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  • Oil supply to outpace demand in 2016 | Small Biz Advisor
    energy policy says in its monthly report Tuesday that global excess supply may reach 2 million barrels per day during the first quarter and a further 1 5 million barrels a day in the second quarter Further stock building of 300 000 barrels a day is forecast in the second half of the year The IEA says If these numbers prove to be accurate and with the market already awash

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/oil-supply-to-outpace-demand-in-2016-4182 (2016-04-26)
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  • After a strong 2015, VCs are getting more selective about startups | Small Biz Advisor
    valuations the total value of those deal was 60 million Halifax came third doing five deals worth a total of 13 1 million Canadian VCs were also one of the leading investors in companies developing digital health products investing in 4 deals worth a total of 3 4 million placing third below India which invested 52 9 million and the U S which brokered 74 deals worth 918 5 million In the backdrop of all this the report notes the volume of venture capital investment in North America dropped off sharply in the final quarter of 2015 after enjoying three consecutive quarters of growth Investments peaked at 20 8 billion in Q3 and fell to 14 1 billion in Q4 In terms of actual deals finalized it amounts to a decline from 1220 in Q3 to 1026 in Q4 While early stage companies also struggled to get funding in last quarter of the year the pulldown is more or less being blamed on by a significant decrease in the number and value of mega rounds in the region meaning companies that secure 100 million or more in a single round of financing According to the report investors were spooked by a string of IPOs that fell short of expectations concerns over whether valuations have reached bubble territory and uncertainty about whether the crop of new companies can actually generate revenues in the long term Driving the rise in VC investment was investors fear of missing out on great growth companies with the highly competitive market forcing them to jump into bigger and bigger deals earlier in 2015 In light of last year s data the researchers predict that VCs will become more discriminating heading into 2016 Looking ahead we expect to see more divergence and investors focused on investing in

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/after-a-strong-2015-vcs-are-getting-more-selective-about-startups-4180 (2016-04-26)
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  • Don’t depend on interest rates to shore up economy: BoC | Small Biz Advisor
    more important human Around the world including in Canada the crisis ushered in a period of subpar economic growth and inflation which continues to the present day Avery Shenfeld chief economist of CIBC World Markets says in a research note that Lane doesn t hint at future policy moves Lane primarily addresses the conflict between the BoC trying to keep the economy moving back to its inflation target and implicitly a zero output gap and financial stability when as is now the case there are concerns about household indebtedness and the role that low rates play BoC research finds the rate move needed to make a difference in the latter would entail too high a cost in terms of getting back to the inflation and output gap targets Rather than depend solely on interest rates Lane suggests other regulatory measures are needed to help maintain financial stability and the economy and the Bank is trying to figure out which combination will be most effective He says some of the regulatory measures that can be used outside of interest rate adjustments include tightened mortgage financing regulations that have been introduced in recent years He explains The changes in mortgage finance regulations that we have seen in the last eight years in Canada include the government successively increase ing required down payments This was partly to reduce the taxpayer s longer term exposure to the housing market and partly to restrain the ongoing buildup of financial system vulnerabilities associated with rising household indebtedness and housing prices Lane notes measures such as government spending or fiscal stimulus may be necessary in some cases though he warns that excessively expanding public debt can have its own negative effects The Bank says the most concerning vulnerability is the combination of climbing household debt and elevated

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/dont-depend-on-interest-rates-to-shore-up-economy-boc-4170 (2016-04-26)
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  • Most investors stay the course with retirement savings | Small Biz Advisor
    more defensively to protect their original investments 5 say they will invest more aggressively to get higher returns 56 did not achieve the returns they expected over the last year because of declines in equity markets It s encouraging to see that so many Canadians understand it s important to take the long view and construct portfolios that can withstand volatility in the markets says David Scandiffio president and chief executive officer CIBC Asset Management While there is a fear factor for some investors in volatile markets those who know how to put a volatile month or a challenging year into perspective are more likely to be comfortable with their investment strategy and investment returns over the longer term A recent report from CIBC Economics found that Canadians are holding onto 75 billion in excess cash because of market volatility The report notes that historically Canadians have waited too long to get back into the market costing them billions in lost investment returns The poll shows that women are more risk averse than men when it comes to investing Women tend to hold a higher percentage of their portfolio in guaranteed investment certificates GICs savings accounts or other guaranteed investments

