Flock Free Nation

No nonsense information on small business.

Sep 23, 2011 - 1 minute read - Comments - business news

B.C. Government To Add $3 Million to Venture Capital Credit (VCC) Program

The Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development administers the Venture Capital Program. Corporations investing in shares of a registered venture capital corporation or eligible business corporation can claim a Venture Capital Tax Credit (VCC).

Corporations may claim a tax credit in a taxation year equal to the lesser of:

  • the amount of the tax credit certificate issued by the Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development
  • provincial income tax otherwise payable

This credit only applies to provincial income taxes. If the credit cannot be used up against a single year’s income, it is possible to carry the credit forward for up to four years.

This addition of $3 million to the tax credit budget will allow more investments to qualify under the program.

Sep 22, 2011 - 1 minute read - Comments - business news

CYBF Creates YOU Innovate Canada Tournament

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) has created an innovation contest to promote Global Entrepreneurship Week, which runs from November 14th to 20th, 2011.

On September 26th, eligible participants will be asked to turn their minds to creating new value out of an everyday object. YOU Innovate Canada participants will use that object as the raw material to create a new innovation, define its value and submit a brief video about their innovation or the chance to win cold hard cash provided by Studentawards.com.

The contest has $25,000 in prizes.

  • Fourteen regional awards of $1,500 in cash
  • National cash award of $4,000
  • Trip to Liverpool, England to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (March 2012)
  • Cash awards generously provided by Studentawards.com

Sep 21, 2011 - 1 minute read - Comments - business news

Ottawa Universities Get $1M To Launch Young Entrepreneurs Program

The Ontario Centres of Excellence has given $1 million to Ottawa’s Young Entrepreneurs, which is a partnership between Carleton University, Algonquin College, La Cité collégiale and the University of Ottawa.

The funds are intended to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ottawa. Students and recent alumni can apply for funds to assist in business planning and to help with bridging the gap between initial start up and generating sales.

Each of the four participating universities have programs designed to assist entrepreneurs as they start and grow their businesses. Students interested in learning more about entrepreneurship and the programs available to support entrepreneurs, should contact the business college in their university.

Sep 20, 2011 - 1 minute read - Comments - government

How To Get A Business License in Saskatoon

Saskatoon does not currently have an online system for getting a license for your business. The City does participate in BizPal, which will ask you a series of questions about your business and give you a list of licenses and permits you need before starting up, but to get a business license you will have to communicate directly with City Hall.

The current fees for business licenses are as follows:

New Application Fee Annual Renewal Fee
Change in Location No Change in Location
Commercial business license $95 $95 $70
Home based business license $95 $95 $70

The application forms for a business license can be submitted in person or by mail. The forms can be downloaded here.

February 15, 2014 - The city now has an online application. See our recent post.

Sep 19, 2011 - 2 minute read - Comments - business news

Beware of Canadian Banking E-mail Scams

I received the following email today:

Bank of Montreal Interac EMT Alert!

You have been sent an INTERAC Email Money Transfer.

Amount: $890.00 (CAD)

Sender’s Message: A message was not provided

Action Required: To deposit your money, click here: https://gateway.certapay.com/RP.do?pID=CAuDw9ZQ

Interac Email Money Transfer, BMO Bank of Montreal

What is an INTERAC Email Money Transfer? If you have an email address and online banking password at a participating financial institution, you can send and receive money quickly and easily.

How do I know this a fake? First of all, I’m not expecting $890 from anyone via an Interac e-mail money transfer. It would be nice to get money for no reason but if something seems like it is too good to be true, it is. Criminals are counting on your greed to overwhelm your better judgement.

Secondly, although the link looks like it goes to a Certapay domain, it doesn’t (I’ve modified the url slightly so it doesn’t work). It goes to a site with the word “yoga” in the domain. This should be a dead giveaway, except the criminals have created a convincing mock-up of BMO’s site as shown below.

Fake BMO Web Page

It looks real enough to someone in a hurry, doesn’t it? However, a real Interac e-mail money transfer will take you to a page where you can choose which bank to deposit the money into, not the bank of the sender.

If you ever get an e-mail that is supposed to be coming from your bank but you feel it looks suspicious, don’t click on any of the links in the email. Call your bank by telephone to inquire about the information in the email. A bank employee can tell you if it is legitimate or not.

These criminals are getting more clever with their tactics and I’d hate to see an unsuspecting business owner get taken advantage of. Be vigilant.

Sep 15, 2011 - 2 minute read - Comments - websites

Picking The Right Domain Name

Much like picking a name for your business, picking the right domain name can make things much easier when it comes time to market your business. With the large number of good domain names that have been taken, this can be difficult to do but if you take a few key things into consideration, you can get closer to the ideal.

  • You should be able to tell someone your domain name over the telephone without having him or her ask you to spell it out. If you have to start spelling your domain name for people, it’s too complex.
  • Try to get a .com. If you are solely focused on Canada, a .ca can be very good as well. If you start to go to other domains, you will reduce the likelihood that your customers will be able to remember your domain name.
  • Don’t use hyphens. People don’t expect hyphens in domain names. If your customers try to enter your domain name and don’t put in the hyphens they will end up on someone else’s site.
  • A shorter name is better. It’s easier to remember and it makes email addresses based on your domain much shorter. Imagine trying to fit “your.name@thisisanincrediblylongdomain.com” on a business card.
  • You domain name should include your business name or a portion of it. I’ve seen people use domains that describe what they do instead of their business name and they can be hard to remember.
  • Don’t skip letters or vowels. Flickr may have been able to establish a huge brand while missing an “e” but it doesn’t mean that you are going to.

You might think that your domain name isn’t all that important because people will just use Google to find your business. Remember that when people search for your business, the search results will likely display the websites of your competitors as well. Would you rather have customers go to your site directly because it has a memorable domain, or do you want them to look through Google search results, and hope that they don’t get distracted by another listing?