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Open For Business

Change at the CRTC: Weekly news update from

Lindsey Pinto
Jan 26th, 2012

This week's news update talks about the new Interim CRTC Chair, gives more info on the online spying bills, and provides a short update on the Stop The Squeeze campaign. Watch it here:

Annalea Krebs launches Vancouver’s first ‘Green Groupon’ site

Press Release
Aug 3rd, 2010

Social entrepreneur, Annalea Krebs

Ethical consumers wanting to purchase local green products can now do so at a bargain. Annalea Krebs, a social entrepreneur from Vancouver B.C., today announced the launch of ethicalDeal, a “Green Groupon” site that offers consumers discounts on green products and services through the power of group buying.

“We wanted to give consumers extra incentive to buy from local, sustainable companies and also raise the profile of companies offering green products and services,” said Krebs. Some consumers resist buying ethical products because they think they’re too expensive, or the quality isn’t as good or they don’t know where to find them or what to trust … ethicalDeal makes it easy to go green by organizing exclusive deals on the best green stuff to do, see and buy in your city!” ethicalDeal follows a similar format to Groupon, a deal‐of‐the‐day website, which has gained a cult following on the Internet. Much like Groupon, ethicalDeal will feature daily deals at 50‐90% off in each market it serves.

Advice to new immigrants starting businesses in Canada

Gary Bizzo
Mar 29th, 2010

I presented an interesting lecture Thursday at the Burnaby Public Library. Sponsored by SUCCESS Employment Services, I was asked to speak to new immigrants and give them another option to job seeking; self employment. 

It was less interesting from a lecture point of view than the attendees. About 50 entrepreneur wannabe’s showed up for the two hour lecture to hear my realistic no-holds barred approach to starting and doing business in Canada. The group was predominantly from mainland China and most spoke little English. I know some of them understood English as they laughed at my jokes. My Mandarin speaking interpreter was excellent and between us we gave a good presentation.

Death by Retail: Michael Jackson's Journey into the Business of Retail

Stephanie Ostler
Jan 12th, 2010

When you share your name with the biggest pop star of the past 25 years, you have two choices: change your name or embrace it. Michael Jackson of Vancouver, BC chose the latter path, moonwalking across the stage during his high school graduation ceremony.  He now owns Thriller, a skate and snowboard shop on Main Street, as well as Grub Wear Inc. His journey into small business began in 1988, when he began handing out silkscreen t-shirts to up-and-coming skateboarders and BMX bikers in a popular London, Ontario skate park.

“No one ever told me how to fill out a PST form,” he recalls over coffee, covering his face with his hands and exhaling loudly. Despite this initial inexperience, however, Jackson’s never regretted a moment. “My victories are my victories so I should also be proud of my failures" he explains. In the years since, he has accumulated so many stories it would make your head spin; or, as he would say, “there’s more than enough to fill a screenplay.”

Tips to Protect Your Business Against Disaster

Stephanie Ostler
Dec 30th, 2009

Firemen battle flames of a recent fire on Kingsway and Broadway.

With recent fires destroying buildings on Main and Broadway and Kingsway and Broadway, local small business owners are thinking twice about how to protect themselves.

It’s not only the loss of your hard work and dedication that is at risk, but also your money. Does insurance ever really pay out what you have lost? In all my conversations I’ve never heard positive stories (though no news is good news). Luckily, I haven’t had to make an insurance claim yet. But if I’m in this for the long haul I’d better assume that one day I’m going to be making that call. Will I be prepared?

My first phone call about that was to my knowledgeable friend Susan Heyes of Hazel & Co. Unfortunately, she has run the gamut of experiences. “One thing businesses neglect is interruption insurance, although total loss coverage is the bare minimum,” says Susan.

Open for Business

Stephanie Ostler
Dec 22nd, 2009

Devil May Wear under clothing

I started my current company, Devil May Wear  at the extremely young age of 17 thinking, "This will be easy. I’ve worked for small businesses and I’ve made clothing my whole life. Becoming a clothing designer can’t be hard. What can go wrong?" And what six years of learning the hard way through both wholesale and retail sides of the garment industry has taught me is EVERYTHING can and will go wrong.  Being so young, I didn’t have any peers to consult when it came to handling the bookkeeping, filing taxes, hiring (and firing!) staff, and money management, not to mention all the gritty surprises that can’t be so easily listed.  

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