The Canada Small Business Financing Program

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Small Business Financing Program In Canada

First Published: Published on: Nov 7, 2010

Living in Canada, you have a great opportunity to start your own business. When you do, you may want to look at government help to build your business as time goes on. If you are looking for government help, then one of the main programs available to you is the Canada Small Business Financing Program. This program was created to increase the availability of loans for establishing, expanding, modernizing and improving small businesses within Canada. The way that it does this is by encouraging banks and other financial companies to make money available for small business. Much like the Small Business Administration, the CSBFP will share part of the financial risk with the person trying to get the loan. This program can then help you get up to $500,000.

When you get a loan through the CSBFP, the loan will cover roughly 90 per cent of the costs associated with buying or improving on land or property, purchasing leased property and equipment and purchasing new equipment or improving the equipment that you already have.

In order to be eligible for this program, the small business must be operating for a profit in Canada and must have annual gross revenue of less than $5 million. If you want to apply for this program, you need to apply directly with a bank or financial institution through the CSBFP, and the bank or financial institution will be full accountable for approval of the loan.

The CSBFP was created through the Canada Small Business Financing Act in April of 1999. It was created to build upon the extensive success of the Small Business Loans Act. The objectives of the act was to streamline loan administration and improve the cost-recovery ability of a business, while extending financing to small and medium sized businesses that may not get a loan otherwise. This then helps the economy by having more people working, more businesses in the country and more people working hard to make their business a success. The CSBFP makes it easier for these small businesses to get their loans from banks and financial institutions because they share the risk with the small business owner. Essentially, the CSBFP is the co-signor of the loan with you, no different than a family member of friend would be.

The objectives of the CSBFP come down to the following:

  1. Help new businesses get off the ground and give the companies already started to make improvements and expand upon their past success.
  2. To make it easier for businesses to get loans they may not have been able to get previously.
  3. To promote economy activity and job creation in Canada.

How successful is the program? Each year, the program will provide 10,000 loans to small businesses in Canada, averaging $1 billion per year in total.

While you know the eligibility requirements for the program in Canada, there are some businesses that are not allowed to take advantage of it. These are farming businesses, which can get their own support from Agri-Food Canada, which has a similar program in place.

If you want to get a loan through the CSBFP, you can get a loan for up to $500,000 and no more than $350,000 can be used to buy lease equipment or improve upon leased property.

The program is provided through financial institutions and you can ask them about it when applying for a loan. It is very important to remember that Industry Canada, which operates the CSBFP does not accept or refuse loan applications and has no part in the decision process, that is all banks and financial institutions.

If you want to apply for the program, or learn more about it, you can contact Industry Canada at:

Small Business Financing Directorate

Industry Canada

1.866.959.1699 (phone)

1.613.952.0290 (fax)

If you are curious about other programs in place to help you, here are just a few:

Community Futures Development Corporations: Funded by the government, these corporations operate not-for-profit to provide loans, training, support and more to businesses located in rural communities across the country.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency: The government also operates this program and it provides interest-free loans and other opportunities to businesses that are located in the Maritime provinces.

Western Economic Diversification Canada: This program is operated through the government and it sponsors loan programs for those who are located in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The Business Development Bank of Canada: This bank program is run through the government of Canada and it provides small businesses with low-cost consulting, venture capital and flexible solutions to financial problems.

Human Resources and Social Development Canada: This federal development operates several programs to help unemployed and underemployed Canadians by offering entrepreneurial start-up funding, training subsidies and hiring subsidies.

When you live in Canada, there are many opportunities for you to attempt to get work within Canada by starting your own business. When you start your own business, sometimes you need a helping hand and that is where the government comes in. Through the Canadian Small Business Financing Program, and other programs in pace, you can get the help you need to start your business and see it become successful in the future. It is easy to apply for these programs and generally you should be able to get approval. One of the great things about these programs is not only can you get money you may not have received previously, but you will also get loans on favorable terms with long repayment schedules, low monthly payments and very low interest, which makes it easier for you to pay back the loan.

As a Canadian, you have the right to start your own business, so look at some of these programs to see what is going to work for you and what you can do to make your business successful in the future.

CI Financial, Scotia Bank, and Sun Life

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CI, Sun Life, and Scotia

First Published: Published on: Aug 24, 2008

Last Friday's talk of the town was CI Financial's possible merger or acquisition news. CI confirmed that over the past few months, it has had discussions with a number of parties for possible strategic combinations.

News broke out on Friday stating CI was looking into buying Scotia Bank's mutual fund business. In return, Scotia wanted a stake in CI.

