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Small Business Report on Small Business Newsletter: He first worked at Kawartha Dairy as an 11-year-old. Now he’s back as CEO

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He first worked at Kawartha Dairy as an 11-year-old. Now he’s back as CEO

Brian Kerr was just 11 years old when he rode his bike down to Ontario cottage country’s legendary ice cream company Kawartha Dairy in Bobcaygeon, Ont., to ask for a job.

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Monty Crowe, part of the family that still owns 100 per cent of the dairy producer, wholesaler and retailer, hired the hometown boy on the spot and assigned him the task of scooping ice into bags for fishermen’s coolers – a side business.

After a 27-year absence, much of it spent working for a giant U.S. food company, Mr. Kerr, now 46, is back working at Kawartha Dairy. But this time, he is the chief executive and general manager. Story

Innovation Minister’s chief of staff leaving post to join Ceridian as new division lead

Senior federal Liberal staffer Gianluca Cairo is leaving his post as chief of staff to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains to join human resources software company Ceridian HCM Holding Inc., one of three finalists to develop a replacement for Ottawa’s failed Phoenix payroll system. Story

Canada’s Element AI is making a high-stakes gamble it can be a world-beater

Element has positioned itself as a global business star and thought leader on emerging issues around AI. The startup called itself “an unprecedented Quebec success story” in a submission to Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard this year and attracted generally flattering media coverage. A 2018 headline from Fortune magazine asked, “Can This Startup Break Big Tech’s Hold on AI?” and Fast Company in May named Mr. Gagné one of the world’s 100 most creative people in business. But some are not buying into the hype. Story

WHAT WE’RE READING ELSEWHERE

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B.C. business owners want crackdown on trash contracts they call ‘totally unfair’

Ben Prins, who runs a countertop business in Abbotsford, never thought about his contract with his waste disposal company until he tried to get out of it. After eight years with Maple Leaf Disposal, he decided to leave for another service provider. CBC

Brewer out ‘hundreds of thousands’ in ongoing LCBO delivery delays

An Ontario cider manufacturer says the LCBO’s shipping delays will cost the brewery “hundreds of thousands” of dollars as boxes of unshipped product sits at one of the agency’s warehouses. The LCBO recently implemented a new warehouse management system at its Durham distribution centre and has been racing to fix the issues ever since — including late deliveries that have left retail store shelves bare at the height of the summer demand. CTV News

Craft cannabis development planned for Castlegar

Plans are underway to make Castlegar home to one of the first craft cannabis industrial parks in the province. The City of Castlegar has entered into a lease agreement with Cannabis West Development to build a facility on land near the West Kootenay Regional Airport. Trail Times

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B.C. wineries face new Ontario law restricting e-commerce

B.C. wineries could be on the hook for $250,000 in fines, with $100,000 in fines and jail sentences for winery principals, if they ship wine directly to Ontario consumers thanks to a new legal regime that the Ontario government put in place last month. Glacier Media

Shipping container coffee shop in downtown starts GoFundMe campaign after theft

A little over a month after Coffee Can served its first coffee to a customer, the portable coffee shop in a refurbished shipping containerwas broken into, and had its generator stolen. The Star

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