Your week in business
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Humble beginnings for this paean to the potato
No lofty vision, Sharri Browne’s idea for Humble Spud started as an early morning, before coffee inkling. Add the idea of a gourmet Meal in a Peel, a redone truck and two online characters named Buck and Chuck and this Guysbourough County aunt and niece have found their business nirvana. Check out their video here.
Uber and under
Halifax had barely green-lighted ride-hailing services when Uber said it is in. Uber Canada GM Matt Price said Halifax is excited about it. Maybe not as overjoyed as bar-hoppers waiting for wee hours rides and councillors for the tax revenue. Or as underwhelmed as cabbies who fear low-cost lightly regulated competition.
Sherman Hines and a mind hive for millennials
It’s a work of art the famous photographer has been crafting for 40 years. Now he and his wife are in talks to turn their sprawling Avondale property—that includes a restored mission built in 1699—into an affordable housing development for artists.
Halifax rents and renters moving up
If you rent in Halifax, you’re likely paying more than last year. How come? Some are moving on up like the Jeffersons. Others because demand lets landlords ask for it. Check who’s paying more and less here. Spoiler alert: Torontonians’ rents are going down.
Double blow for NL oil
The East Coast’s petro-province just saw bad news get worse. Husky laid off staff after pulling the plug on West White Rose a week earlier. Then a deal with Irving Oil to keep the Come by Chance refinery open fell through. US-based Origin is still interested and there may be a mystery tire-kicker in the wings but the people whose livelihoods depend on the refinery aren’t counting on either.
When COVID sent people back to their kitchens, Canso Seafoods cooked up a plan to meet the market’s growing appetite for lobster made easy, cooked and ready to eat. At $23 million it’s a big investment, but the Bluenose company’s counting on new habits dying hard.
And moderate living ain’t easy
Last month’s clashes are being replaced, slowly, by respectful dialogue about how First Nations will exercise their members’ court-confirmed right to pursue a moderate livelihood from the lobster fishery. As Aaron Beswick writes, there are challenges aplenty, but social media, which can inform as well as inflame, appears for once to be doing the former. Potlotek began its fishery Oct. 1. Now band members like Crystal Nicholas are looking ahead with hope.
Sweet dreams of Folly Lake
Between them, Norm and Stacey Paupin have a growing resume: teacher, woodlot owner of the year and world birch syrup champion. The latter’s not a business yet, but they’re working on it at their Folly Lake, Nova Scotia woodlot. Birch syrup facts: A litre of syrup takes 100 of sap and it’s for salmon not flapjacks.
Flying? Say hello to the COVID tax
That’s right. St. John’s and Halifax are hiking airport fees. They started as ways to fund improvements. Now they’re more about survival as air traffic fell as much as 90 per cent because of the pandemic.
There’s gold there, somewhere
Notices of promising if preliminary results from holes in the ground at Oro Gordo or some such, north, south or west of some equally exotic sounding property somewhere far away keeps news release wires humming. Amid the dross, though, there’s always a nugget or two. Check out Halifax-based GoGold’s quarterly results here.
COVID’s put some jobs on the endangered lists but some industries are hiring. Want to know which? Click here.
DEVENNEY: Same old won’t cut it
Michael Devenney’s outfit, WorkInsights, talks to a lot of East Coast leaders. He’s hearing that most are playing defence instead of taking time during the pandemic to rethink and remake their businesses. How ready are you to survive and grow? Click here, take the survey and find out.
CARMICHAEL: How many engineers does it take to pivot?
At CAE, it’s a few hundred. That’s the number the Canadian aerospace company has looking for new ideas as the world around it seems to be spiraling downward. One possible winner? Electric-hybrid planes.
MONEY LADY: The pandemic and retirement
COVID doesn’t have to kill your retirement plan. Christine Ibbotson says it still starts with the same questions: what you want to do, where you’ll live, how much money you’ll need and maybe how long you’ll need it.
That’s The Wrap
Have a tip, a comment or something else to share? Email me at [email protected].
Back next Friday. Until then, enjoy the weekend and be thankful you’re not a turkey.
~ Brian Ward
Brian Ward is SaltWire Network's managing editor for business.