Fall Back Up with Denis Ryan

ssob-advisory-denis-ryanDenis Joseph Patrick Ryan. Irish musician turned successful businessman.

He is one of Canada’s leading performers, helping establish the modern form of traditional Celtic music throughout North America, England, and Australia.

Denis was born in Newport, County Tipperary, Ireland, immigrating to Toronto in 1969.

Eventually moving to St. John’s, Newfoundland, he founded what became one of Canada’s most well known traditional bands, Ryan’s Fancy. In 1983 the group was disbanded and he turned his attention to the stock market and other business interests.Ryan moved to Halifax where he and his family have resided for more than 35 years.

Ryan cause a bit of a stir in 2009 when he was featured in a spoof man on the street YouTube interview with comedian/musician  Tony Quinn, who called hryan-wankers.jpgimself “Jason Calibri of the Financial Times. Not one to soft pedal his opinions, Ryan’s video went viral and in 2011 he followed up with another pointed commentary on Wall Street and the banking industry. (Click on photo to launch video)

I sat down with Denis in his home near the Public Gardens in downtown Halifax. In our conversation, we cover topics as wide ranging as his time with Ryan’s Fancy, his involvement with craft brewing in the 1980’s and Nova Scotia Crystal.

Click here to listen to podcast

Fall Back Up with Saeed El-Darahali

Saeed-El-Darahali-headshot

Saeed El-Darahali is the driving force behind the SimplyCast team, who built the company from the ground up to what is now an industry-leading marketing platform that serves clients in over 175 countries.

He has over 10 years of management experience in the IT industry, with an interest in strategic partnering, corporate financing, strategic growth, operations, and sales and marketing management.

Saeed, as you will hear, is passionate about technology and about helping people reach their goals.

He enjoys sharing his experiences with start-up companies, offering insights into growing a business and becoming successful.

Saeed holds a Masters of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a Certificate of Human Resource Management and Minor in Economics, all from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Saeed is featured in the Sobey School of Business’s Success on My Own Terms campaign.

I met Saeed in his office in what he has dubbed.. Silicon Dartmouth

Click here to listen to podcast

Fall Back Up with Colin MacDonald

 

Colin MacDonald Clearwater

In the mid 70’s Colin MacDonald and John Risley opened up a small retail lobster shop on what was then, the outskirts of Bedford Nova Scotia. 40 years later Clearwater has grown into one of the world’s leading seafood companies. With a combination of enthusiasm and grit and a little help from their friends, the duo changed the face of seafood exporting in Atlantic Canada.

MacDonald grew up in Fairview, just down the road, in a family familiar with hard work and the rough and tumble of suburban Halifax. In this conversation, he explores his early days, dealing with adversity, the politics of the fishery and how he views both success and failure.

 

 

https://fallbackup.podbean.com/e/fall-back-up-with-jordi-morgan-clearwater-chairman-colin-macdonald/

Fall Back Up with Tim Moore

Tim Moore is the founder of several highly successful Canadian businesses. Starting in 1971, Tim borrowed $2000 to purchase a small moving truck.

That launched a career of serial entrepreneurship resulting in the founding of AMJ Campbell Van Lines, Premiere Executive Suites, Premiere Van LinesPremiere Self-Storage, Premiere Mortgage Center, Oceanstone ResortsMoore Executive Suites and Atlantic Signature Mortgage and Loan.

He is the author of two inspirational books, On the Move and You Don’t Need a MBA to Make Millions where he shares his journey and provides practical advice for entrepreneurs.

MovingVan1.jpg

Tim has received The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, The Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Mover’s Association, and the Certificate of Merit, Entrepreneur Category, in the Canada Awards for Business Excellence.

He’s been honoured multiple times as one of the Top 50 CEO’s for Atlantic Canada and awarded a tribute as Master Entrepreneur of the Year, Atlantic Region.

An active philanthropist, Tim has given back through mentoring and charitable activities, including Junior Achievement of Canada, Best Buddies of Canada, the Canadian Olympic Association, the Alzheimer Association of Nova Scotia, the Mental Health Association of Nova Scotia and the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

I met with Tim at his ocean-side home in Chester Nova Scotia, where we sat down to talk about his life and his philosophy of doing business…

Click here to go to my podbean site to listen

Federal Tax Changes Show a Profound Misunderstanding of Independent Business. 

