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Canadian passport (Jupiterimages/(C) 2008 Jupiterimages)
Canadian passport (Jupiterimages/(C) 2008 Jupiterimages)

Small Business Briefing

Canada snags top spot on Forbes' business list Add to ...

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 best place to do business

As gloomy as economic times have been lately, finally some good news: Not only did the Canadian economy add 60,900 full-time jobs last month (exceeding expectations and sending the country's jobless rate two notches to 7.1 per cent) but it was also named the best place in the world to do business this week by Forbes Magazine.

In their annual look at the 'Best Countries for Business,' Canada ranks No. 1, edging out Denmark, which topped the list in 2010.

“While the U.S. is paralyzed by fears of a double-dip recession and Europe struggles with sovereign debt issues, Canada’s economy has held up better than most. The $1.6-trillion economy is the ninth biggest in the world and grew 3.1 per cent last year. It is expected to expand 2.4 per cent in 2011, according to the Royal Bank of Canada,” writes Kurt Badenhausen from Forbes.

Unlike many countries, Canada avoided the brunt of the banking crisis that brought U.S. and Europe to their knees. Also, our banks avoided bailouts and were actually profitable during the financial crises that started in 2007. The country emerged one of the strongest in the world thanks to their conservative lending practices, the editors explain in this video.

The team at Forbes looked at 11 different factors for 134 countries, including property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance. They relied on on research and published reports from the Central Intelligence Agency, Freedom House, Heritage Foundation, Property Rights Alliance, Transparency International, the World Bank and World Economic Forum to compile the rankings.

U.S. Treasury Secretary defends small biz lending fund

Testifying in front of the House banking committee, Tim Geithner said he was surprised by how few banks took advantage the Small Business Lending Fund, which disbursed $4-billion out of $30-billion set aside.

The program, which began distributing funds earlier this year and closed last week, was open to banks with less than $10 billion in assets, or roughly 7,700 lenders, according to the Wall Street Journal. But just 332 banks received funds under the program.

Although the program received very low response, he said it was “well targeted to help make sure there’s no credit constraint across the country.”

Mr. Geithner's comments followed questioning by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D., N.Y.), who said the funding program “wasted today’s resources on yesterday’s problems,” arguing that it did more for banks than for small businesses.

Is social media a waste of time?

Yes, but only if you approach it with the “set it and forget it” mentality. A strong social media presence requires time, patience and planning. Inc.com offers six steps to make sure you don’t waste time in social media.


Free HR workshop

On November 3rd, a panel of professionals from Waterloo Region startups will share some of their HR successes and mistakes, offer tips and tricks, and answer all of your questions.

Starting your business info session

Are you thinking of starting a business but don't know where to start? The Ottawa Centre for Regional Innovation (OCRI) is offering a free one-hour session where the steps to starting a business are explored (including the different forms of business organziation, the advantages and disadvantages of each as well as HST will be covered and some municipal regulations). They cover the basic rules and regulations you will be required to follow in order to start your business in the province of Ontario.


The name game

After years of work to build recognition, why would an established, successful company change its name?


Network your way to a solid return

The value of networking can’t be overestimated. The only way to expand your list of contacts and discover new opportunities is to get out there

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com

Join The Globe’s Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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Follow on Twitter: @scarrowk


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