Small Business Briefing

Could drinking and driving law hurt small business?

The Globe and Mail

Hamilton Street Grill, 1009 Hamilton Street in Vancouver, BC. (LAURA LEYSHON/LAURA LEYSHON)

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B.C. felt the impact. Will Alberta?

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) says Alberta's new Traffic Safety Amendment Act will do little to prevent or punish drunk driving, but it will have a severe impact on small business, the Edmonton Journal reports.

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The CFIB told the newspaper that similar laws in B.C. created public confusion about whether it is permissible to even have one glass of wine before driving, leading to what it claimed were losses of between 10 per cent and 50 per cent at certain establishments.

Under the proposed new provincial law, people criminally charged with drunk driving will immediately lose their licences until the charges are resolved.

Albertans caught driving with a blood-alcohol content between .05 and .08 – below the criminal limit – will be subject to a three-day license suspension and a three-day vehicle seizure for a first offence.

Student entrepreneur global champion

Mike Wahl, the founder of Definitions Wellness Safety Services and a national student entrepreneur champion, was named Graduate Student Entrepreneur Global Champion at the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), held in New York from Nov. 17 to 19. He took the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to present his business case to an international panel of entrepreneurs, journalists and business luminaries. The GSEA is the final stage of an international series of competitions for students attending a recognized college or university, who own a business, are principally responsible for its operation and have been generating revenue for a minimum of six consecutive months. Mr. Wahl was ask to represent Canada by the Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) organization. Definitions Wellness Safety Services, recently profiled in a Report on Small Business podcast, brings personal training services to the St. John’s market, specializing in individual health, safety and wellness concerns for both individuals and companies.

Daily deal costs baker $20,000

A London baker is steamed at daily discounter Groupon, NBC Chicago writes in a blog post, after customers flooded her shop and ordered a total of 102,000 cupcakes. Rachel Brown offered a 75-per-cent discount on a dozen cupcakes through the Chicago-based daily deal company. With 12 cakes normally costing $40 (U.S.), her Need a Cake bakery was swarmed. More than 8,500 people signed up for the deal, which cost just $10. Ms. Brown had to hire extra workers and wound up losing about $3 on each batch, according to the BBC. She ended up losing nearly $20,000.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Experiences in finance

Young Canadians in Finance is holding a reception Nov. 23, at the Rideau Club in Ottawa, featuring a keynote by Gregory J. Smith, president of Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association. He will talk about his experiences in the financial sector as well as private equity and venture capital in North America. The event also provides a chance to meet fellow young professionals from the private, public and political sectors working in areas related to finance, economics, law and accounting. The event is $10 for YCIF members and $30 for non-members. A drink and hors d’oeuvres will be provided, and participants are encouraged to register in advance.

Business and the environment

They come from different organizations, industries, and backgrounds, but their mission is the same: to find business solutions to some of the world’s biggest environmental challenges. From March 14 to 16, 2012, they will meet in Vancouver at GLOBE 2012. Some of the world’s most environmentally forward-thinking and acting companies and organizations, CEOs, vice-presidents, chief sustainability officers, and government leaders will take the stage to "spark a dialogue about how sustainable and innovative business practices can help both the planet and the ‘triple bottom line.'" Sessions will focus on determining a strategic and successful path on the Road to Rio+20, the United Nations conference on sustainable development.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Report outlines changing investment patterns for Canada

In August and September of 2011, the Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a global survey, sponsored by Ernst &Young Canada, of 195 Canadian and non-Canadian executives, to ascertain and compare their attitudes toward expanding abroad and to determine factors that drive their investment decisions. All survey respondents were familiar with the foreign investment plans of their companies. Canada faces competition from its southern neighbour, but despite slow growth and political stalemate in the United States, entrepreneurship is one area Canada is not perceived to be performing particularly strongly, even in the face of the country’s push to be recognized as a leader in this field. The survey's findings, reported exclusively by Report on Small Business, were further confirmed by interviews with Canadian high-growth companies that discovered more opportunity in markets outside their home country. The report explores the implications of changing investment patterns for Canada, identifies the key drivers of investment, and assesses the importance of a country’s reputation for entrepreneurship in attracting investment.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Canadian impact in Silicon Valley

When Guelph, Ont., native Kamal Shah arrived in Silicon Valley after finishing college in 1994, he was part of a wave of migration to the heart of the digital world – tech-heads from Canada and all over the globe who wanted to be a part of the dawning age of the World Wide Web. Today, Mr. Shah and his generation are at the forefront of a growing and influential Canadian entrepreneurial presence. To help them navigate the valley’s intensely competitive landscape, a number of high-powered resources have been put in place. Some are mainly social, while others are more focused on the business side.

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