Recent musings about the federal tax changes by Finance Minister Bill Morneau are causing significant anxiety for small business owners. In talking with business owners from all levels, there is worry, frustration, and in some cases anger.
In Atlantic Canada, we feel it more than most other areas of the country. The cumulative tax burden is one of our biggest challenges. With new changes proposed by the federal government, it’s going to get worse.
The lower small business tax rate on the first $500,000 in corporate income remains vital to the success of many small firms. Now, big business groups, academics, and government officials are lobbying the government to limit access to it or eliminate it.
When running for office, the Liberals pledged to cut the rate from 10.5% to 9%. That hasn’t happened. These proposed changes will make things more difficult, especially for owners of smaller firms.
The idea is to make sure the wealthiest pay their fair share of taxes. Fair ball, but let’s not throw smaller businesses under the bus in the process. Unfortunately, the government appears to forget that the vast majority of independent business owners aren’t the 1%; they’re the middle class. Two-thirds of small business owners earn less than $73,000, half of whom earn under $33,000.
The Feds plan is to eliminate or restrict how some business owners save on taxes, including:
  • Sharing income with family members;
  • Saving passive investment income in a corporation; and
  • Converting a corporation’s income into capital gains.
These measures are currently legal and are often used by independent businesses to reinvest, ensure the stability or save for the retirement.
Most worrisome is the proposal to make it difficult for small business owners to share income with family members working for them. The support of family members in formal and informal roles is often key to the success of a firm and any limitations could have significant unintended consequences.
On passive income, we know it is much more difficult to borrow money as a small business owner. A business’ passive income acts as insurance against emergencies and unforeseen costs. Business owners need to be able to rely on their investments – in their own business – to protect them against the risks of owning a business.
Also, as business owners don’t have the generous pensions available to public servants or giant salaries creating RRSP room. They need to depend on the value of their business, including any of its investments, for their retirement years.
These changes would come into effect in 2018.
If you are concerned, you can share your views at fin.consultation.fin@canada.ca.

Fall Back Up with Murray Carter

Show Notes:

Carter knifeToday, I’m talking with a native Nova Scotian who has earned a reputation as one of the best bladesmiths in the world…Murray Carter.

At 18, Murray Carter set out from Nova Scotia to see the world. A major first stop on the tour was a nine-month stay in Japan where he had arranged to be hosted by a karate dojo.

The stopover turned into an inspiration for Murray who would go on to apprentice with a 16th generation Yoshimoto bladesmith for six years.

forgeSuch was his dedication to the craft, Murray was asked to take the position of number seventeen in the Sakemoto family tradition of Yoshimoto bladesmithing.

He moved to the United States and continued hand forging one of a kind blades in Oregon. He continues growing his Carter Cutlery business on a reputation of creating some of the finest blades in the world.

I caught up with Murray at his family’s summer home in the beautiful setting of Petite Riviere, on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. We sat in the kitchen of his comfortable guest house, where we talked about his fascinating journey…

Click here, on the pics of the forge or the knife to listen to the podcast

Socials

@CarterCutlery

www.facebook.com/CarterCutlery/

Video

How to Videos 

Profile of Murray Carter, Bladesmith

Carter Cutlery and the History of the Yoshimoto Bladesmiths

More audio

An Alien of Extraordinary Ability Murray Carter with Tim Ferriss

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Bladesmithing with Murray Carter

 

Province’s tire policy flip-flop is a slap at small business

Tires have historically been environmentally problematic sources of waste. Recently, however, technological advancements have led to much more efficient recycling by manufacturing construction materials, developing tire-derived fuels (TDF) and repurposing.

When the province decided the direction for tire recycling, they chose the manufacture of Tire Derived Aggregate or TDA. It has a number of uses, such as foundation material for highway and railway beds, backfill, and other civil engineering applications. At the time, a tender was issued and a local small business, Halifax C&D Recycling, was given the contract.

They invested in the neighbourhood of $5 million in equipment to properly process used tires and for the last eight years have run a successful program. According to the folks at Halifax C&D, there have been no fires, no stockpiles of tires or TDA and no environmental issues.

