Report on Small Business

September 18, 2018

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Report on Small Business Newsletter: Canadian ‘weed tech’ company Trellis hopes to replicate stateside success at home

Sarah Efron

Toronto, Ontario - Monday August, 13 --Trellis -- Pranav Sood, Founder & CEO of Trellis, poses for a picture in his office in Toronto, Monday August 13, 2018. (Mark Blinch/Globe and Mail)

Canadian ‘weed tech’ company Trellis hopes to replicate stateside success at home

Pranav Sood took his cannabis tech company to California to learn from one of the world’s largest legal marijuana markets, and now the Canadian is bringing his software back home to capitalize on the legal recreational market here. Founded in Canada in 2014, Trellis Solutions Inc. is a cannabis software company that allows growers to track plants as they move through the supply chain, from cultivation to distribution. The software generates regulator-mandated compliance reports and analytics, such as plant-mortality rate and cost per gram, that help licensed producers optimize their operations. Full story

National Bank partners with fintech Thinking Capital in bid to boost small-business lending

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National Bank of Canada is partnering with online lender Thinking Capital to expand its small-business loans to Canadian companies. On Thursday, National Bank became the second major bank to announce a strategic partnership agreement with Montreal-based Thinking Capital, allowing the bank to now offer loans to a wider segment of small to medium-sized businesses in Canada. The partnership permits National Bank to white-label, or rebrand as its own, Thinking Capital’s proprietary fintech platform and process loans directly in-house. Full story

Dentists on Queen West in Toronto? Worries mount about professional offices replacing retailers on main streets

Keen observers have noticed an unexpected trend in the ultra-hip West Queen West area of Toronto – a proliferation of dentists’ offices. “Right across from the Drake Hotel there’s a dentist’s office and half block south another one just opened,” says Antonio Carvallo, a realtor with Re/Max Hallmark Bibby Group. He says there are two other dentist offices moving in on nearby Sudbury Street, just off the main retail strip. “It just doesn’t look good. It takes away from the whole culture of the neighbourhood.” Full story

Toronto startup Second Closet aims to ‘Uber-ize’ self-storage

Mark Ang was 17 years old when he and his older brother, David, moved out of their parents' home. The brothers piled into a small, 500-square-foot apartment, with David working full-time to cover their rent and claiming the only bedroom. Mark, a student at the University of Toronto, was deputed to sleep on the couch. “That was my desk, that was my office, that was everything for the next little while,” said Mark, who is now 22 years old. His old bedroom furniture had to go somewhere, but he was faced with steep prices to put it into storage, leading the brothers to muse that there had to be a better solution. Full story

Toronto AI startup Integrate hits nine-figure valuation with investment from Power

A Toronto-based artificial-intelligence software startup with just 38 employees and a handful of customers has surpassed US$100-million valuation after receiving a capital injection led by Montreal financial-services giant Power Financial Corp. Inc. has raised US$30-million in a funding round led by Power’s Portag3 Ventures and backed by previous backers Georgian Partners and Real Ventures, two of Canada’s most active investors in the AI space. Full story

Startup Cloudwifi turns to CRTC in condo fight with Bell Canada

A Kitchener, Ont.-based startup that uses rooftop antennas to deliver high-speed internet is turning to the CRTC to fend off a legal fight with Bell Canada and keep its customers connected. Cloudwifi operates in parts of the Greater Toronto Area and southeastern Ontario and serves high-density residences such as condos and apartment buildings. It uses unlicensed wireless airwaves and multiple rooftop antennas connected back to a fibre-optic network to deliver high-speed internet signals. Full story


Young Australians can now work in Canada until they are 35

A new agreement between Canada and Australia could help attract more labour to the region. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced on Aug. 28 that young adults from both countries aged 18 to 35 will be able to work and travel through the International Experience Canada program. Vancouver Courier

Calgary restaurant sours on Uber Eats delivery service after $4,000 in payments delayed

A Calgary restaurant has taken to social media to express distaste over how a delivery service handled outstanding payments, and while Uber Eats says the problem has been resolved, it’s now “off the menu” as far as the eatery is concerned. “For a small business, it’s a lot of money for us,” Two Penny partner and general manager Andrea Robinson told CBC News on Tuesday. CBC

Small businesses ‘taxed out’ across Toronto hoping for long-term solution

Le Sélect Bistro first opened its doors on Queen Street West in 1977. Over the years, it grew from one building to the next, then from two buildings to the one behind them, before Geisweiller decided to set up shop somewhere new: A derelict building on Wellington Street West. That blank canvas became the bistro’s latest incarnation, re-opened in 2006, with a design Geisweiller had always envisioned — no walls throughout the dining area, a Parisian patio in the front, an almost-secret garden in the back, and a space filled with staff and customers who’d called the restaurant a second home for years, and often decades. CBC

Mary Ng, new federal minister, tasked with getting companies to look beyond U.S.

One of Canada’s newest cabinet ministers is tasked with making progress on a long-running challenge: encouraging more businesses to chase opportunities beyond the comforts of North America. Adding to the pressure, Mary Ng, named to the Trudeau cabinet in July, is taking on the role as minister of small business and export promotion at a deeply uncertain time for the critical Canada-U.S. trading relationship. City News

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