Skip to main content
small business briefing

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 .

'The future dies here' and 'Better safe than Surrey' logos on online seller's clothing don't sit well

A Surrey, B.C.-based entrepreneur has raised the ire of the city with a spoof of its official logo and slogan on some T-shirts and hoodies that he sells from his online clothing site, according to various reports, including this one, this one, this one, this one and this one and first reported by Business in Vancouver.

The city's official slogan: "The future lives here." The version appearing on the clothing: "The future dies here." The clothing design also replaces images of buildings with a handgun.

Another shirt displays six bullet holes surrounding the slogan "Better safe than Surrey," a reference to the notorious 2007 Surrey Six slayings of a half dozen people, two of them innocent bystanders, amid gang violence.

The city delivered a cease-and-desist order to citing trademark infringement, according to the reports, but owner Don Pitcairn is taking the position that parody and satire are protected under Canadian copyright laws.

It looks like the city may be backing down from taking legal action, according to this report from The Calgary Herald.

Mr. Pitcairn's objective with his clothing, according to the reports, is to "get people talking" about problems with  gangs and violence. SurreyShirt's site says that it sells "apparel with attitude."

Paying it forward: free haircut in Hamilton

McKinnon Hair Design co-owner and chief stylist Christine McKinnon appreciates the support she has had from fellow small business owners in Hamilton, Ont. To show her gratitude, she is offering free cuts, colours and styling to relatively newbie businesses during all of February, according to this CBC report. The eligible: those in business for under two years with at least one employee, the report says.

Weaker yen a strength for small businesses

From merchants marketing specialty foods such as miso pastes to purveyors of Japanese comic books, a variety of U.S. small businesses see benefits from and opportunity in the weakening of the yen over the past few months, reports The Wall Street Journal.


East Coast Startup Week

The first East Coast Startup Week will be held in Fredericton from March 20 to March 24, offering events ranging from seminars to workshops to trade shows, all aimed at encouraging entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada. For more information, click here.

Funding for exporting

The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters is holding an event called "Smart Prosperity Now: Go Global" to highlight an initiative that helps fund southern Ontario manufacturers involved in exporting, as well as highlight export opportunities and share best practices. The event takes place on Feb. 14 in Mississauga, Ont. For more information, click here.

Focus on female entrepreneurs in Hamilton

The City of Hamilton has created a series of four events aimed at inspiring, educating an empowering female entrepreneurs. Among them is an event to be held Feb. 25 with Donna Marie Antoniadis, co-founder and chief executive officer of ShesConnected Multimedia Corp. The event is free. For more information, click here.


Who owns that? A new feature

Meet the owner of Winnipeg's Foxy Shoppe as we unveil a new series, asking readers to identify their favourite small businesses across Canada. Have a favourite to share? Please do.


A lifelong dream takes flight

Flying is both business and pleasure to Red Canoe National Heritage Brands founder and president Dax Wilkinson. His company designs clothing featuring vintage aircraft logos and he fulfilled his desire to own his own plane, reported this Splurge that was published in June, 2011. Also check out pictures of the entrepreneur and his 'dream plane.'

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: Our free weekly newsletter is now available. Every Friday a team of editors selects the top picks from our blog posts, features, multimedia and columnists, and delivers them to your inbox. If you have registered for The Globe's website, you can sign up here . Click on the Small Business Briefing checkbox and hit 'save changes.' If you need to register for the site, click here .

Interact with The Globe