The small brewery advantage
A special report by BMO Capital Markets Economic suggests that while domestic demand for the industry’s more mainstream brewed products is expected to remain stagnant over the next few years, gains in emerging markets and greater demand for craft specialty and premium products will offer good growth opportunities for smaller operations.
Large breweries have typically used scale and consolidation to keep margins low and to remain competitive. Smaller companies, on the other hand, have generally focused on the development of specialty products and on limited geographic markets.
More and more consumers are thirsting for craft beer. As a result, the number of specialty breweries in the U.S. has risen sharply from about 10 in the early 1980s to more than 1,600 in 2010.
But the BMO study suggests it's not all blue skies for the little guys. Overall they're more susceptible to margin pressure given their inability to meaningfully drive down costs.
Small business owners from both sides of the border had the chance to sit down with the Honourable Maxime Bernier, M inister of State for Small Business and Tourism, the Honourable David Jacobson, U.S. Ambassador to Canada and Catherine Swift, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) to share concerns and experiences when dealing with trade, reports the CFIB.
Issues raised at the table included:
- Streamlining and simplifying processes at the Canada-U.S. border
- Finding ways to reduce and prevent regulatory barriers to cross-border trade
- Improving the efficiency of the border to reduce the costs of doing business
- Incorporating the needs of small business when looking at ways to facilitate trade
"In the Year of the Entrepreneur these discussions between Canada and the U.S. are an important opportunity to make some vital improvements at the border. We hope that both countries are now armed with enough information and insight in order to make trade and border processes more small-business friendly in the future," concluded Ms. Swift.
Ten lessons from the self-employed
Working from home may seem like a dream come true for some, but for others, the prospect may seem less than appealing. In this article from the Huffington Post, a tried-and-true worker-from home offers ten lessons that will help you keep on track.
'Make it relevant' is one of the principles guiding the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, a nonprofit with $15-million in revenue, that has introduced business ownership to nearly 400,000 low-income middle school and high school students in the U.S. and nine other countries. Read this post from Businessweek to learn about curriculum, how entrepreneurship is taught, and why the program has been so successful (hint: thousands of volunteers work in the classrooms every year).
EVENTS AND KEY DATES
Don't get caught in these social media traps
Get leading-edge advice on avoiding liability and litigation over the improper use of social media from Canada’s top internet law experts.
B.C. businesses honoured
Business in Vancouver will be hosting the 2011 Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies Awards Dinner from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm. The event promises to bring together the top executives of these businesses to honour them for making it on the list as well as providing a great networking opportunity for those who attend.
EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS
The future of DJing, right here
In this edition of Inside Jobs, Alan Smithson, the co-founder of Mississauga-based SmithsonMartin Inc., shows off the Emulator, revolutionary multi-touch software for DJ professionals. For photos, click here.
FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES
How to avoid embarrassing office e-mail gaffes
Don’t put your relationships at risk because of the e-mail you or your employees send
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