CI shares were halted on Friday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange when the news broke. Later on, CI's shares were up 5% and total shares traded doubled than the day before.

Sun Life Financial holds a 37% stake in CI. In case this transaction goes through, CI has to issue a considerable chunk of its shares (estimated 25% but Scotia wants more) to Scotia. It's hard to predict what's going on in Sun Life's mind, but it makes sense to think that they may not be happy about this deal.

CI is Canada's second largest fund manager. CI made many successful and unsuccessful bids in the past. Read CI Financial's Unsolicited, Hostile Bid to know more about this.

New Brim Credit Cards Bring New Perspectives

Brim Credit Cards Canada

Brim Financial is launching new credit cards on the Canadian market that will change the credit card game. These cards have features and flexibilities never seen before in Canada. Today, I will touch base on some of the features. Please visit my video on this as well to learn more.

Rewards Structure – There are no limits on how or when you can redeem. Also, there are no specific categories to earn accelerated points. If you shop more at the same stores, the earn rate increases.

Installment Payment Options – Brim will offer the ability to set up install payments towards a purchase that can be paid in installments at a set lower interest rate (they call it one time installment fee) without affecting the rest of the credit limit. 

Free Boingo Global Wi-Fi – Access to 1 million Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots across the globe. A neat perk that would come in handy when you travel.

0% Foreign Transaction Fee – This is one of the most sought after features on Canadian credit cards. Especially since the Marriott Rewards & Amazon credit cards offered by Chase (that provided no foreign currency fee) are no longer available in Canada.

Travel Insurances Provided by Reputable Canadian Provider – Another feature, which is my favourite, is that the Brim World Elite MasterCard offers full travel insurances (Trip Cancellation, Hotel/Motel Burglary, Travel Medical, etc.) by a reputable Canadian insurance provider. This is unlike Scotia Amex Gold and many other Canadian travel cards serviced by the same insurance company where the provider has bad ratings when it comes to fulfill claims.

Lounge Access – Brim’s higher-end cards will provide lounge access through Lounge Key. However, it is not clear how many visits will be included or it’s just the membership they will offer.

And packed with much more features (including real-time payment clearing to open up available credit limit without waiting 2-3 days), it may sound like that these new Brim Credit Cards are too good to be true. We will need to wait and see when the cards come out.

Brim’s website ( is accepting applications, so when I applied it told me that they will contact me once they start processing my application. I do have a video on Brim and here is the link you can follow to watch: 

How To Market Your Business On The Cheap

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Marketing Your Business Cheap

As an entrepreneur, you are under the gun to succeed because you have put not only your reputation, but your financial future on the line. As a result, you need to find a way to reach customers without spending too much. You don’t have the marketing budget of Coca-Cola, so don’t try to market like them. You need to find a way to market yourself a at low cost, so you can maximize your profits. Getting the most customers, for the lowest amount, is the goal you should set for yourself. So, what do you need to do to market yourself to your customers?

  • Provide excellent service and encourage word-of-mouth advertising. When you do this, you are using the best form of advertising, which is word-of-mouth. People trust their friends and family and if those people tell them that you do great work or sell excellent products, that can mean more than a $2 million Super Bowl commercial. Offer your customers deals on future purchases for the business they bring in from their friends and family and always be there for your customers with great service. 
  • Forget about newspaper advertising and television advertising, it is too expensive and it doesn’t always work that well. Instead, advertise with promotional gifts. This way you are giving your customers something they can use and wear, while they advertise your company. It works like this, your customer buys something and you give them a free t-shirt with your company name on it. They wear that shirt when they are out and they are a walking billboard for you. People see your company name and logo and the more they see it, the greater the brand awareness is. 
  • Go out and find your customers. You don’t need to wait for your customers to come to you, so why not go to them? Bring brochures about your business and go door-to-door if you have to. That shows your customers you are willing to do the leg work for their business and that will earn you respect, which is vitally important. 
  • Find ways to out-do your competitors through sponsorship. Show your customers that you care about the people in the community by sponsoring charitable events and offering money or your services to help. You can provide money to churches, charities, schools, animal shelters and community events. That not only gets your name out there, but the more people see it, the more they will recognize you and that will help you make more money from your customers.

Marketing yourself and your business is not always cheap or easy, but by using these methods you can save money and gain customers. You want to get loyal customers because a loyal customer can be worth as many as 10 non-loyal customer. Even if the loyal customer does not spend as much each visit, they will keep coming back and keep recommending your business to others. So market your company properly, get loyal customers and move into the future with your business.
First Published: Published on: Oct 30, 2010


CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Card Ends Manufactured Spending

CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Card Ends 

Manufactured spending is one of the vehicles travel hackers use to generate points. This is simply manufacturing credit card spending, instead of real spending to create transactions that generates points and later on to deposit the money back into the account.

