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Ontario government cuts funding for small-business programs

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government has reduced funding at centres that support small businesses across the province. Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) were informed recently that funding will be cut for specific programs that provide training, mentoring and grants for small-business owners. One is the Starter Company Plus program, which provides grants of up to $5,000 for small businesses; and the other is the Summer Company program, which provides grants of up to $3,000 for students in high school, college or university. Story

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Seven takeaways from Canada’s top small business leaders

From financing your small business to competing with e-tailing juggernauts like Amazon, Canada’s leading entrepreneurs shared tips and solutions with 200 participants who gathered last week for The Globe and Mail’s Small Business Summit in Toronto. Panels and talks focused on a range of business issues. Here are seven key takeaways. Story

StandUp Ventures, investor in women-led businesses, raises $18-million

A venture capital fund that invests in women-led companies has raised $18-million from a group of investors, including three Canadian financial institutions that are looking to strengthen their ties with Canada’s technology entrepreneurs. Story

Micro madness: How B.C.’s craft cannabis industry is losing out on legalization

You smell “the show” before you see it – 200 cannabis plants, tucked inside a 120-year-old barn on a sloping acreage overlooking central British Columbia’s Slocan Valley. In one room, 40 plants are nearing maturity. The pungent flowers will be harvested in two weeks, hung to dry and sold for between $1,500 and $1,800 a pound to distributors moving B.C. bud to illegal dispensaries across Canada. Story

Food fight: Restaurant owners clash with DoorDash over service they didn’t order

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The first call came in the middle of dinner rush on a Friday. The voice on the line asked for delivery, and Emily Caulfield, manager of The Portly Chef in Vancouver, was confused. The small neighbourhood restaurant didn’t do delivery, she explained. The caller hung up. Story

WHAT WE’RE READING ELSEWHERE

For venture capitalists at Collision, the big question is: ‘What’s left to disrupt?’

One of the most interesting companies on Mike Sigal’s radar these days sells crop insurance. An early-stage investor and general partner with the investment fund 500 FinTech, Sigal sees big opportunity in a company called WorldCover, which leverages artificial intelligence and satellite imagery to streamline the insurance process for farmers in Africa. National Post

‘No way we can support this’: Calgary committee votes against small business grant program

City council may not go ahead with a proposed grant program for small businesses, after a committee voted against it on Tuesday. The program, which would have seen grants between $750 and $4,000 go to businesses with under 20 employees that apply for it, was struck down 5-2. Next, the proposal will go before council, which will have the final say. CBC

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City takes issue with name of local breweries’ Fort Calgary ISA

A locally brewed beer has drawn the ire of the City of Calgary but it’s the unauthorized name of the beverage, not its flavour, that is being challenged. Elite Brewing and Bow River Brewing recently collaborated on a single batch of an India session ale and the breweries held a contest on social media to select a name prior to the beer’s release. CBC

National Capital brewer Beau’s retools as competition for craft brew heats up

Beau’s Brewing Co. is retooling its Vankleek Hill operation to deal with a market that is growing increasingly more competitive. Once a standout in beer aisles everywhere during the early days of the emergence of craft beer, Beau’s is now up against more and more newcomers. According to the LCBO, at the end of its latest fiscal year there were 637 Ontario craft beers available on LCBO store shelves. Ottawa Citizen

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