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Small Business Briefing

Reasons for optimism on global hiring front: survey Add to ...

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Global survey of entrepreneurs

The bulk of the 400 entrepreneurs worldwide that were recently surveyed by Ernst & Young expanded their talent pools in 2011.

Participants from the Americas increased average head count by 18 per cent, by 16 per cent in Asia-Pacific, and by 12 per cent in Europe. “At this time the importance of entrepreneurs, the companies they lead and the jobs they create is even more critical,” Jim Turley, chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young, says in the survey summary.

Global Job Hot Spots: Help Wanted also found that more than two-thirds of business owners surveyed expect to hire in 2012, with the majority of positions requiring university degrees or a substantial amount of experience. “Growth in their product and service markets” was the main reason cited for expanding a work force, followed by “technological and innovation improvements.” Government policies and a negative regulatory climate were the top two things that could impact hiring plans.

“Just a few regulatory changes could greatly improve entrepreneurs’ access to funding, which would make even more of an impact on job and wealth creation,” says Maria Pinelli, global vice-chair for strategic growth markets at Ernst & Young.

In terms of hiring outside their borders, 44 per cent of survey participants expect to increase their global work force, with most jobs expected to be created in the United States, China, Britain and India. Interestingly, only 14 per cent said they would make these hires to “take advantage of lower labour costs,” and 8 per cent to take advantage of “better government incentives.”

Toronto retailer ahead of the curve

Toronto has become the first major city in Canada to ban plastic shopping bags in a surprise city council vote. The bylaw goes into effect on Jan. 1. Retailers interviewed by The Globe and Mail said they were surprised by the decision, with some warning the move will cost them more – partly to produce paper bags and also because of short-term lost sales if shoppers leave without wanting to buy a reusable bag. One of the city’s lingerie retailers, Secrets From Your Sister (site may not be suitable for work), is already a bag-free establishment. It charges $5 for a reuseable bag and invests $1 from every sale with KIVA, a micro-lending organization. Owner Jennifer Klein says she is impressed with Toronto council’s decision. “We have had very positive feedback from our customers for the most part,” she wrote in a press release. “There will always be some resistance to a step like this being taken. We try to make it known that our customers need to bring their own bags by showing it on our website.”

The merits of social media

According to a survey from Bank of Montreal, one third of Canadian businesses have a social media presence, and that same percentage say it has helped their companies prosper. Businesses in the arts, travel and tourism make more use of social media than other sectors, with 67 per cent of those surveyed using at least one form of social media. According to the study, conducted by Leger Marketing, companies in eastern Canada are the least likely to recognize the merits of social media. Of the businesses that use social media, the survey found Facebook is the most important site, with more than a quarter of companies active on it (27 per cent). Fifteen per cent said they use LinkedIn, while only 10 per cent use Twitter. The most frequent business tweets come from Ontario, where one in six small businesses have an active account, compared with 6 per cent of businesses in Eastern Canada. The online survey was conducted from March 21 to and April 12, using a sample of 500 Canadian business owners.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

This year’s small-business influencers

The Small Business Influencer 2012 Awards honour companies, organizations, apps and people who have made a significant impact on the North American small business market. In phase one, people nominate influencers. In phases two and three, the public and an all-star judging panel vote for the top 100. It all culminates with the Top 100 small business influencers in mid-August, 2012, with an awards gala to follow in October, 2012, in New York City. Nominations close July 15.

Dell launches startup fund

Dell has launched The Dell Innovators Credit Fund, which it’s calling “a $100-million commitment to entrepreneurs and startups, designed to help those that want to start their own companies and find ways to leverage technology to help them grow their business. Qualified angel and venture-backed companies can access up to 10 per cent of their funded amount, or up to $150,000, with accelerated, limited credit terms. For those in needs of higher credit, additional financing is available on a fast-track basis with a few extra steps. Seeking funding? Send a one-page executive summary from this link.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Sunny days = shopping days

Tracking and ultimately predicting the effect of weather could allow businesses to maximize sales, as well as ship inventory and schedule staff hours accordingly.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

The biggest threats to your company

It’s rare for a small company to have to call in the bomb squad, but small businesses can be the targets of many kinds of sabotage. Saboteurs can come in many forms. The biggest threats are employees, customers and competitors, according to this story from March, 2012.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.com

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