I am not going into the detail of manufactured spending. The CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card was one of the easiest ways to create manufactured spending in Canada.

The AC Conversion card had a feature that let you load Canadian dollars from other credit cards and unload Canadian dollars from CIBC bank machines at no cost. This would create transactions on the credit cards you are loading from to generate points.

Initially the limit was $3,000 a day, then it was reduced to $2,000 a day. When card management found out what’s going on, they reduced it $100 per day because they were bleeding money paying other credit card fees.

In the interim, many people got points and miles millionaires utilizing the loophole. It was like a dream come true for travel hackers to easily generate points using the AC Conversion card.

However, now CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Card has decided that they still can’t afford to give away $100 per days as they can’t recoup the expenses and they are closing the loophole beginning April 13, 2018. After this date, Canadian currencies are no longer allowed to load and unload. You can load other supported currencies, however. If you try to load other currencies and unload Canadian dollars, the machines will dispense US$. So it will no longer make sense to use this card to create manufactured spending and the loophole that existed for many years will be sealed.

If you would like to watch my video on this, click on this link.

CIBC AC Air Canada Credit Card Ends

On my YouTube channel, you will find more videos like this.

Where Is My CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Card?

My CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Card?

Today I will talk about my experience applying for a CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite credit card. What could have possibly gone wrong went wrong with the process and that’s what I will share.

On Jan 13, 2018, I called in to apply for a CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite card and an American Express AeroplanPlus Gold credit card. Within a week, by the following Friday, my Amex AeroplanPlus Card arrived, but there was no news from CIBC.

After around 10 days, I received a call from CIBC asking to call them back for further information. When I called back, the guy asked me what credit limit I wanted. For example, $5,000 or $10,000, or something else. I mentioned that $5,000 would just fine. He said I should be receiving my card shortly.

3 weeks passed and nothing arrived, so I called them again. They had difficulty tracking my application, but finally they were able to find it. I was told that the last person I talked to did not do his job or he forgot and no credit card was mailed out. They said it would be mailed out shortly. I was still calm and accepted CIBC’s poor service.

The next day, on Feb 5, 2018, I received another email from CIBC asking to call them again for information verification. It was like deja vu. So I called back as I got irritated. The rep was apologetic and mentioned that it was their back office that caused all these delays and assured me this time it would be OK.

Finally, nearly after one month, I received my card in the mail. I never had this type of issue with anyone else before. My credit score is usually above 800 and I get whatever credit card I apply for right away. So this was a lesson for me on how disorganised and inefficient CIBC’s back office is.

Another thing I found out is that CIBC’s regular credit card customer service (not the lost or emergency line) is not open 24 hours. It is very important to have a credit card that offers 24-hour customer service. You just never know when you need to call them. For example, you are travelling and your card is declined or you just have a question and you can’t get a hold of anyone due to a time difference.

I have a few CIBC credit cards, but none of them are my primary credit cards. And due to poor customer service, I intend to keep it that way.

Scenic Caves Entrance Area

Scenic Caves Ontario Canada

First Published on: Aug 22, 2008

This is one of my Blue Mountain Trip video clips. On a recent trip, I visited scenic caves and suspension footbridge in Blue Mountain. I will be posting video clips of these shortly. This is a clip showing the entrance area of Scenic Caves. This is where you can sit back and relax by the water just before climb through blue mountain Scenic Caves. You will find gemstone mining, a pond, Muskoka chairs, lots of seagulls, gift shop, eco log cabin and much more here.

WestJet Starts Its Ultra-Low-Cost Carrier Swoop

Swoop (Fly) Within Canada for As Low As $39 One-Way

Video Link:

A return flight within Canada can cost more than a return flight to Europe. But those days will soon be gone with Canada’s new budge airline Swoop offering ultra-low-cost flights within Canada.

A one-way flight between Abbotsford to Edmonton is as low as $39 one-way. However, there is a catch. You will not be fly out of major airports in big cities such as Toronto or Vancouver. Instead, Swoop operates out of smaller cities’ airports, such as Hamilton in Ontario or Abbotsford in British Columbia. These locations are an hour or more commute from big cities.

Also, you are allowed to have only one personal item. Anything extra will cost you money and so are extra amenities like WiFi, movies, snacks, drinks, and so on.

