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Small Business Briefing

What Leap Day means to the economy Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

The effects of leap day has very little impact on the global economy, according to economist Matthew Yglesias, quoted here in Slate.

“One extra day makes the year 0.27 per cent longer theoretically allowing for 0.27 per cent more economic activity to take place... so it’s true that all things considered you might get a smallish boost to aggregate output and income totals. But in terms of things people care about like unemployment only increasing the density of economic activities provides a boost,” he writes.

Even for the small business owner who depend on daily sales – including hotels and auto dealerships – a leap day offers but only “slight adjustments for businesses that rely on daily sales,” reports Alexandra Chachkevitch of the Chicago Tribune. A leap day may present an extra opportunity to sell cars and fill up rooms, but unfortunately it falls on a Wednesday, and not a Saturday, which is when most hotels and car dealerships do their best business.

So could Leap Day ever impact the economy? Yes, suggests Mr. Yglesias, but only if Leap Day was celebrated as a major national holiday with actual traditions, as it is represented in a recent of episode of 30 Rock. In the fictionized world of Liz Lemon et al., the faux holiday is associated with the colours yellow and blue, rhubarb treats and an absurb mascot named Leap Day William who lives in the Mariana Trench – the deepest part of the ocean – and comes out only once every four years.

“Seasonality is a very real feature of the American economy, and that’s only partly about the weather. Big holidays are associated with pricing anomalies of various kinds (turkey on Thanksgiving, for example) that reflect the real consequences. If you had a holiday that occurred just once every four years and that involved a lot of travel, or days off, or consumption of special food or beverages, something would probably happen especially because adjusting the structure of production to such a rare event would be difficult,”

Want a ticket to TED? Good luck

It may be more difficult than getting into Harvard. At a cost of $7,500, the Technology, Entertainment, Design event held in Long Beach, California is always oversubscribed. To be among the 1,350 who get in, John Tozzi from Bloomberg offers a list of the hurdles you may face. You will have to provide:

  1. An application with six, short college-essay-style questions
  2. Websites such as their blogs, academic research, or company websites
  3. Two references which ask if those vouching for applicants have attended the conference in the past

And that’s just to get a ticket to the show. Getting on stage as a speaker is another story altogether.

According to the article, organizers review “thousands and thousands” of speaker candidates every year, from referrals or people who submit their own names online, says Kelly Stoetzel, TED’s content director. Last year the conference held its first speaker audition contest, where hundreds submitted one-minute video applications that organizers whittled down to 17 finalists. Of those, four became official speakers.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Students compete in Vancouver

ACE Expositions bring together industry, educational and student leaders from across Canada. Through written reports and live presentations students are evaluated, by industry leaders serving as judges, based on the economic opportunity they created for themselves and their communities. The competitive process creates a “best-practice” sharing environment, fosters innovation, encourages results and rewards excellence in entrepreneurial and community leadership. The 2012 Regional Exposition for Western Canada takes place March 1 and 2, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Aboriginal Business Day

On Mar. 28 at Toronto's Gladstone hotel, come out for networking, guest speakers, panel discussions, and skills sessions for aspiring and established Aboriginal entrepreneurs. More information is available here.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Cash infusion brings ‘the enthusiasm back’

Challenge contest winner Sandberg Labs’ efficiency has skyrocketed after using winnings to update equipment and redesign their operation

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Office worker ditches big jobs, big city

Ken Mikalauskas scratched his entrepreneurial itch and seek out his own creative projects

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

Join The Globe’s Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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