To pay for all of this, as a consumer, you pony up a fee of $4.50 per tire at the point of sale. This goes to Divert Nova Scotia who in turn pay $2.00 per tire to Halifax C&D Recycling Ltd. to deal with it at end of life. Ostensibly, the other $2.50 is used for transportation, administration and other costs associated with its disposal or funneled off to pay for recycling of other products.

Ten years ago Rodney MacDonald’s PC government proposed using tire derived fuel. In response, Liberal opposition MLA Keith Colwell brought forward a bill to ban the use of tires as fuel. He was adamant in pointing out potential health risks and outlining what he saw as a sweetheart deal for multi-national concrete manufacturer Lafarge because they would be paid to burn the tires. The idea was shelved.

This month, in a stunning reversal, Nova Scotia’s newly minted Environment Minister Iain Rankin gave a green light to a one-year pilot for Lafarge to start burning TDF in its plant in Brookfield. So what changed in nine years? Not much. Lafarge will get $1.05 from Divert Nova Scotia for every tire it burns. It’s a great deal for Lafarge, which is getting a fuel subsidy, and for Divert NS, which gets a lower disposal cost. For Halifax C&D, not so much.

Remember, for eight years, Halifax C&D believed the Nova Scotia government would never permit burning and would focus exclusively on recycling tires. They built their business developing markets based on what they saw as a consistent policy direction of government and a reasonably predictable stream of used tires.

The science of burning TDF, some of which was developed at Dalhousie University, indicates health and environmental risks are almost non-existent. We could argue the relative merits of using TDF versus natural gas in the cement kiln, but it would miss the point. What is more troubling, with this reversal, the government of Nova Scotia has put at risk the future of a local family firm, which has grown and developed in alignment with environmental goals, in favour of mandating citizens to directly subsidize a large multinational’s fuel costs.

Meanwhile, the experience Halifax C&D developed as a tire recycler has allowed them to bid on and win a pilot project in Newfoundland and Labrador. While this is a good new business opportunity to export Nova Scotian knowledge, experience and business to another province, and to create more jobs, it will not replace what C&D are losing here at home.

The government, by reversing direction on tire recycling in favour of burning, has thrown a small business into chaos in favour of subsidizing the fuel costs of a large multi-national. For a government that purports to support small business in Nova Scotia, this is not the way to show it.

Jordi Morgan is Vice President Atlantic of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

This commentary originally appear in the Halifax Chronicle Herald, July 26, 2017

Fall Back Up with Rob Steele

Show Notes:

Rob Steele built his entrepreneurial career in auto-related industries throughout the 1990s. The Steele Auto Group, is now the largest and most diversified auto group in Atlantic Canada with 900 employees, and 17 dealerships in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, representing 22 brands.

The Steele Auto Group is recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.

Rob’s other hat is President and CEO of Newfoundland Capital Corporation or Newcap. Since taking the job in the early 2000’s Rob has focused on the radio business, and now controls 95 radio licenses across Canada with 1000 employees.

Rob also sits on the boards of Stingray Digital, Montreal, and Atlantic Signature Mortgage, Halifax.

rsteele bio picRob has a strong passion for music. He’s been a Past Co-Chair of the East Coast Music Awards Event Committee and continues to be involved with the ECMA’s in an advisory capacity. He also serves on the Advisory Committee for Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia, and is also a Director of the Halifax Mooseheads Hockey Club.

Rob is a strong supporter of giving back to the communities and both Newcap Radio and the Steele Auto Group are very actively involved in many charitable causes and Rob is personally active with the Alzheimer’s Society, the Mental Health Foundation, Family SOS, Daffodil House, Feed NS and the Arthritis Society. He was named Outstanding Individual Philanthropist of the Year in 2014 by the NS Association of Fundraising Professional.s I met Rob at his home near the Kearney Lake Road and we sat down on a beautiful afternoon on his patio to chat…

To listen Click here

*In our conversation, Rob mentions a unattributed poem called the Creativity of Living. The quote is as follows;

The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.

Creativity in living is not without its attendant difficulties, for peculiarity breeds contempt. And the unfortunate thing about being ahead of your time is that when people finally realize you were right, they’ll say it was obvious all along. You have two choices in your life; you can dissolve into the mainstream, or you can be distinct. To be distinct, you must be different. To be different, you must strive to be what no one else but you can be . . .