Most travellers wouldn’t mind paying for the extra items, given the fact they are getting such great deals on fares.

Swoop will start flying in June, but booking is available on its website ( starting in June.

There are more low-cost carriers currently operating or will be operating from Canada internationally or locally. Here is a list of what we have so far:

Wow Air – Iceland based. Started in 2015.

Primera Air – Denmark/Latvia based. From May, 2018.

Flair Air – Kelowna based. In operation.

Jetlines – Vancouver based. From June 1, 2018.

Swoop – Owned by WestJet. From June, 2018.

More carriers mean more competition and lower prices. I hope we will see more of these low-cost carriers to make flying more affordable for Canadians. According to the 2017 Flight Price Index Canada ranks 65th out of 80, making it very expensive to fly out of Canada.

The Best Small Business Ideas

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Top Small Business Ideas and Tips

When you decide to start a small business, you need to determine what idea is going to work the best for you. There are often many ideas to choose from, but the world is changing and the entrepreneur has to change with it. So, in the 21st century, what ideas for a small business are the best? You have to consider how easy it is to start up, and how much it costs. So, here are some of the best businesses to start up as an entrepreneur

  1. Yoga Instructor: You don’t need a studio, you can go directly to your clients and all you need is a yoga certification to start this job, making it very cheap to start.
  2. Tutoring: If you are skilled in something, then being a tutor is a very cheap business to start. All you need are the books for what you are teaching and a few flyers put up around schools. At that point, you will have everything you need to start this business.
  3. Consulting: If you are an expert in a particular sector, then you may want to start a business working as a consultant. You will help businesses and individuals do better in their industry by using your own knowledge to help them.
  4. Medical/Legal Transcribing: If you can type fast, have the right equipment and can do a training course, then this is a good business to start because of its low cost and high demand.
  5. Web Design: The internet has been around for 15 years, and yet there are still millions of people who need websites to add to the billions already online. If you can make a good web site and have the skills for it, then this is a good job for you. It will allow you to do business from home, while making a lot of money.
  6. Photography: If you have a good camera, know how to use it and love to take pictures, then photography may be a good business for yourself. As a photographer, you would take pictures of families, birthdays, weddings, funerals and more. You will also be able to sell pictures online, while editing photos and selling them at everything from sporting matches to school events.
  7. Interior Design: If you know how to make things look good and like to do interior design in your own home, then you may want to consider doing it in another person’s home. It is a good business that is easy to start up, cheap to run and highly in demand.
  8. Personal Shopper: Do you love to shop and want to spend someone else’s money? Then you can shop for people who are too busy to shop for themselves. This is a good business that is fun, cheap and easy to start up.

As an entrepreneur, you need to find a business that is going to work for you but is going to be cheap to start up. The right business, at the right price, in the right market, can make you a lot of money.
First Published: Published on: Oct 24, 2010


Scenic Caves, Suspension Footbridge, GPS, And A Haven From The Hustle and Bustle

Blue Mountain Trip

This post was written on Monday, August 18. There will not be any post tomorrow. 

First Published: Aug 20, 2008 @ 21:27

I am writing this post from Toronto. Yesterday, I reached Toronto at 6.00 PM. It was a day filled with lots of activities. I visited scenic caves and suspension footbridge in Blue Mountain. I will be posting video clips of these shortly.

On my way back to Toronto, I relied on GPS (Global Positioning System). GPS did make me get lost; however, it gave me a longer route and took me an additional hour to reach Toronto. I was driving on mountain roads, gravel roads, and sometimes on totally unpaved roads. GPS is useful but it may not be good for your skills. Research shows that GPS is detrimental to human navigational skills.

On Saturday I visited Wasaga beach. I was on the beach for four hours. There was a car show going on and lots of people came to enjoy the show. Wasaga Beach – the world's longest freshwater beach is also a part of Georgian Bay. Wasaga Beach offers 14 kilometres white sand beach, panoramic lush mountain views across the bay, clean pristine waters, and much more.

What I noticed from a business perspective is that a lot more can be done to bring more tourists. It felt like kind of having not enough stores, restaurants, and recreation facilities to attract more people.
Today, I am going to post Part Two Wasaga beach video clip. More clips are coming shortly. I have so many pictures that it will be impossible to post all of them here. I will post some of them here later on, and you will be able to see all of them on my Flickr page.

Since I left Blue Mountain, I have been missing it, and it feels like I don't want to come back to Toronto. It would be fantastic to live there for good. It's like a haven from the hustle and bustle of city life. But the question is, if I really start living there, how long I would love living in a small town? Will I miss Toronto then?