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Report on Small Business Newsletter: a visa for global talent, The Drake Hotel empire and helping older entrepreneurs

Drake Commissary is just the latest tentacle to emerge from Jeff Stober’s Drake Hotel.  

Ryan Emberley

Canada launches visa program for hiring specialized foreign talent

Canadian technology companies are greeting a new federal blueprint for hiring foreign talent with open arms – and cautious optimism.

The Canadian government's global skills visa program – part of its Global Skills Strategy – officially opens for business June 12. The $7.8-million, 24-month pilot program is designed to allow high-growth firms to bring in international talent within two weeks, rather than up to a year, which is how long it now takes.

"What companies have told us is that, if it's a really long process, they lose that opportunity to hire that individual," federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu told The Globe and Mail. Full story

This is the weekly Report on Small Business newsletter compiled by small business editor Sarah Efron. If you're reading this on the web or someone forwarded this e-mail newsletter to you, you can sign up for Report on Small Business and all Globe newsletters here. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

Don't call it a chain: Jeff Stober on The Drake Hotel's growing bespoke empire

Monday is the official launch of the newest outpost of the Drake Hotel empire, Drake Commissary. Located on Sterling Road in Toronto's Junction Triangle, the Commissary will serve as the centre of the Drake's food operations. The space has a chic living room vibe, and it blurs the lines between a restaurant, bar, bakery and food production facility for the Drake's budding catering and retail operations. Full story

New anti-spam law changes bring more confusion for business owners

Earlier this week, the federal government announced changes to the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), suspending the private right of action provision that was due to come into effect on July 1, 2017. The provision would have allowed class action lawsuits to be filed against individuals and organizations for alleged violations of the CASL legislation by sending unsolicited spam e-mail, text, instant message, Facebook message or any other commercial electronic message. The government says it will also ask a legislative committee to examine the legislation. Full story

Older entrepreneurs are worthy of support, too

When you see the word entrepreneur, you likely think of someone in their 20s or 30s having the latest and greatest idea that will generate millions of dollars, and then be acquired by a large conglomerate. You probably didn't picture one of the fastest-growing groups of entrepreneurs in Canada today: people over the age of 50. Full story

Ottawa tightens screws on R&D incentive program

The CRA has been more stringent with the program in recent years, which has led to a drop in the volume of claims and the number of filers. Full story

When equality feels like discrimination

The idea that there is a war against merit feels like one plucked out of time, full of arguments that have been obliterated for decades. But the unfortunate truth is that many leaders in business today still cling to the same dated ideas. Are you one of them? If you find yourself agreeing that there is such a thing as "reverse discrimination," understand that you –  and your business –  are at risk of becoming obsolete. Full story

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More small business news from around the web

Ecuadorian transplant builds inspired publishing platform in Toronto

Three years ago, author and computer engineer Galo Vargas launched Inkspired as a means for storytellers to publish their work and connect. After growing the company in Australia, San Francisco and Latin America, Vargas has resettled in Toronto to build a global publishing and engagement platform. Full story

The Catch-22 of seeking funds from the BDC

Norm Bradley has a beef with the BDC. The Vancouver-based engineer has read all the ads and seen the commercials where the Business Development Bank of Canada positions itself as the "bank of entrepreneurs." But when he recently tested that claim, he found the Crown corporation had no interest in funding his startup, which makes sandals for people who wear orthotic inserts. Full story

How solid boards lay strong foundations for startups

For most startups, establishing a board of directors is not a top priority.  Entrepreneurs are typically too busy trying to get the company off the ground and feel that establishing a board can wait until after they have raised their first round of capital. Full story

Canadian takes his dream from basement to $2B, wins World Entrepreneur of the Year

For the second time in 10 years, a Canadian has won the title of World Entrepreneur of the Year. The world's top-seeded entrepreneur is now Murad Al-Katib, a former civil servant from Regina who quit his job in 2004 to go door to door to persuade Saskatchewan farmers to grow more pulse crops, such as lentils and beans. Spotting the need to produce more high-quality protein for a hungry world has built into a TSX-listed public company with 2016 revenues of $2.1 billion. It's considered the world's largest vertically integrated supply chain for lentils, chickpeas and peas. Full story

Why Canadian cleantech is happy with Trump's Paris mistake

After hearing the outcry over Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, you'd be forgiven for thinking the game's up for the clean economy. Is it time to rip out your solar panels and invest in big oil because we're going back to drill, baby, drill? Full story

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