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Report on Small Business newsletter: Toronto property tax, Farm Boy's growth and questions about the federal tax changes

Frédéric Geisweiller, owner of Le Sélect Bistro in downtown Toronto, says he may be forced to sell the property to a developer if the city doesn’t address soaring tax bills.

Le Sélect Bistro

Toronto eyes new tax class that could spell relief for small businesses

The City of Toronto is exploring the idea of creating a new property-tax class that could provide relief for small businesses facing soaring assessments and tax bills. This follows moves to create a similar plan to help cultural hubs in the city.

Rapid redevelopment coupled with an assessment model that values properties with smaller buildings the same as ones with larger developments are causing challenges for small business owners.

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"I'm being asked to pay on the building's hypothetical value, which has not been realized," says Frédéric Geisweiller, owner of Le Sélect Bistro in downtown Toronto. Full story

This is the weekly Report on Small Business newsletter. If you're reading this on the web or someone forwarded this e-mail newsletter to you, you can sign up for Report on Small Business and all Globe newsletters here. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

New disclosure form makes it easier for small businesses to compare loans

As alternative lenders for small businesses look to expand their market share in Canada, a number have banded together to bring more transparency to an industry sometimes criticized for taking advantage of borrowers. Full story

Fresh, ready-to-go food fuels Farm Boy's growth

Businesses can sometimes plug along for decades in relative obscurity until that perfect moment when consumer taste aligns with the business model and, with some clever leadership, the company shoots to prominence. Ottawa-based grocery chain Farm Boy Inc. is having one of those moments. Although it's been around for more than three decades, the fresh-focused chain, which pitches itself as a "food experience" as much as a grocery store, finally appears to be hitting its stride. Full story

Five unanswered questions about the Liberals' proposed small-business tax changes

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Small-business owners remain in limbo over how Ottawa's latest proposed tax changes will affect their livelihoods. While the federal Liberal government recently removed some of the controversial proposals tabled in July, there's still uncertainty around pending changes to income sprinkling and a cap on passive investments. Full story (Globe subscribers)

'We absolutely have a problem': Canada's tech sector gender gap

Canadian technology companies may be breaking new ground as innovators, but a landmark study published on Wednesday finds the sector is behind the times when it comes to finding a place for women in senior roles. Full story

Five ways companies can help employees through tech disruption

Be more adaptable, creative, more employee-friendly. Hire senior managers who are tech-savvy, experienced and flexible. Ensure your technology surpasses that of your competitors, but don't lose the human element that matters to customers. Keep your staff happy and engaged – and prevent them from leaving. And don't forget about the bottom line. Full story

Afterwords in St. John's closes the book on 45-year history

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Another long-standing fixture in the downtown area of St. John's has closed its doors.

"We have tried to keep Afterwords [Used Bookstore] going to serve our community and support our family. In the end, we can do neither. Good-bye," read a sign posted in the window of the book store on Duckworth Street. Full story

Desjardins launches fund to support SMEs, partners with French private equity firm

The Desjardins Group is launching a new investment fund aimed at small and medium-sized businesses that it said could grow to $500 million over the next five years. The fund, announced on Thursday, will start with a combined annual commitment of $100 million a year from two of the credit union's subsidiaries — Desjardins Private Wealth Management and Desjardins Capital. Full story

Indigo pulls 'Sorry' products from shelves after Calgary designer cries foul

Retail giant Indigo says it will pull a line of products from its shelves after a small Calgary company accused it of stealing original graphic designs. Full story

Canada reaches for critical mass in creating new companies

When it comes to creating new companies, Canada has had a dismal record. Statistics Canada data quoted by the Bank of Canada show "aggregate entry and exit rates of new firms" have been plunging for at least 30 years. Full story

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