How Canada's opioid crisis is turning business owners into advocates
Over the past year, Vancouver restaurant owner Brandon Grossutti has kept the anti-overdose drug Naloxone close at hand. Having run the chic Asian/French Pidgin Restaurant in the city's Downtown Eastside since 2012, Mr. Grossutti is accustomed to ongoing and open drug use in the neighbourhood. But with the spread of the ultra-potent opioid fentanyl, the rate and severity of overdoses in the streets and alleys near his business has gone up significantly.
"I've Narcaned six people in the last year," said Mr. Grossutti, referring to Narcan, the trade name for Naloxone, which is used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. "Luckily, in every case it looked like they survived."
B.C.'s Lower Mainland remains the epicentre of the Canadian opioid crisis, with nearly 700 people dying of drug overdoses in the region in the first nine months of 2017, according to the B.C. Coroners Service. But the crisis is spreading across the country, creating a new reality for street-front businesses in many cities. Employees, owners and customers are dealing with an increase in overdoses happening on business premises or nearby, as well as increased health hazards such as discarded needles. Full story
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Ontario small-business owners raising prices to cover minimum wage hikes
Faced with rising minimum wage costs, many small-business owners across Ontario are crunching numbers and making the difficult decision to raise their prices. The provincial Liberal government is increasing the minimum wage to $14 an hour as of Jan. 1 and then to $15 by Jan. 1, 2019 – an increase of about 23 per cent and 32 per cent, respectively, from just over two months ago. The rate increased to $11.60 from $11.40 in October. Full story
Small-business advocates lament 'appalling' lack of detail ahead of Jan. 1 tax changes
The federal government will impose new restrictions on how small-business owners can divide income among family members as of Jan. 1, even though the promised details of the changes still haven't been released. Anxious business owners are warning the lack of information will create big headaches in the new year. Full story
A Toronto tax revolt pays off for downtown tenants
Back in August, Toronto furniture store owner John Anderson was shocked to learn that his taxes, maintenance and insurance costs were set to jump by $35,000 over the coming year. As with many other small businesses along Yonge Street, the property housing Mr. Anderson's store, Morningstar Trading, had seen its assessed value skyrocket, with nearby condo development driving up land prices. Full story
Canadian company beat the odds with global acquisition
Arnold Leung founded Appnovation Technologies at 22 after graduating from university in 2007. Today, the company has 15 global offices and about 250 employees. But it got there in a way that experts say can be treacherous to navigate. Full story
The Big Push women trade professional services for equity
"Female entrepreneurs don't need examples; they need hands-on help." That was Samiksha Khanna's rationale for joining The Big Push (TBP), a new initiative established by a collective of female executives to provide hands-on services, support and resources to female founders of tech companies in exchange for equity. Key practice areas of the founders include finance, design, law, research, public relations, sales and marketing. Full story
Cape Breton physician who supported proposed tax changes removed from board of Doctors NS
A Cape Breton physician who has supported the federal government's proposed tax changes has been removed from the board of directors of Doctors Nova Scotia. The provincial organization isn't saying why Dr. Monika Dutt was ousted from the board at a regular meeting last week, and Dutt said that following legal advice she also can't comment on the reason she was voted out. Full story
N.W.T.'s pot plan leaves out independent business, says Yellowknife entrepreneur
Sara Murphy has an idea. The owner of Harley's Hard Rock Saloon in Yellowknife wants to capitalize on the federal government's plans to legalize marijuana. So she began planning for a new business to do that. It's called Premium MJ. Full story
No company is immune: How to protect your small business from a cyber attack
Business is booming for cyber criminals. In the past year, large scale cyber attacks made frequent headlines. What you likely didn't read or hear about, though, were all the small businesses affected. Their stories don't often make it into the news – but it's not because they're immune to this disruption. In fact, it's quite the opposite – small businesses are usually more vulnerable as they often don't have the budget for next-generation IT security defences and often consider themselves to be flying under the radar. Full story
Utca erupts onto Calgary food scene with Transylvanian street eats
If you've never tried Transylvanian food, head to Victoria Park for some chimney cakes. The sweet and savoury tube and cone-shaped cakes have eastern European origins. They are made of soft yeast dough, wrapped around a wooden cone or cylindrical mould on the end of a spit and baked rotisserie-style over hot coals in a fire pit, in the intense heat of a barbecue or in a special oven designed for the job. Full story