Small Business Briefing

Iconic brands get boost from the future

The Globe and Mail

Mattel Hoverboard replica and Nike mags from Back to the Future

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Mags, hoverboards and DeLoreans on two wheels

Brands steeped in the past - including those featured in the 1980s Back to the Future franchise - are enjoying a boost from nostalgic fans of the present. In the past year alone, the following products made famous by the cult film are enjoying a second life:

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Nike mags. Last September, Nike released 1,500 limited edition pairs of Mag sneakers, the same ones worn by Marty McFly in the 1989 sequel.

Hoverboard. This past February, Mattel announced that it plans to make a replica movie version of pink hoverboard McFly uses. Sadly superfans will have to wait three more years.

DeLorean bicycle. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, along with the release of a $90,000 electric version of the iconic gull-winged sedan scheduled for 2013, DeLorean Motor company just announced it will unveil a $5,495 stainless steel bicycle. Stephen Wynne, president of the company, admits he was skeptical when approached with the idea. But he soon realized that the ‘Anyday,’ a 11-speed bike with ‘luminescent’ coated wheels that ‘appear to turn on’ when lights shine on them, would be an appropriate extension of the niche brand (despite its inability to propel the rider to 88-mph speeds of time travel).

What U.S. small businesses want

When it comes to hot button political issues for U.S. small business owners, it’s all about healthcare and taxes according to a recent study. About 20 per cent said they felt healthcare will hurt them more than any other issue, while 17 per cent say tax policy will impact them the most, followed by 14 per cent reporting red tape and regulation. Entrepreneur.com points out that the tax issue has not escaped politicians. Just last week, President Obama visited a small business near Washington to call on Congress to pass two tax cuts for small businesses.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Sprout up May

MaRS is hosting an entrepreneur event tonight from 6 to 10 p.m. featuring guest speaker Sean Ellis, the CEO & Founder of CatchFree, and author of the popular Startup Marketing Blog.

mesh conference

On May 23, the seventh annual mesh conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Allstream Centre. The aim of the two-day conference is to bring together people who are passionate about the potential of the Web to change how we live, work and play. Click here to learn more.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Canadian inventor cracks the case of the broken egg

With his invention, Canadian newspaper man Joseph Coyle solved a problem for local farmers whose eggs kept breaking on the way to the markets. To see the multimedia feature, click here.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

The mercenary vs. the missionary entrepreneur

Does your company have a purpose beyond just making money?

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