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Ledbury Park is a Toronto neighbourhood with a mix of boutiques and restaurants, west of Avenue Road and north of Lawrence Avenue. (JENNIFER ROBERTS/JENNIFER ROBERTS FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
Ledbury Park is a Toronto neighbourhood with a mix of boutiques and restaurants, west of Avenue Road and north of Lawrence Avenue. (JENNIFER ROBERTS/JENNIFER ROBERTS FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Small Business Briefing

The Canadian dream is to own a boutique 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 Canadian dream: It's not what you think

A recent survey has found that among Canadians who have an interest in starting a small business, their preferred option is a boutique or specialty store, cited by one-quarter of respondents. Big-name franchises such as McDonald's or Tim Horton's ranked second at 17 per cent.

"We are seeing a real mix of business plans and ideas ranging from those looking to capitalize on social media, to more traditional businesses such as franchising, skilled trades and professionals," said Cathy Pin, vice-president of commercial banking at BMO Bank of Montreal, which conducted the study.

The franchise findings are not unusual, as anyone who's ever stood in a 15-minute Tim Horton's lineup will tell you. But a boutique or specialty store? That's surprising. You've got to move a lot of merchandise to pay the rent, and you'll have a fairly limited customer base. Another surprising result from the survey of 1,500 people? Only 9 per cent indicated they would start an online business. Given the low barriers to entry, we would have expected that to be much higher.

On the hunt for online businesses

The Wall Street Journal's second annual ranking of 50 venture-capital-backed companies shows that U.S. investors are chasing after online companies, often those with a consumer focus. Makers of web-based software such as Xactly Corp., e-commerce sites such as Chegg Inc., and social services such as Zoosk Inc. populate the list. It also features four online publishers and two makers of social-networking tools for businesses.

Wall Street gets back in the game

Lending to small U.S. businesses is making a comeback on Wall Street, with 12 investment firms arranging $1.38 billion (U.S.) of initial stock offerings to funnel cash to the country's biggest job creators, Bloomberg reports. Oaktree Capital Management LP, Crescent Capital Group LP and Churchill Financial Holdings LLC are forming business development corporations, which typically lend to companies with annual revenue of less than $500 million, according to filings with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. The wave of BDCs is the largest in at least seven years, based on data from Ipreo Holdings LLC in New York.


Rio, here we come

The Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade are holding a seminar Monday in Toronto on emerging opportunities in Brazil. The event will explore the Brazilian tax regulations, financing options to invest in the country, and how to expand your sales. One King West Hotel from 8:30 am to noon ET. For information and registration click here.


And I quote: Take your time

Offering a quote with only a few details is a non-starter, columnist Mark Evans cautions. It's unfair to your firm, and equally unfair to a potential client because it means guessing rather than providing an educated estimate.

From the ROSB archives

Crowdfunding is still in its infancy but it's taking off among entrepreneurs, artists, charities and others jumping on the latest creative bandwagon to raise small amounts of money from large numbers of people. On San Francisco-based IndieGoGo, for instance, a bookstore based in Greece recently sought $40,000 to help pay for renovations and new stock.

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