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/most-investors-stay-the-course-with-retirement-savings-4169 (2016-04-26)
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  • Fewer Canadian firms winning cyber “war” | Small Biz Advisor
    and lack of in house expertise The Cyber Security Readiness of Canadian Organizations conducted with Canadian IT and IT security practitioners also found the majority of respondents believed that cyber security crimes in their organizations are increasing in severity 80 sophistication 71 and frequency 70 Cyber security compromises are costly Loss of intellectual property was experienced by 33 of respondents in the last 24 months and 36 believed it caused a loss of competitive advantage According to responses the average total cost of cyber attacks in the last 12 months was approximately 7 million per organization Cyber security spend has however increased slightly from last year with an average of 11 of the IT budget dedicated to information security versus 10 in 2015 IT leaders are feeling less equipped to handle the changing landscape of cyber crime said Ryan Wilson Chief Technology Officer Security Scalar Decisions The year over year increase in cyber attacks coupled with an increase in their severity and complexity highlights the need for specialized trained IT professionals with the tools and proficiency to provide effective security to Canada s companies On average respondents reported an average of 40 cyber attacks per year a 17 increase over

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/fewer-canadian-firms-winning-cyber-war-4168 (2016-04-26)
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  • U.S. productivity fell sharply in Q4 | Small Biz Advisor
    year edged up a slight 0 6 after a tiny 0 7 gain in 2014 It has been weak since 2011 a troubling development given that productivity is a key ingredient needed for rising living standards Rising productivity enables businesses to pay employees higher wages without having to boost the cost of the products and services they sell Labour costs rose 4 5 in the fourth quarter but were up a more modest 2 4 for the year The Federal Reserve keeps watch on both productivity and labour costs as the factors it considers in determining how fast to raise interest rates to keep inflation under control The Fed is not expected to accelerate rate hikes as long as labour costs are growing at such low levels Last week the government reported that total output as measured by the gross domestic product slowed to a meagre 0 7 growth rate in the fourth quarter GDP had expanded at a faster 2 rate in the July September period Productivity recently has been growing well below the 2 1 average gains seen over the past 67 years It had accelerated for a decade starting in 1995 Those gains were attributed to improvements

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/u-s-productivity-fell-sharply-in-q4-4164 (2016-04-26)
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  • No recession in 2016, just a sluggish economy | Small Biz Advisor
    as household spending exports and manufacturing have failed to pick up the slack said Matthew Stewart associate director National Forecast Stronger economic growth will not happen until next year when a recovery in the non energy sector is finally expected to take hold The report finds The Canadian economy will remain sluggish through 2016 with expected growth of 1 7 With oil supply expected to outpace demand this year and next oil prices will likely remain below US 50 a barrel until the end of 2017 Business investment will see a third consecutive year of decline led by large cuts in the energy sector World oil prices are expected to increase from their January average of under US 30 per barrel mainly because of cuts in U S production expected this year However with inventories continuing to rise world oil prices are not forecast to exceed 40 this year Given the persistently low prices oil firms are expected to cut their real capital spending budgets by 16 per cent in 2016 following a 24 reduction last year However falling business investment will not be contained to the energy sector Building construction is expected to decline this year due to sluggish demand and rising vacancy rates At the same time machinery and equipment spending has been hampered by weak business confidence sluggish global growth and the impact of a weak loonie on businesses ability to purchase foreign machinery In all real business investment is expected to fall by 2 4 in 2016 Consumer spending has been one of the main drivers of economic growth over the last several years However faced with another year of weak employment and disposable income gains combined with record high debt levels Canadians will be hard pressed to open their wallets further in 2016 Overall real

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/no-recession-in-2016-just-a-sluggish-economy-4162 (2016-04-26)
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  • Employers confused about benefits administration | Small Biz Advisor
    these five benefits along with more than 100 others must be reviewed for tax implications by payroll practitioners when reporting employee income Employer provided benefits form an important part of an organization s total compensation package and knowing how to administer them correctly is integral to payroll compliance The Canadian Payroll Association recently surveyed 4 000 payroll practitioners nationwide to better understand their challenges and successes in administering benefits Recent headlines have revealed that many employers are unaware of or misunderstand their compliance responsibilities in developing employment policies despite their willingness to comply Since many employer provided benefits are also taxable benefits with complex requirements that can change with new legislation regulations or administrative policies payroll practitioners knowledge of benefits administration is vital to mitigating business risk Even more unsettling the improper assessment of taxable benefits and allowances remain among the top CRA audit adjustments Common employer provided benefits including parking and gift cards remain among the most difficult benefits to administer correctly That s because employers often develop reward and recognition programs without considering payroll implications Although they are well intentioned they may be unaware of their non compliance It is important for employers to educate themselves and their

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/employers-confused-about-benefits-administration-4161 (2016-04-26)
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