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This is the weekly Report on Small Business newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or if someone forwarded this e-mail to you, you can sign up for it and all Globe newsletters on our signup page.

Small businesses grapple with the decline of Google’s organic search

Years ago, Google search-result pages were simple. Web searchers would type in a query and their results would include a few ads at the top of the page, followed by 10 unpaid links to websites that Google believed to be most relevant to what they were searching for. Google’s algorithm steadily improved, making better matches between search queries and results. This attracted more searchers, which in turn attracted more advertisers. It was a win-win-win scenario. Searchers found what they wanted, website owners received quality traffic to their websites and Google got paid (upon ad clicks). Story

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Paypal’s small-business loan program launches in Canada

Canadian small-business owners seeking capital will soon have another alternative-financing option, as PayPal Business Loan launches in Canada. Paul Parisi, president of PayPal Canada, says as business owners face issues securing financing from traditional banks, PayPal saw an opportunity to enter Canada’s growing alternative-lending market. Story

Small Business Borrowing Guide: Are Merchant Growth’s fast loans worth the cost?

When David Gens started his financing company, Merchant Growth, 10 years ago, merchant cash advances were not a well-known product in Canada. A small business uses a merchant cash advance to receive capital now and pays it off as a percentage of future debit- and credit-card sales. Unlike a loan with a fixed term, the repayment time can vary depending on the sales of the business. Story

Sidewalk Labs courting local venture capitalists to back smart-city project on Toronto waterfront

Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs has been trying to win the support of Canada’s venture-capital community in the months leading up to a crucial deadline for its proposal to develop a high-tech neighbourhood on Toronto’s waterfront. Story

‘World class’ Calgary startup Benevity raises $40-million to finance growth plan

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One of Western Canada’s largest startups, online giving software provider Benevity Inc., has raised $40-million in venture funding from its two giant American growth equity backers. Story

Montreal’s Lightspeed to pay up to US$61-million for Kounta Holdings in biggest acquisition yet

Montreal-based Lightspeed POS Inc. has announced its third acquisition since going public seven months ago and the largest in its 14-year history. The cloud-based point-of-sale software provider said late Sunday it had paid US$35.3-million in cash and US$7.7-million in Lightspeed shares for Australia-based Kounta Holdings Pty Ltd., whose point-of-sale software is used by more than 7,000 cafés, restaurants and boutique hotels in Australia and New Zealand. Story

It takes the power of three for Canada’s startups to thrive

Wherever the federal election takes us, we need to push Canadian startups to the top of the agenda and create an ecosystem where they can truly thrive. It must happen now. That means governments, corporations and accelerators collaborating as a powerfully united force of three. Anything less puts Canada and Canadians in danger of losing out on jobs, innovation and economic growth today and for generations to come. Story

WHAT WE’RE READING ELSEWHERE

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South Granville businesses are leaving en masse and scores of jobs hang in the balance

A once-in-a-generation bloodletting is killing small, independent business in one of the city’s marquee commercial districts, leaving dozens of Vancouverites without a job before year’s end. Vancouver Courier

‘Modern, eclectic, chic’: Toronto fashion designer marries high-fashion with African heritage

Her clothes are almost as bright and dazzling as her smile. Catherine Addai, founder and CEO of Toronto fashion boutique Kaela Kay, said she never wanted to dress like everybody else. CBC

It’s not fair “to ask a small business broker … to compete against a $1.3 billion Crown corporation”

The Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba (IBAM) sponsored an event where the chief executive of Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) served as the headline speaker – and took the opportunity to drive home a key message. The event was a business breakfast hosted by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. Ben Graham, the president and CEO of MPI, was invited to serve as a speaker to share his thoughts about the future. Insurance Business

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