On Friday December 6th, Saskatchewan's Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) announced the Saskatchewan Equity Crowdfunding Exemption, allowing small businesses and start-ups in Saskatchewan to sell stakes in their companies to residents of the province.
Canadian small businesses have been lobbying loudly for equity crowdfunding to be allowed in Canada since US President Barack Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act in April 2012, creating a crowdfunding exemption for American start-ups.
Saskatchewan is the first province or territory to heed the call, in a move designed to give Saskatchewan a competitive edge for attracting start-ups.
"Our government's goal is to make sure that Saskatchewan continues to be one of the best places in Canada to start and grow a small business through competitive taxes, a continued reduction of red tape, measures to address the province's labour shortage, and now through an additional source of funding," says the Minister responsible for FCAA, Gordon Wyant in a News Release.
Currently, no other province in Canada allows people trying to raise funds through crowdfunding to offer any kind of ownership in their proposed businesses; they can only attempt to raise money through donations.
However, Saskatchewan is not throwing the crowdfunding doors wide open here; the government is protecting investors as much as possible by imposing strict conditions on equity fundraising, such as insisting that both the business and the investor must reside in Saskatchewan and limiting the amount of money that investors can risk in a single investment. Read more about the rules (FCAA website).
Learn More About Crowdfunding in Canada
Read More About Small Business Financing in Canada
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Looking to hire extra help for the holiday season?
Unfortunately, you can't just shake someone's hand and have them start punching the time clock if you want to hire someone in this country. There are numbers. And forms. And paperwork.
This article explains exactly what you have to do to legally hire employees in Canada.
And of course, with employees, come tax responsibilities. My Guide to Canadian Payroll Deductions explains what forms have to be filed when.
Read More About Hiring & Retaining Employees
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We see it all around us every time we go out the door. People using smartphones to do all kinds of things other than taking and making calls. But have you thought about how that behavior affects retail sales?
The rise in mobile Internet access via smartphones has changed the pattern for research and shopping.
"Showrooming" has become popular. Instead of doing their research at home, then going to the one store they've preselected and probably making a purchase, shoppers are using their smartphones to check product availability, price, and reading online reviews while at the mall, standing in your store, or standing in your competitor's store - and then making their decision to buy what where depending on their research.
So it's important that you take steps to ensure you're reaching mobile-carrying shoppers.
One thing you can do is take advantage of the different ways that people of different ages and income groups use their mobiles to shop, according to the 2013 Holiday Trends Report - Mobile Apps, the latest quarterly report on online/retail shopping from CFI Group.
The study found that when a salesperson with a mobile device offers to help a shopper check prices, stock at other stores, reviews or find other information, about 10 percent of shoppers tune out the Web in favor of the real-world salesperson.
That leaves plenty of opportunity for retailers, as the study puts it it, to derail an online sales process by using information or mobile devices of their own to help shoppers make a decision - bearing in mind that different age groups and income earners will feel differently about the pro-offered help; older or wealthier shoppers are more likely to be appreciative.
Research by Deloitte suggests that customers using devices such as smartphones to research the products they might like to buy is driving spending in stores, and that the "multiplier effect" of that trend will double between 2010 and 2015. "So if you're a retailer now and you don't have a mobile strategy, I think it's time to get up to speed," says Alain Michaud, a Canadian retailing analyst at PwC in Montreal (CBC News).
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More on Mobile Devices and Business
Finding the money to turn your business idea into an actual business can be the hardest part of starting one - especially if you don't have the kind of collateral or track record that would impress a bank or credit union.
But traditional lenders are not the only sources of money out there.
Check out these 5 Creative Ways to Fund Your New Business. One of these may be just the funding source you need to get your new venture up and running.
Read More About Small Business Finanacing
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