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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. Download our app here.

Despite growing popularity, many still remain clueless about the technology

While cloud computing is growing increasingly pervasive, a new survey shows how many people are still cloudy in their thinking about the technology.

Fifty-four per cent of the more than 1,000 Americans surveyed said they never use cloud computing – but 95 per cent actually do, whether through online banking, online shopping, social networking, file-sharing, storing photos,videos and music or online gaming, said the survey commissioned by Citrix Systems Inc. and conducted by Wakefield Research.

When asked what the cloud is, just 16 per cent said they think of a "computer network to store, access and share data from Internet-connected devices" – the correct understanding. But, it said, the majority defined it as either that "fluffy white thing" in the sky or something related to weather, as well as pillows, drugs, toilet paper and smoke. And 51 per cent – including a large number of Millennials who you might think would know more about it – believe stormy weather can interfere with cloud computing.

One in five respondents admitted they've faked their knowledge about the cloud or how it operates, including at work. And 56 per cent said they think other people fake it in conversation, too.

However, 68 per cent said they recognized the benefits of cloud computing after learning more, including spurring small business growth, for 32 per cent, and boosting customer engagement, for 35 per cent. (Never mind the high number who saw the advantage of accessing work information from home in their "birthday suit.") And 59 per cent believe the workplace of the future will exist in the cloud – "which indicates people feel it's time to figure out the cloud or risk being left behind in their professional lives," said the survey.

Do the results – which, it's a good bet, would also apply to Canadians – matter? Yes, argues Forbes in its coverage of the survey. saying that "many peoples' jobs are being or will be reshaped by cloud…. professionals from a range of disciplines will be expected to know what computing resources they can leverage to get their jobs done."

Will Scotiabank ING buyout affect startups?

Is the Bank of Nova Scotia's acquisition of ING Bank of Canada a "threat" to Toronto's startup community? It's a concern raised in this Techvibes piece, which asks whether Scotiabank will continue "ING's incredible tradition of being a 'rebel with a cause' in the city," or whether that is "too aggressive a line for a Canadian bank."

The piece points to the ING Direct Downtown Cafe in dowtown Toronto, and a space above it, called Network Orange. The co-working space was created by ING to foster collaboration and creativity. Since its opening last April, the piece says that the ING cafe has "become a hotbed for Toronto-based startups," where new businesses have been founded and networking and information events have been held that have helped to support Toronto's startup and tech community.

Scotiabank agreed to buy ING for $3.1-billion this week. Scotiabank said it would preserve ING's business model and keep the ING Direct brand for 18 months before renaming the operations, according to this report.

"Other big banks may support entrepreneurs, inspire Canadians to save, and provide the capital to potentially launch dreams. However, they certainly have not gone the unique route of ING with co-working spaces like Network Orange. I would only hope that Scotiabank continues living up to ING's reputation,' implores writer Dan Verhaeghe in the TechVibes piece.

Etsy's proved a crafty business

Etsy, the website focused on crafts, handmade and vintage items, is going strong, according to this blog posting from company CEO Chad Dickerson. According to his long post, the company's community last week beat the $500-million mark for sales so far this year, and, with the biggest selling season still ahead, is well on its way to beating last year's $525-million in total sales. Besides last December's holiday season, more sellers made a sale in July than during any other month in Etsy's history, he reported.

And what does that mean for Etsy? According to some calculating in this report on Business Insider, Etsy itself has generated more than $20-million so far this year.

That figure also gives you an idea of what Etsy is making. Etsy takes a 3.5% cut of every sale and 20 cents for every posted item.

The site now has more than 800,000 active sellers and more than 40 million visitors a month, Mr. Dickeron wrote.


Small Business Summit discount

Today is the last day to register at the discounted "kick-off rate" for the next Small Business Summit, taking place in Vancouver on Oct. 4. Presented by The Globe and Mail's Report on Small Business, the summit will be a day filled with strategies, sessions and presentations essential to growing your business. For more information, click here.

Startup contest for Canadians

If you've got an idea or have been working on a startup, you could be eligible for a contest that will award more than $4,000 in prizes. Share your pitch for the draw being sponsored by.Startup Canada and Fundica. Eligible applicants must be in Canada, and have been working on a startup for less than two years. For more information, click here.

Opportunity in the Valley

Twice a year, the C100 invites 20 of Canada's most promising startups to Silicon Valley for two days of mentorship, workshops, investor meetings, strategic partner visits and networking. The next 48hrs in the Valley program takes place Nov. 12 to Nov. 14. The deadline to apply is Sept. 21; applicants must have a product in market, traction, and growth potential.


'It's time to close' is the toughest decision

The decision to close a business is never easy. Aside from financial reality, there can be issues related to pride and letting down key stakeholders. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to making the decision or the process.


Online selling made easy

Thinking of selling online? Back in November, 2010, we ran a four-part series that examined the ins and outs of selling products and services online.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.comJoin The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues:

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