Small Business Briefing

Vancouver's high-priced hot dog breaks world record

The Globe and Mail

Dougie Luv, owner of Vancouver's DougieDog Hot Dogs and inventor of the $100 hot dog, is shown in a handout photo. A gourmet Vancouver hotdog infused with century-old cognac now has a Guinness to go along with it a Guinness world record. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)

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Budget-busting Dragon Dog goes for $100

A $100 foot-long created by Vancouver's dougieDOG Hot Dog Joint has broken the world record for the most expensive hot dog.

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The so-called Dragon Dog – designed by owner Dougie Luv – is made of bratwurst infused with century-old Louis the 13th cognac, which sells for more than $2,000 a bottle. It also features Kobe beef seared in olive and truffle oil, fresh lobster and a secret picante sauce.

According to the Canadian Press, Mr. Luv received the official world record notification and certificate last week.

This top-end tube steak is the first in the world to sell for three figures, rivaling the $69 “haute dog” at Serendipity restaurant in New York.

Although you'll have to visit the the small storefront on Vancouver's Granville Street to taste this tempting treat, Mr. Luv hopes to change this.

"We want to expand across the country, we want to share the love," he told the CBC. “Why should Vancouver be the only place with the greatest hot dog in the world?"

Waterloo scores incubator funding

The University of Waterloo – recognized globally for innovation and entrepreneurship – just added another prize to its trophy case.

The Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre (Conrad) at UW today received a $1.6-million (U.S.) grant from Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The funding will help support the development and launch of new businesses.

The GMAC Management Education for Tomorrow (MET) Fund awarded more than $7.1-million in grants to 12 organizations in six countries in this round of its Ideas to Innovation (i2i) challenge. Waterloo was the only Canadian university to receive funding.

How would the Buffett Rule affect small business?

While Democrats failed to secure the 60 votes required in the 100-member Senate to move to a debate on the so-called Buffett Rule, don't expect the issue of income inequality to go away any time soon.

The Paying a Fair Share - commonly known as the Buffett Rule - is named after Warren Buffett, who pointed out that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. The proposal is to institute a minimum tax of 30 per cent on all individuals with incomes of more than $1-million. President Obama will press forward to try to make the Republicans’ likely presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, the face of economic “unfairness” during the November election, writes the New York Times.

Critics claim a minimum levy on millionaires would hurt small business owners, arguing that it will affect their ability to invest in their companies, expand operations and potentially create new jobs.

But data from a 2007 U.S. Treasury Department review shows the Buffett Rule would only affect 1 per cent. The report, issued last year, examined 20 million tax returns and found that only 273,000 would meet the Buffett Rule threshold, says CNN.

A very small number indeed. So small that two leading economists, Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, have come out and said the Buffett Rule is not going far enough to reverse the rich’s unprecedented gains. In fact, Mr. Saez has estimated the “optimal” top tax rates for the wealthy to be between 45 per cent and 70 per cent - which hovers between the pre-1968 Reagan tax rate (50 per cent) and the rates that existed from presidents Johnson until Reagan (roughly 70 per cent).

While “the idea of taxing the rich is suddenly in vogue,” writes Barrie McKenna, most recently shown by the Occupy movement, can we to expect a 'tax the rich' toll in Canada? If the majority of Canadians had their way, the answer would be yes. In a recent Environics poll commissioned by the left-leaning Broadbent institute, 80 per cent approved the idea of tax on the wealthy and two-thirds are ready to take a personal tax hit.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Business of Aging Summit: Workplace Wellness

The MaRS Discovery District is hosting a Business of Aging summit, which will offer targeted discussion and practical strategies to improve health and increase productivity, both for aging employees and those caring for aging parents. The event takes place on April 30 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

International Startup Festival applications open

The International Startup Festival will be back again this summer, a three-day event all about startups running July 11 to July 13 in Montreal. For those interested in making a pitch, it's already time to apply. Nominations close May 4; 12 startups will be selected to pitch on stage, and there will be just 20 startup demo tables for those who don't make pitches. Those thinking of attending can also register now. For more information, clck here.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Tour Communitech's 44,000-square-foot space

In this edition of Inside Jobs, managing director Kevin Tuer takes us behind the scenes of The Communitech Hub, located in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. The not-for-profit organization was established in 2010 and currently represents about 800 tech companies. Recently it announced its intentions to launch a $30-million start-up accelerator program called Hyperdrive.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Beat e-chaos once and for all

We’re besieged with messages ranging from trivial to mission critical each day. And like the other forms of digital clutter, they're costing us time and money.

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