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Small Business Report on Small Business Newsletter: How Mastermind thrives in the cut-throat world of toys

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How Mastermind thrives in the cut-throat world of toys

It’s the tale of two toy stores. Mastermind Toys, opened by brothers Jon and Andy Levy in North Toronto in 1984, has been in the midst of a massive cross-country expansion, from 11 stores in 2011 to 67 today. Meanwhile, rival Toys "R" Us experienced turmoil in recent years, going through bankruptcy protection in Canada and having its U.S. parent shuttered. Story

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Former Facebook executive, Toronto venture capitalists ordered to pay nearly $16-million in suit over Tinder stake

An Ontario judge has ordered a former Facebook executive and two Toronto venture capitalists to pay almost US$16-million in damages in a case that included claims of a hidden interest in the popular dating app Tinder. Story

Vancouver software success ACL changing name to Galvanize, preparing for IPO

Canada has sat out this year’s tech IPO boom save for Montreal-based Lightspeed POS Inc.’s public offering in March. Tech-sector watchers don’t foresee an imminent slew of Canadian offerings but rhyme off names of potential domestic candidates for initial public offerings in years to come, including Ritual Technologies Inc., TouchBistro Inc., Wave Financial Inc. and Vena Solutions Inc. Story

Ontario cuts funding to startup, innovation programs

The Ontario government is cutting funding that supports startup and later-stage businesses, prompting cutbacks at some of Canada’s top innovation institutions. Members of the Ontario tech ecosystem, including four sources outside the government to whom The Globe and Mail granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, described a funding environment in great flux. Story

WHAT WE’RE READING ELSEWHERE

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Amazon offers to help employees start delivery business

Amazon, which is racing to deliver packages faster, is turning to its own employees with a proposition: Quit your job and we’ll help you start a business delivering Amazon packages. The offer, announced Monday, comes as Amazon seeks to speed up its shipping time from two days to one for its Prime members. The company sees the new incentive as a way to get more packages delivered to shoppers’ doorsteps more quickly. CTV News

New fund helps ‘absolutely incredible’ Indigenous women grow their businesses

Indigenous women leaders will have a new options to grow their businesses. The Indigenous Women Entrepreneurship Fund is now open to women who may lack access to conventional funding. CBC

How Canadian Brand Mejuri Is Redefining The Jewellery Business

Raising a round of funding is a stressful and gruelling experience for any startup CEO. The last time Noura Sakkijha was relentlessly pitching her company, the Toronto-based fine jewellery brand Mejuri, to potential backers she was seven months pregnant with twin girls. Refinery 29

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Small businesses welcome expansion of CRA liaison service

An expansion of the Canada Revenue Agency’s Liaison Officer service has been welcomed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The Minister of National Revenue has announced that the CRA’s service which helps small businesses to comply with their tax obligations, is being extended to allow more small businesses and entrepreneurs to book free in-person visits and group seminars. Wealth Professional

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