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Small Business Report on Small Business Newsletter: Local businesses help combat package theft

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To combat package theft, neighbourhood stores accept deliveries for nearby residents

Toronto bakery OMG Baked Goodness opens earlier than many of the other businesses on its strip of Dundas Street West. That’s how owner Lesley Mattina fell into accepting her neighbours’ deliveries – she was always there anyway, so she told nearby business owners she’d be happy to hold on to their packages. Story

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Sidewalk Labs’ proposal just the latest worry for Toronto Port Lands businesses pushed out by redevelopment

Sidewalk Labs’s plan to build a high-tech innovation district in a neglected area of Toronto’s eastern waterfront has sparked concerns about privacy, governance and intellectual property, but business owners operating in the Port Lands area have more immediate concerns. Story

When hiring new grads, employers should ignore grade point average

Canadian employers continue to face the lowest unemployment rates in 40 years, and more than 41 per cent of Canadian firms indicate difficulty filling job openings. From my experience working with hundreds of Canadian small businesses, many, but certainly not all, Canadian firms continue to screen out job candidates who are recent grads based on grade point average (GPA), even when significant research demonstrates that GPA is of limited value as an indicator for whether a job applicant will make a good employee. Story

Little steps can yield big savings when going green

Nettoyeur Écologique Royal may be listed alongside traditional dry cleaners in Montreal, but the business is setting itself apart by using a more environmentally-friendly cleaning process. The company made the switch 11 years ago when it stopped using a solvent called perchloroethylene, or perc, which is classified by the federal government as a toxic substance, to clean clothes. The chemical is typically manufactured using hydrocarbons, a key cause of climate change. Story

Want to sell to the U.S.? Better do your homework

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Less than a year after they started selling their Eatable alcohol-infused popcorn in Canada, entrepreneurs Charlene and Vince Li decided it was time to give Americans a taste. However, getting their product across the border wasn’t easy, even though the United States is the world’s biggest popcorn market. The couple became quickly enmeshed in shipping, currency, tax and regulatory challenges as they prepared to launch online sales in the United States in December. Story

Montreal’s Alaya Care raises $51-million from Caisse, iNovia

When Adrian Schauer started his latest business, Alaya Care Inc., in 2014 his goal was to grow the software provider for home health-care agencies and then flip it to make some cash. Since then, 40-year-old Mr. Schauer has changed his mind. After seeing Canadian software startups Shopify Inc. and Lightspeed POS Inc. stay Canadian while achieving multibillion-dollar valuations, he wants Montreal-based Alaya Care to replicate that success. Story

WHAT WE’RE READING ELSEWHERE

Funding Circle shares crash as small UK firms stop investing

Small business lender Funding Circle released a profit warning the same day a leading trade body said small firms are putting off investing due to Brexit uncertainty. Funding Circle said on Tuesday that economic uncertainty is hitting demand for small business loans. Yahoo!

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Grande Prairie entrepreneur’s crime-fighting app lauded by RCMP

As rural communities on the Prairies grapple with high crime rates, an entrepreneur in Grande Prairie, Alta., has launched a new mobile phone app he thinks will help. Local RCMP say the initiative has already assisted in several investigations while being tested on Facebook. CBC

‘Hard to lower someone’s wage’: More than 100 businesses to keep youth wages at $15

The provincial government will reduce the minimum wage for students this week, but not all employers will be cutting their salaries. Bill 2, which takes effect Wednesday, allows employers to pay youth workers a minimum of $13, instead of $15, per hour. CTV

U.S. Urged to Stop Predatory Lenders ‘Crippling’ Businesses

Congress must act to protect small businesses from predatory lenders who seize their assets without warning using a legal instrument called a confession of judgment, U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez said Wednesday. Yahoo!

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