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A STARTUP IS BORN
April 1982: The Financial Post, then owned by Maclean Hunter, launches The Magazine That's all About Small Business. The worst recession since the 1930s slashes Canada's GDP by 6.7% that year, unleashing economic restructuring that stimulates an entrepreneurial revolution.
SEX SELLS. DO COMEDIANS?
June 1982: The magazine that would evolve into PROFIT puts its first celebrities—Wayne & Shuster—on the cover, beginning a proud tradition of discovering best business practices in distant fields of endeavour. In this case, the comic legends share their secrets of successful partnerships.
MORE VENTURED, MORE GAINED
June 1983: Canada's first labour-sponsored venture-capital corporation, Fonds de solidaritÃ© des travailleurs du QuÃ©bec, is launched. PROFIT reports that the fund, which will give small businesses much-needed equity infusions, is expected to top $200 million within five years. (By the end of 2006, it's worth $7.9 billion.)
BREAK THE CHAINS
April 1985: PROFIT calls for free trade with the U.S. "The fundamentals in favour of free trade have never been stronger," writes founding editor Donald Rumball, citing Canada's massive trade surplus with the U.S., a few pockets of rising protectionism stateside and the formation of rival trade blocs in Europe and Southeast Asia. Negotiations start the next year.
October 1987: A stock-market crash kicks off lingering economic malaise that doesn't end until 1994. PROFIT's cover story that month: the massive spending power of the aging populace.
FREE TRADE: NOW WHAT?
July-August 1988: Six months after the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is ratified comes our special issue on the subject. A poll finds that 83% of PROFIT readers believe free trade will have a positive, neutral or no impact on their particular industry.
GOING FOR GROWTH
February 1989: PROFIT publishes The Top 50, Canada's first-ever ranking of companies by revenue growth. Sign of the times: 48% of winning companies are manufacturers.
November 1990: Small Business relaunches as PROFIT, a name that "suggests hard work and implies success." One reader responds, "It's more appropriately reserved for the American market ¦ Uggh."
January 1991: The Mulroney government brings in the GST. PROFIT had previously decried the tax, making "Wilson's tax bite" its September 1989 cover story. Proposed at 9%, the tax comes into effect at 7%.
June 1993: The "Fastest 50" and "Future 50" become the PROFIT 100 ranking of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies. Among the big names on the list are Goldcorp, Columbia Sportswear, Liquidation World, FirstService and Corel.
September 1993: Anticipating the North American Free Trade Agreement, which came into effect Jan. 1, 1994, PROFIT publishes an opportunity guidemap of Mexico. Maquiladora soon becomes a household word.
March 1994: Wal-Mart enters Canada with its purchase of 120 Woolco stores, starting an era of retail dominance by new discounters and big-box stores. PROFIT arms retailers with its "Battleplan for the retail counterattack."
WHO NEEDS SPORTS ILLUSTRATED?
February-March 1997: PROFIT publishes a "Special Swimsuit Issue" featuring Canadian swimwear companies achieving international success.
October 1999: The brain drain is big news north of the border, but equally important is the flight of Canadian entrepreneurs to the U.S., where rich capital markets provide more fertile ground for building companies that can compete stateside and around the world.
THE NEXT DIMENSION
May 2000: PROFIT publishes a 3-D issue—complete with 3-D glasses—featuring an e-business package. The PROFIT HOT 50 ranking of Canada's Emerging Growth Companies launches later that year, and PROFIT joins Chatelaine to produce the list of Canada's Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs (now the PROFIT W100).
September 2001: The 9/11 terrorist attacks shake the world economy, but fail to push Canada into recession.
THE DAZED DOLLAR
January 2002: The loonie hits an all-time low of US62¢. Economists warn rejoicing exporters to focus more on increasing their productivity.
WE'RE NO. 1!
December 2005: Featuring our 10th annual business opportunity guide and a profile of hyperpreneurial toymaker Spin Master Ltd., this edition of PROFIT is subsequently named Canada's best magazine issue of 2005 by the Canadian Business Press.
THE DOLLAR DAZE
May 2006: Exporters quake as the loonie hits US91¢, a 28-year high. Surprisingly, exports to the U.S. do not stall, demonstrating the resiliency of Canadian entrepreneurs.
SOFTWARE TRUMPS STUFF
February 2007: Statistics Canada reveals that the country had lost 225,000 manufacturing jobs since April 2004, more than half of them in Ontario. Still, the economy runs strong. Could nascent Web 2.0 companies—which are featured in PROFIT's March 2007 issue—be the factories of the future?
YOUR GUIDE TO BUSINESS SUCCESS!
April-May 2007: PROFIT celebrates its 25th anniversary with a sneak peak at the world 25 years from now. See the back cover of this issue for details!