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Small Business Briefing

Winning business tweet will get celebrity boost 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.

Short and sweet

Celebrity U.S. branding business Adly is running a contest during the annual South by Southwest Interactive festival that will pair a winning tweet with a big-name boost, according to an L.A. Times post from Austin, Texas.

The company’s CEO, Walter Delph, says he wants to help startups get some attention, a prospect that’s becoming increasingly difficult in the age of social media. To enter, businesses tweet a pitch with the @Adly Twitter handle, and wrap it up with the hashtags #SXSW and #pitchadly.

The chosen company, to be announced March 25, “will be paired with an appropriate celebrity,” L.A. Times writer Andrea Chang points out.

“We're trying to be a trusted partner to these guys,” Mr. Delph says. “Because of that, I've been able to get some premium celebrities on board.”

Brett Wilson builds out

Calgary entrepreneur Brett Wilson and his partner, Al Coulter, are moving ahead with a large residential development in Strathmore, Alta., Calgary Herald reports. The Prairie’s Edge project, expected to be completed in the next five to seven years, will be made up of two subdivisions and about 800 homes on the northeast side of town. The town’s chief administrative officer says Mr. Wilson’s popularity should help encourage people to move to Strathmore. “We like to find developers that are willing to come out and invest,” Dwight Stanford explains. Mr. Wilson, a former panelist on Dragons’ Den, expects the project to benefit from the growth of Calgary.

A struggle to rebuild

The popular location of the Aeon supermarket and department store in Ishinomaki, Japan, which housed 2,500 people after the country experienced a devastating tsunami two years ago, has rebounded nicely. Sales are higher now than they were before disaster struck, according to a Yahoo News story, and similar patterns have emerged at shopping malls and convenience stores in Japan’s hard-hit northeastern region. Businesses such as the Aeon store benefited from an inland location, but a number of smaller retailers weren’t as lucky. Recovery and restoration plans in several areas are still a work in progress, and even shops that have managed to rebuild are often left waiting, and hoping, for residents to return.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Apply for a mentorship session

As part of its Vision to Reality conference, PwC is holding mentorship sessions for pre-selected applicants, lead by some of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs. A networking lunch with mentors and a keynote speaker will follow. Applicants have until March 22 to complete the 10th annual Canadian CEO Survey of emerging technology companies. Findings will also be compiled in the nextx Report on Emerging Canadian Companies: A CEO Perspective.

Technology shifts and business

The Economist holds its fourth annual Ideas Economy: Innovation conference on March 28 at the Haas School of Business at the University of California in Berkeley. This year’s event will focus on key technological shifts and how they are redefining the speed of business. Google’s senior vice-president of people operations, Laszlo Block, Mayo Clinic president and CEO John Noseworthy, and CitiGroup chair of venture capital initiatives and chief innovation officer Deborah Hopkins are among the business, academic and technology experts attending and participating.

EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

‘Few people actually want to manage’

The rock-star workers who are most skilled in number crunching, IT development or other detail-heavy tasks are not always the best people to run their departments. In fact, the promotion can turn into a major headache. “People may like the title, and they may like more money, but very few people actually want to manage,” says Devora Zack, author of Managing For People Who Hate Managing, in Washington.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

The lockout effect

This year’s hockey season demonstrated the importance of knowing a good opportunity when it’s in front of you, and the unexpected results it can create. Throughout the NHL lockout, and as it ended, many brands saw an opportunity to connect with consumers on an emotional level. Here are a few examples.

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