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A speed mentoring event where senior bank officials from CIBC met with foreign-born professionals seeking employment and advice. (Ashley Hutcheson)
A speed mentoring event where senior bank officials from CIBC met with foreign-born professionals seeking employment and advice. (Ashley Hutcheson)

Small Business Briefing

An eight-point plan to get jobs for immigrants Add to ...

As the Occupy Wall Street movement continues, a new voice is entering the debate in support of the 99% movement: Main Street small-business owners. An organization called the Main Street Alliance, a network of state-based small-business coalitions, has expressed its support. Three of its members weighed in Tuesday in a press release. David Meinert, owner of Big Mario’s Pizza & 5 Point Café in Seattle, discussed sending 100 slices to the occupiers in Seattle’s Westlake Park and how the business now makes two deliveries a day from people calling in from all over the city who want to donate pizza to the protesters. The owner of Melanie’s Home Childcare in Falmouth, Maine, Melanie Collins, has been participating in Occupy Maine events, marches and meetings alongside other small business owners. And Kit Schackner, owner of Foley-Waite Associates in Bloomfield, N.J., had this to say: “Until small business owners see some accountability at the top, until we see that our pain is shared by those who created it – the bankers and the CEOs – we will stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.”

Three key areas for government to address

Corinne Pohlmann, vice-president of national affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), presents pre-budget recommendations Tuesday to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as part of the consultation process. As part of the presentation, Ms. Pohlmann will outline three key areas government should tackle to ensure stability, and help to position Canada for a prosperous future: No increases in payroll taxes, lower the deficit and address the inequity between public and private sector pensions, and reduce red tape. The 2011 budget calls for an EI premium increase of 10 cents per $100 in payroll for employees and 14 cents for employers in each of the next three years. “This is not the time to be increasing costs on job creation,” says Dan Kelly, CFIB’s senior vice-president of legislative affairs.


Important hiring practices

Once you’ve hired a skilled immigrant, or any employee for that matter, a thorough process that introduces them to your workplace culture and sets out expectations helps increase retention and productivity. Hireimmigrants.ca is hosting as webinar to highlight important practices in orientation for organizations to ensure new hires reach their potential. Participants will also hear the specifics of one health care employer’s orientation program for internationally educated professionals. Speakers include Alan Rego, manager of consumer relations for P&G North America, and Eileen Evens, lead recruitment adviser at Providence Health Care in Vancouver. The webinar takes place Oct. 26 from noon to 1 pm (ET), and you need to register in advance.

The India Show at CMTS

The India Show is being held in conjunction with this year’s Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS) in Toronto, taking place all week at the Direct Energy Centre. Organized by EEPC India and the Ministry of Commerce & Industry from the Government of India with the support of the Consulate General of India in Toronto, the show features more than 150 Indian engineering companies, and it is the largest Indian engineering exposition in the country. Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister Stephen Harper jointly declared 2011 the “Year of India in Canada” during Mr. Harper's visit to India in November, 2009. Bilateral trade between the two countries is about $5 billion, a figure that is expected to grow to about $15 billion in the next five years.


CEO of Fortress Paper in studio

In the latest edition of monthly video interview segment Talking to Entrepreneurs, Chad Wasilenkoff, the chairman and CEO of Fortress Paper, discusses his contrarian approach to investing, and how he turned a fledging pulp and paper mill into a profitable venture.


Vendor takes hot dogs to the next level

Hot dogs are a far cry from crepes, but you don't have to tell Noriki Tamura that. The former Tokyo ad salesman immigrated to Canada in 2005, along with his wife, Misa, to open a crepe stand on the streets of Vancouver. But their plan was quickly derailed by city bylaws, which limited Vancouver's available street food to hot dogs. In 2006, the couple won a spot for their first Japa Dog location through the city's annual street-food lottery. The Tamuras manned the stand themselves, and witnessed customers' attitudes shifting in favour of their $5 hot dogs garnished with condiments such as wasabi, teriyaki and seaweed.

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