High Tech 'Connect'
to Guest Advisor Program
Accessing the expertise of consultants, lawyers, accountants,
financial representatives, and e-business experts just
Thanks to the video-conferencing capability of the
Entrepreneurship Learning Centre Network (ELC), you
can now meet with one of these professionals in the
"Guest Advisor Program", just as if you were
there in person!
In our first pilot, Business Coaching Guest Advisors,
Patty Breton of Breton Consulting Services Ltd. (left) and Randal
Adcock of Biopolis Inc. spoke with Mike Osborn, General
Manager and staff of the Mackenzie Economic Development
Corporation in High Level, Alberta. Both Patty and Randal
quickly familiarized themselves to the new technology,
and look forward to using it as they respond to business
questions from Alberta's entrepreneurs.
The next season for the program begins on January
30, 2006, with a variety of areas of expertise available
from Monday to Friday, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.
We look forward to exploring the
use of video conferencing with ELC sites to further
extend this valuable service to clients across Alberta.
To find the ELC site closest to you, visit www.elcnetwork.ca.
More information on the Guest Advisor Program is available
VenturePrize Business Plan Competition
The Business Link and a number of other
ELC sites located throughout the province provided a
unique opportunity for participation in the Venture
Prize Seminar Series. The Series gave participants
access to training on a variety of business topics that
will ultimately assist them in the completion of their
business plans. The seminar leaders and metro Edmonton
participants attended at The Business Link
while those in the other ELC sites were able to attend
and participate in the various seminars via video conference.
This competition is designed for individuals, companies,
faculty and students of post secondary institutions
who have high-growth business ideas. Create the ultimate
business plan and you could win. The two award categories
are the Fast-Growth Enterprise category offering over
$155,000 in award prizes and the Entrepreneurial KickStart
category with $19,000 in cash and in-kind services.
The deadline for submitting a business plan is January
For more details go to the Venture Prize website.
for your Research & Development Work
Is your company conducting R&D in Canada to develop
new, improved, or technologically advanced products
If so, this work may qualify for a refund and/or a
reduction in taxes payable under the Scientific Research
& Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program.
The SR&ED program is Canada's largest single source
of federal government support for industrial R&D.
What tax incentives are available?
The federal program can provide a refund and/or a reduction
of taxes payable of up to 35 cents for every dollar
of eligible R&D expenses, including capital SR&ED
You must be a corporation, a proprietorship, a trust,
or a partnership carrying on a business in Canada.
Where can I get more information?
For more information on the SR&ED program,
visit this website at www.cra.gc.ca/sred.
You can also contact one of the Alberta CRA tax services
offices listed below:
Edmonton (780) 495-2595
Calgary (403) 691-5890
at The Business Link Library
For any Canadian engaged in exporting
or importing, a key reference need is the customs tariff
schedule known as the Harmonized System, which lists
descriptive classifications and corresponding classification
numbers for all products. Looking up the correct product
classification information is essential for completing
customs documentation and calculating applicable tariffs,
as well as for researching international trade data.
The Business Link Library now has the
most recent edition of the complete HS schedule available,
along with its table of contents and general rules for
interpretation, bound in a handy three volume set along
with other useful items for trade reference. Included
in the set is a glossary of international trade terms;
a list of U.S. ports of entry, a list of existing trade
agreements, world treaty organizations and alliances;
a list of countries and their applicable tariff agreements
with Canada; and text of the Canada Customs Tariff Act.
Whether youre shipping it out or shipping it
in, we now offer one stop where you can quickly look
up any product under the sun... to help send it on its
way! Ask at The Business Link Library
to see the HS Codes and Customs Guide for Canada.
May 9th and 10th, 2006
Don't miss THE exporting event of 2006: Beyond Borders
II Your Passport to Exporting.
This two-day conference will focus on the issues exporters
in Alberta face and is geared towards new exporters,
firms looking to diversify export markets, and those
companies considering exporting for the first time.
Stay tuned for more details...
Meet the Link
Ronelo Aromin is the newest business officer at The
Business Link. He is a recent graduate of the
Bachelor of Commerce program at the University of Alberta.
He comes to The Business Link with experience
in starting up and running his own small business.
Ronelo's areas of business interest include: family
business, franchising, marketing, and e-business.
You can contact Ronelo at The Business
Link by calling our Information Centre at 422-7722,
or by Email at aromin.ronelo@
Talk to Us!
Need assistance in finding information on our website?
Check out our web/voice support service, "Talk to Us".
Please feel free to forward E-News! from The
Business Link to a friend or colleague.
They can subscribe online on our website.
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Your Feedback is
Important to us
Your feedback is welcome at any time
to help us improve and enhance our services for Alberta
entrepreneurs. Simply use the "Feedback" function
located on the toolbar at the top of E-News! to send us
Welcome to a new issue of E-News! from
The Business Link.
Whether this is your first time receiving E-News!,
or you've been with us from the first issue, we hope
you will enjoy this quick monthly e-newsletter. Our
goal is to keep you informed of upcoming events and
services at The Business Link and other
items of interest to Alberta's small business community.
Quick to Learn, Quick to Use...
The Business Link's
Small Business Seminars and Brown Bag Presentations
Spring 2006 Season
The Spring 2006 Season of Small Business Seminars and
Brown Bag Presentations will launch February 7, 2006.
In light of our upcoming 10th anniversary, we have brought
back some of the best presentations over the last few
years and combined them with new exciting topics that
address the current needs of today's entrepreneurs.
