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Tuckerman Ravine is seen on Mount Washington. Authorities have not been able to reach Norman Priebatsch , a Boston man who fell into a deep crevasse on New Hampshire's Mount Washington on April 1, 2012. (Jim Cole)
Tuckerman Ravine is seen on Mount Washington. Authorities have not been able to reach Norman Priebatsch , a Boston man who fell into a deep crevasse on New Hampshire's Mount Washington on April 1, 2012. (Jim Cole)

Small Business Briefing

Rescue effort stalls in search for entrepreneur Add to ...

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High-tech community in Boston pulls together

Boston biotech entrepreneur Norman Priebatsch fell into a crevasse while hiking Sunday in the Tuckerman Ravine area of Mount Washington, Boston Business Journal's Galen Moore writes, and rescuers have had to pause their search as spring thaw conditions have increased the risk of avalanches.

The co-founder of Tinnix and Adeptrix, which focuses on DNA analysis, fell off a cliff about 20 feet high, and was unresponsive to calls from his three hiking companions before he slid into the crevasse, said White Mountains National Forest public affairs officer Tiffany Benna. She went on to describe it as “a very grim situation.” Crevasses are like ice tunnels under the snow, and they are common in Tuckerman Ravine.

Mr. Priebatsch is a long-time serial entrepreneur and the father of another well-known Boston entrepreneur, Seth Priebatsch, founder and CEO of Scvngr Inc. Entrepreneurs and investors from Boston's high-tech community, who know the Priebatsch family, expressed their empathy Tuesday on Twitter.

The Forest Service on Monday evening said recovery efforts have been suspended until a safe entry situation exists. A ranger had been lowered about 50 feet into the tunnel but was forced to come out due to hanging ice, running water and snow.

U.S. businesses hesitant to take on debt

The pace of lending to U.S.-based small businesses appears to be at a standstill, Reuters is reporting. A study released Tuesday by financial research firm PayNet indicates lending was virtually unchanged in February from the previous month. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index came in at 98.3 in February, up from 98.2 in January, while the index registered 110.5 in December as companies purchased equipment before tax deductions expired at the end of last year. PayNet's analysis shows that lending is up 14 per cent from a year ago, but merely back where it was during the summer. PayNet bases its index on new commercial loans and leases granted to small businesses by the lenders in its data base. Many small businesses, PayNet points out, remain hesitant to borrow even though interest rates are still extremely low. Many companies want to be sure the economy and their sales are growing solidly before they take on debt.

Real estate offering aimed at mid-market

Royal LePage Real Estate Services has a new commercial offering designed to provide tools and resources for practitioners looking to address the property brokerage and leasing needs of business and investment clients. In a press release, it says the aim is to attract small and medium-sized businesses and investors. "We believe the time is right to capture significant market share in the under-serviced Canadian commercial brokerage industry's mid-market," says Phil Soper, president and chief executive of the company. On a new website dedicated to the service, owners and potential buyers of commercial real estate will have greater access to one another. The site includes listings, postings from buyers, and profiles of Royal LePage's "dedicated practitioners."

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Plan for financial success

Women are increasingly taking increasing financial control of Canada’s resources as business owners, income earners and investors, but their unique financial circumstances and perspectives are virtually ignored by the financial services industry. There is a significant difference between understanding accounting principles and the fundamentals of personal finance that does not get addressed, which leads to a cycle of ignorance and lack of self direction that keeps women from fully using their economic power. Join Tracy Theemes of Sophia Financial Group for a lively and interactive webinar on April 11 from noon to 1 pm PT, when she uncovers how to become not just a successful business owner but a wise, financially empowered woman of wealth

Startup Weekend in Ottawa this month

Ottawa's first Startup Weekend is coming, April 27 to 29, at Shopify headquarters. The 54-hour event focuses on building a web or mobile application that can form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. It brings together people with different skillsets, primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people. Non-technical and developer tickets are sold out, but there is still space for designers at $90 each.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

New approaches to immigrant hiring proposed

Canada annually receives about 250,000 immigrants – many of whom have advanced degrees and skills that are in demand – but only a small fraction of them manage to land jobs at small and medium-sized businesses, which represent 64 per cent of new private-sector positions. The issue is two-fold, a new report from Maytree concludes: Smaller employers are often unaware of the skills immigrants bring to the table or how to reach out to them, while newcomers tend to focus their job hunts on well-known corporations. You can also read a list of recommendations.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Someone like you

Are employers across the country missing out on the best candidates because they look, sound or act differently? It's a question that Julie McCarthy, associate professor of organizational behaviour at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, has been investigating. Prof. McCarthy says there has been a great deal of research into whether interviewers tend to adhere to the “similarity attraction paradigm” when hiring – a theory first developed in the early 1970s, which found that in general, people are most attracted to those who share similar attitudes. However, when Prof. McCarthy looked at previous studies to see whether factors such as race, sex and age affected hiring, the results were “mixed, all across the board.”

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