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Amazon Announces Search for Second North American Headquarters

The news broke late enough in the day that civic leaders across North America called in their economic development staff for emergency meetings. Amazon announced yesterday it was seeking a second headquarters in North America and any city with a planning department suddenly wanted in on the mega growth promised by the monolithic Internet retailer. An Amazon expansion doesn’t just bring jobs; it creates its own economic sector and reshapes large parts of the city and region. Toronto is considered among the most likely to be selected. To run a Seattle-sized headquarters and fulfilment center, Amazon will need somewhere near 50,000 workers with skill-sets ranging from white color corporate executives, mathematical virtuosos, and robotics experts to warehouse foremen, forklift operators, stock...

What does “Buy American” Mean?

The phrase, “buy American” has sent Canadian business people into bouts of the night terrors for over a century. With a relatively small population strung out 200km deep along a 4500km long sea to sea strip, Canada is, at the same time, both too big and too small to sustain a domestic consumer market capable of creating and maintaining middle class incomes. Without free and unfettered access to the vastly larger American market, we will wither much faster than we care to contemplate. North of the 49th parallel, the phrase Buy America is oft heard as “Don’t buy from Canada”. After the terrorist attacks on Manhattan and Washington DC in September 2001, and more recently after the election of Donald Trump as President in November 2016, the phrase Buy American was used as a psychic tourniquet,...

The Rise of the Digital Nomad

A growing number of people have decided to ditch the daily grind and live a life more traveled. They call themselves digital nomads and much like the hitchhiking hippies who thumbed their way around the globe well into the 1980s; their world is an open road waiting to be explored. Advantage Access Today’s digital nomad has a huge advantage over previous generations of working travelers that can make a life of constant travel more economically sustainable than trying to dig roots back home. The advantage is constant connectivity. From near universal ubiquitous WiFi to always-on mobile data, digital nomads can live in the same Internet environments no matter where they are on Earth. Access to high speed Internet is the greatest lifestyle game changer since the invention of cheap airline tick...

A Serious Note on Security from Google

Earlier this week Google started issuing their final notices about the need to upgrade to the Secure Socket Layer HTTPS protocol, telling webmasters if they don’t secure their websites by the end of September pages in their sites will be prefaced with a security warning in the Chrome browser. The Chrome browser, which is made by Google, is used by 44.47% of Canadian web users. Naturally, most webmasters and site owners want to avoid such a warning given the chilling effect it would have on web traffic. Wanting to avoid a problem and knowing what to do about it are two different things. This post is meant to explain the basics of HTTPS, what it means, why Google is forcing the update, and the steps a website owner can take to comply. If you already understand the process, stick around for t...

NAFTA Redux – Renegotiating Prosperity

For over a quarter century, a set of trade agreements with the United States and Mexico have underpinned the Canadian economy and become the primary focus of the economies of Ontario and of Toronto. The original Free Trade Agreement between the US and Canada was signed thirty years ago and expanded to include Mexico in the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. Before an agreement was in place, North American trade was subject to a patchwork of tariffs, quotas, and often arbitrary duties imposed on goods and services that crossed some of the longest borders in the world. Since the agreements were ratified, three of the world’s largest and most dynamic economies have virtually integrated with each other, forming the one of the largest and most prosperous trading blocs on Earth. Starting ...

A Big Business Centre – Many Spaces for Different Needs

What do a bunch of insurance actuaries, employment consultants, lawyers, employment recruiters, IT start-ups, non-profits, notary publics, immigration consultants, talent agents, modeling companies, photographers, web design firms, and even a couple international airlines have in common? It is something they share with several non-profits, charities, unions, and several professional standards bodies. Each of these businesses shares the same business address. These are some of the types of businesses found when conducting a Google search using “1 Yonge St. Suite 1801” as the keyword query. Established in 1980, Telsec Business Centres provides office space and professional services to hundreds of different businesses in hundreds of different sectors. Working with so many businesses ranging a...

Networked to Foster Success – Canada Business Network

The technology sector is growing at an unprecedented rate in several Canadian cities. From the emergence of new start-ups to the realization that a few of those start-ups will eventually employ hundreds or thousands of staff, it is a good time to be an entrepreneurial Canadian geek. Moreover, all three levels of government in Canada (federal, provincial, and municipal) are primed to help prime the pump with business advice, immigration assistance, and in some cases, even by helping find and provide financing. Previous articles have covered the grants and other financing schemes for new Canadians. Today, let’s take a quick look at business assistance primarily targeted to Canadian citizens. The types of assistance available are slightly different for naturalized Canadians featuring several ...

The Start-Up Visa Programs – Manufacturing Canada’s Gain

Shortly after the November 2016 election of US President Donald Trump a realization spread around the globe that things really were going to change. For nearly two and a half centuries the United States had been the land of opportunity for innovators, inventors, academics and entrepreneurs but suddenly everything was going to be different. That realization, as chilling as it was, didn’t stop those who wanted to be innovators or inventors or academics or entrepreneurs from trying to get to get into the States.  The number of visa applications for foreigners trying to make something of themselves and their ideas in the United States rose in 2016, even as the mood of the electorate swayed dangerously away from common sense and reason. It wasn’t until early March, a few short weeks after he wa...

Canada is Open to STEM Growth

In the coming years, Canadians are going to hear a lot about attaining STEM educations and fostering STEM businesses. STEM is an acronym standing for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; the fastest growing areas of entrepreneurialism in the world. Due to a number of factors, including the volatile political situation in the United States, Canada is poised on the precipice of the greatest advances in advanced technology development this country has ever seen. Canada has been known as a stable and reliable developer of advanced technologies for much of its 150 year existence. With excellent schools and few religious or ethical barriers to research, Canadians have invented or innovated on some of the greatest tools humans have ever developed. For a relatively small country of o...

Interest and Canadian Confidence

Monetary policy might seem a dull subject heading into a gloriously free Canada Day long weekend but given yesterday’s extraordinary statement by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, it is worth taking a few minutes to peer into a near future hinted at by the Governor and his deputies over the past few weeks. “It does look as though those cuts have done their job,” Mr. Poloz said reflecting on the dramatic interest rate cuts made after the oil crash in 2014. Those cuts were piled on top of previous cuts made after the global economic meltdown of 2008. As of this moment, Canada’s central bank’s benchmark loan rate is a staggeringly low 0.5% leaving very little room for Mr. Poloz to go lower without flirting with the negative rate interest policy he mused about just over a year ago. Are yo...