Atlantic Canada's Plan to Promote SMEs

Plus: U.S. company snaps up Toronto app developer for $65 million; Obamacare and you if you do business south of the border—in this week's Export Wire for Canadian small business

Written by John Lorinc

How to get ahead in Atlantic Canada: In a bluntly worded op-ed in last week’s Halifax Chronicle-Herald, BlueLight Analytics CEO Colin Deacon called on the Nova Scotia government to step up its efforts to promote Atlantic Canada SMEs, especially those in the tech sector.  His recommendation was that entrepreneurs become more active in export markets, as Deacon’s firm has done. Citing the success of local businesses such as GoInstant, SimplyCast and Orb Factory, Deacon says an export focus could help end the province’s economic doldrums.

“Our economy has been stalled for decades, in part because too many of our most capable citizens have sought opportunities elsewhere. If we want to reverse this trend, we need to focus our attention on accelerating the success of the exporters that create the high paying and highly skilled jobs that inspire talented Nova Scotians and the new immigrants we so desperately need.”

Cross-border shopping: In the sort of deal that will attract the attention of many growth-minded Canadian SMEs, Toronto-based app developer XtremeLabs last week was acquired for an estimated $65 million by a California cloud computing firm called Pivotal, reported Marketing Magazine. XtremeLabs, with 350 employees, has offices in Palo Aalto and New York.

“Xtreme Labs co-founder Amar Varma says his team shares Pivotal’s ‘belief the convergence of mobile, social, big data and cloud is driving extraordinary change.'”

Obamacare explained: Never mind the shutdown of the U.S. government. Across the U.S., many SMEs, including domestic subsidiaries of foreign companies, must now take steps to adopt the new health care rules, which means delving into the online health insurance exchanges that are now in operation in many, though not all, states. The Christian Science Monitor offered a primer on Obamacare 101, a.k.a. the Small Business Health Options Program, which came into effect October 1.

“SHOP is designed to help owners of small businesses—those with fewer than 50 full-time-equivalent employees—provide health insurance for their employees in a cost-effective way. Business owners who enroll may qualify for a health-care tax credit worth up to 50 percent of the cost of premiums.”

Join your fellow exporters and discuss the challenges of working in global markets in the PROFIT Export Exchange on LinkedIn

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