Entries by Hartley Cohen

M&A opportunities and challenges in the COVID-19 era

COVID-19 changed our world overnight as it quickly evolved from a global health crisis to a global economic crisis. Countries around the world closed non-essential businesses and pressed pause on their economies in order to stop, or at least slow, the spread of the novel coronavirus. A global pandemic was always going to be bad […]

What USMCA means for Canadian businesses doing cross-border trade with the U.S.

  U.S. President Donald Trump has gotten his way. The new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was put into effect as of July 1—the earliest date possible following the agreement’s ratification in April. Modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (the USMCA’s predecessor) was a key part of Trump’s campaign in 2016 and the pressure was on […]

Don’t be fooled: HR law compliance is a finance issue, too

Virtually every CEO would agree that employment law non-compliance, a failure to take workplace harassment seriously, and the general flouting of accepted human resources standards, is unacceptable. Building workplaces free of anti-social behaviour isn’t just an aspirational goal, it’s a basic legal requirement in every province in Canada. That’s especially so in Ontario, which has […]

Ontario slashes spending for small business programs

The bad news continues to flow for entrepreneurs across Ontario. The Doug Ford government has lowered the axe once again on programs that support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses across the province, this time targeting Ontario’s Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs). Several programs served up by the centres, including Starter Company Plus and […]

Ontario’s innovation ecosystem faces substantial funding cuts

Less than two weeks after I outlined a coming review of Ontario’s innovation tax credits and “other R&D tax incentives” by Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government, news broke in recent days that Queen’s Park is moving to cut several important innovation programs for entrepreneurs, as well as at least one designed to help start-up businesses […]

Ontario SME owners on edge over potential R&D tax credit changes

If research, development and innovation are the lifeblood of Ontario’s economy—not to mention well-used talking points amongst the province’s business-courting political class—then it’s no surprise that a new review of popular tax credits is giving many small and medium-sized business owners cause for concern. The recent Ontario budget, the first tabled by the newly-elected Progressive […]

Looming GM plant closure reminds SMEs of the need to adapt to changing customer demand and technology

When General Motors announced plans to shutter its Oshawa assembly plant after more than a century of production, headlines bemoaned the end of an era, not to mention the further decline of the once-impressive Canadian automotive industry. Commentators debated whether the move—which GM said was part of its wider global restructuring plans, and not reflective […]

Longevity crisis: Why entrepreneurs should act now to shore up retirement savings

It’s supposed to be the time of life when you enjoy the fruits of your entrepreneurial labour—taking the time to travel, enjoy hobbies, spend more time with the family—activities that were often impractical or outright impossible when you were working day and night to operate and grow your business. But a recent CIBC poll sheds […]