There is some investigation of this quote, attributed to several figures, available at http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/10/18/follows-crowd/

Fall Back Up with Tareq Hadhad

Show Notes:

On this episode I’m delighted to sit down with former Syrian refugee, medical student, entrepreneur, and Peace By Chocolate founder Tareq Hadhad.

In the election of 2015, then candidate for Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, pledged if his party won the election, his new Liberal government would begin effort to bring 25,000 Syrians displaced by the war to resettle in Canada.

Among the families selected were the Hadhads.

Tareq had been studying medicine when hostilities broke out in Syria and his father was running a well establish chocolate manufacturing business in Damascus.

After essentially losing everything they owned in ground fighting and airstrikes, the family fled to Lebanon and eventually were selected to come to Canada as part of the Syrian refugee program. They were sponsored by a community group in Antigonish.

peace by chocolate signTheirs is a success story by almost every measure. In fact, their hard work, investment, crowd funding project, and community support means has resulted in the construction of a full scale chocolate factory in Antigonish.

Their story was celebrated by the Prime Minister as an example of success in a speech to the UN Refugee Summit…

There are a great many aspects of the Syrian conflict that might be explored, however on this occasion I simply wanted to meet with Tareq to get a sense of his family’s experience and the resettlement process in Atlantic Canada.

I met him in the back of the original tiny chocolate making facility on the side of the road next to their modest family home. We sat down on a couple of squeaky chairs for a chat…

To listen to the podcast click here

Alcohol taxes are going up, that is certain

Tucked away in a remote corner of the Budget Implementation Act (BIA) was a surprising new tax on alcohol. As Canadians, we’ve come to accept our sin taxes as dutiful penance for universal health care, and probably rightly so. If we are going to drink or smoke ourselves into a critical care unit, there’s general agreement there should be some upfront payment into the healthcare system through the purchase of those things with which we are slowly doing ourselves in.

However, a recent new measure to raise taxes on alcohol raised eyebrows across party lines and in the Senate. Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s budget bill included a 2 percent increase in the excise duty applied to the cost of wine, beer, and spirits. That may not seem like a big deal, but here’s the kicker, it will automatically increase every year based on the rate of inflation, starting in 2018. Forever.

The government says the cost will be minimal, only a penny on a litre of wine, seven cents for a 750-millilitre bottle of hooch, and five cents more for a 24 of beer. But, that’s just the start, the Senators also noticed when provincial markups and HST are applied on top of the excise duty, the price of beer will actually increase by roughly 12 cents, with the added benefit of never-ending, guaranteed, built-in hikes. All this without any need for the finance minister to bother going back to Parliament.

When this bill hit the Upper Chamber, many Senators thought this was a terrible idea. At a time when many independent breweries and distilleries are trying to build a base, the federal government imposing a never-ending tax hike on their product seems, well, a little counterintuitive. Add to this the fact the Department of Finance admitted it didn’t do any analysis of the impact of the escalator and you have some rather poorly received legislation.

In addition, for some reason, nobody in the Department of Finance felt the need to talk to Spirits Canada, Beer Canada, the Canadian Vintners Association or any other group whose member’s livelihoods depends, at least tangentially, on the cost of liquor. Speaking to stakeholders might have been a reasonable place to start.

Supporters are saying it provides ‘certainty’ around increases. This, however, is not a particularly convincing argument especially given there is no economic analysis, no industry input, no market condition forecasts, and all other industrial factors are essentially ignored. The only thing ‘certain’ is taxes are going up.

Some of the ‘independent’ Senators put up a short lived fight, threatening to split this piece out of the legislation, however pushback from the government shutdown the resistance and with the majority of the Upper Chamber, the Liberal appointees passed it without amendment. The job now is convincing the government of the error of its ways, which is never an easy task. Rolling back Finance Department edicts takes powerful lobbying or changes in governments.

Small business has much at stake. Excise taxes are paid by manufacturers and while there’s been some speculation about how the tax increase will affect consumer prices, it is still unclear how manufacturers will be passing these costs along or how retailers will respond. What is clear is hospitality firms and consumers can look forward to an ever-increasing cost of alcohol, without the benefit of parliamentary oversight…that is certain.