Canadian auto insurance policies include collision coverage."While we understand insurance policies may not offer the most entertaining read, if people are not fully aware of what their coverage entitles them to or…

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29 Jul 2011

A new survey is revealing an increasing number of Canadians are taking advantage of the most up-to-date technology when it comes to internet accessibility.According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, in 2010, the number of Canadian households with broadband web access increased nearly 10 percent to 9 million, while homeowners fitted with wireless services rose 8.5 percent to 25 million.Konrad von Finckenstein, chairman of the CRTC, said the findings bode well for the future."It is encouraging to see Canadians taking up broadband internet and wireless services in such large numbers," said von Finckenstein. "This not only signals a strong participation in the digital economy, but is also a clear indication that Canadians are increasingly using a variety of platforms…

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19 Jul 2011

A recent survey conducted by a commercial real estate company indicates it's gotten harder for entrepreneurs to find an office space in the Greater Toronto area.The report, issued by Avison Young, says leasing and tenant activity has only increased since the first quarter, making it more difficult to find a space April through June.However, Bill Argeropoulos, vice president and director of research for Avison Young, said this has been the trend for the past year."Over the last 12 months, the GTA office leasing market has performed exceptionally well, supported by a continued steady flow of lease transactions, eroding the supply of available space options along the way and altering the landlord-tenant relationship," said Argeropoulos.The report indicates in the city overall,…

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15 Jul 2011

One of the world's premiere cities for businesses to operate in is Toronto, and thanks to a recent approval of the Toronto City Council, more companies will be able to come to the GTA.The Toronto City Council approved the request of real estate development company Build Toronto to bring a new office building to 4050 Yonge Street.According to the real estate firm, the structure will be seven stories tall and will comprise approximately 480,800 square feet of space, most of which will be devoted to offices. However, a portion of the construction project will be built to furnish restaurants and retails stores.J. Lorne, Braithwaite, president and CEO of Build Toronto, said he's eager to get the project going."We are excited…

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5 Jul 2011

A new report is indicating that the strength of the Canadian Loonie is adversely affecting Toronto businesses that export to the states and worldwide."The strong Canadian dollar is certainly having an effect on the bottom lines of many small businesses who export their products and services internationally," said Alec Morley, senior vice president of TD Canada Trust, which performed the analysis.Yet in spite of lower sales figures, TD Canada Trust reports that these same businessowners are generally happy. In fact, the survey found 68 percent of small businessowners in Toronto reported being 'very happy.'Other findings from the study point to some of the reasons Toronto businessowners may be so cheerful, as 94 percent said owning their own business gave them…

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16 Jun 2011

Though the summer days in Toronto may not be 'scorchers,' few things are more cooling and satisfying than a good old-fashioned frozen yogurt. And as luck would have it, Torontonians will soon be able to satisfy their cravings at four new stores.According to the company's president Michael Shneer, four Menchie's Frozen Yogurt outlets will come to the area, as papers were recently signed sealing the deal."Our development in and around the GTA continues with the signing of these four additional stores," said Shneer, who heads the Yogurtworld Franchising Corporation. "The areas to be opened from these agreements include the Beaches, Woodbridge, Dundas/Yonge, and Queen St West."Menchie's, famous for giving customers the ability to make their own creations and then pay…

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15 Jun 2011

After 413 shots, 386 saves, 337 penalty minutes and 27 goals, the Stanley Cup Finals boils down to one number: seven.Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins is tonight and nearly 19,000 attendants are expected to pack the Rogers Arena, hoping to see team captain Henrik Sedin raise the trophy that Vancouver has never seen and the country hasn't hosted in more than a decade."I've got 18,000 on my side and an entire city and country," said forward Ryan Kesler in an interview with the Associated Press. "As a team, as a family, we want this really bad."In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Mark Recchi summed up what the trophy means to…

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