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The new device PayPal Here is shown in San Francisco in this handout photo released March 15, 2012.HANDOUT/Reuters

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz.

Government addresses mobile payments

Ted Menzies, Minister of State for Finance, says the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada will be amended to include mobile payments, in a process that involves public consultations.

"Technology continues to evolve and transform our daily activities — including the way we buy items," the minister said in a press release. "More and more Canadians are using their smartphones to pay at stores and small businesses, and that trend will grow. While we support new and convenient payment options, small businesses and consumers should not be punished with new hidden fees or undisclosed conditions."

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), which describes itself as "the payment industry's unofficial watchdog," released a separate statement in favour of the move.

The code of conduct came into effect in August, 2010, and it already covers a range of payment methods, such as point-of-sale, phone and Internet. The proposed amendment will circulate for a 60-day comment period, in which Canadians can submit their views. Comments should be sent to

Keek gets funding boost

Social video platform Keek has closed a $7 million financing round, led by Cranson Capital Securities with participation from Pinetree Capital Ltd and Whitecap Venture Partners. The company says the money will go toward expansion through product development, new infrastructure and a greater global footprint. Its network connects users with 36-second video updates known as "keeks." Users can follow each other, respond to posts with text or video comments, and monitor performance with a free analytics tool.

Glenn Gould meets Steve Jobs

A new Canadian music app brings to life an idea Glenn Gould had in 1969, on technology created by one of his biggest fans, Steve Jobs. Piano Invention: Technology Inspired by Glenn Gould, now available free through the iTunes app store, uses a software platform developed by Moonrider at Toronto-based Ryerson University's Digital Media Zone (DMZ). There's a video preview available, but in short, each song on the app takes you into "an imaginative musical and visual world." Songs include Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" and Bach's "Prelude in C."


Procurement programs for aboriginal businesses

Aboriginal Procurement: A Discussion on What Works is a half-day session in Calgary on Oct. 10, designed to provide insight on how to develop an effective procurement program for aboriginal business. Expert industry speakers will share critical insights and provide solid guidance to support your efforts. The session is at the Hyatt Regency, from 8:30 am to 1 pm, with cost for Calgary Chamber of Commerce members set at $367.50 (including GST), and a non-member rate of $472.50.

Small Business Week in Manitoba

There are a number of events related to Small Business Week taking place in Manitoba the week of Oct. 14 to 20. For details, click here.


Hired guns shoot for small business

A trend columnist Mark Healy is observing with some startups and small businesses is the rise of the executive in residence: managers brought in for a specific time- or project-bound senior role. For many small and medium-sized businesses, taking on an EIR makes a lot of sense, but that option must be weighed against other alternatives.


The transaction fee debate

"I know it's only $5, but all I have is my Interac card. Do you mind if I use that?" a customer asked. Business owner Rob Benson smiled outwardly, but winced inwardly. He was glad the customer had come to his store, he pointed out in this case study from May, 2010, but given the fees he paid every time he swiped a customer's cash card, he found himself wondering: Was there anything he could do to protect the bottom line?

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