Here is just some of what's to come:
* Profit Through Word of Mouth
* The Art of Negotiation
* Tips for Tenants
* E-mail Marketing for Small Business
* T4 Year End Preparation
* Accounts Receivable Collection
* Shipping Your Goods to the US and Overseas
Also new this season, we are going to video conference
ALL of our Brown Bag Presentations to entrepreneurs
across Alberta through the Entrepreneurship Learning
Centre (ELC) Network. Check out www.elcnetwork.ca for
your nearest ELC location and the video conferenced
events in your community.
The schedule of seminars and brown bag presentations
will be available online at www.canadabusiness.ab.ca/events
in early January.
If you would like a brochure sent to you in January,
please contact The Business Link at 1-800-272-9675
and ask to be put on the mailing list.
Aboriginal Small Business Stories
to be told
Inspiration to unfold
Whether you are an Aboriginal business owner, aspiring
entrepreneur, or service provider, there is much to
learn from the experiences of others. Join us at these
special Networking Sessions to hear stories of challenges
and successes from Aboriginal business leaders, risk
takers and role models in our community.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 2, 2006 - 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Calgary: The Coast Plaza Hotel and Conference
Centre, 1316 33rd Street NE
Edmonton: The Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel, 10155
- 105 Street
FREE. Food and refreshments to be provided.
Please pre-register by January 5th for our Calgary
event and by January 30th for our Edmonton event!
To register, please contact Terry Foureyes, Project
Assistant by phone at 1-800-272-9675 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monthly Networking Opportunities at The Business
Link - January Networking Event
How would you like to ring in the New Year at one of
The Business Link's FREE Monthly
Join us at our January Networking Event. There
will be an educational presentation, entrepreneur sharing
time, time to meet and greet other entrepreneurs, and
exchange business cards.
There will also be a special prize draw for
all participants who 'bring a friend with them'.
Please join us on Wednesday, January 18 from 2:30
to 4:00 p.m.
*No membership required*
The Business Link
100 - 10237 104 Street
For more information, contact Lisa Iwanyk by phone at
780-422-7738, 1-800-272-9675 or by e-mail
of Alberta Brown Bag Sessions
The Quality Council of Alberta (QCA) invites you to
attend their Brown Bag Sessions at The Business
Link in Edmonton. This years theme will
be Following the Roadmap to Excellence.
Facilitated by Certified Excellence Professionals with
the National Quality Institute, these free information
sessions will be held live at The Business Link
in Edmonton, and video-conferenced to other
sites throughout Alberta.
The sessions are free to members of the Quality Council
of Alberta and non-members.
"Customer Focus" will be held at The
Business Link in Edmonton on Friday, January
20 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. The session will
be presented by Dawn Ringrose, Dawn Ringrose & Associates
Seating is limited and allocated on a first come -
first served basis.
For more information and to register for these sessions,
contact Ann Beaque at the Quality Council of Alberta
at 780-436-5609, 1-800-224-0848 or by e-mail at: email@example.com.
Under the banner of the Entrepreneurship Learning
Centre (ELC), an Alberta Video Conference
Network has been established to provide business information
and interactive training opportunities to Alberta's
small business community.
This network is comprised of 23 (and growing)
uniquely equipped business development centres
that use IP-based video conferencing equipment
to educate and communicate with entrepreneurs
across Alberta. Video conferencing allows you
to participate as you would in any meeting or
training session in real time.
You can ask questions, provide feedback, or enter
into discussion with other participants in real
time. Presenters are able to interact with all
locations and use a PowerPoint presentation as
they would in any meeting or presentation. It
is great because the participants are able to
view two screens; one with the presenter and the
other with the presentation.
If you are interested in knowing more about video
conferencing, please visit us at www.elcnetwork.ca
or call Stephanie Sarjas at The Business Link
at 1-800-272-9675 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important Changes for Employers to Note for 2006
Employment Insurance Premium Rate Reduction
Employment Insurance (EI) premiums will be reduced
for employers and employees in 2006. The new premium
rate for employers will be $2.62 per $100 insurable
earnings, a reduction of $0.11. The new rate for employees
will be $1.87 per $100 insurable earnings, a reduction
Refer to www.fin.gc.ca/news05/
Year's Maximum Pension Earnings (YMPE) for 2006
Effective January 1, 2006, the YMPE rate has been increased
to $42,100. The basic exemption amount for 2006 remains
unchanged at $3,500.
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contribution rates for
2006 also remain unchanged at:
- 4.95% for employee and employer and
- 9.9% for self-employed
The maximum contribution to the Canada Pension Plan
will be increased to:
- $1,910 for employer and employee; and
- $3,821.40 for self-employed
/nov/nr051102-e.html for details.
WCB Premiums Rate in Alberta Decreases 14.2% on
January 1, 2006
Over 93% of employers in Alberta will reap the benefits
of the WCB premium rate decrease on January 1, 2006.
Positive factors which lead to the welcomed premium
- Average claim expected to reduce from 40.1 days in
2004 to 34.4 days in 2005
- Lost time claim rate to reduce from 2.6 injuries per
100 workers in 2004 to 2.5 per 100 workers in 2005;
- The required WCB funding levels being achieved because
of the development of a new strategy.
Thus, the average premium rate will drop from $1.83
to $1.57 per $100 insurable earnings in 2006.
For premiums rates pertaining to your specific industry
National Cancer Institutes Research-Based
Web Design & Usability Guidelines
What are the guidelines you should be following when
building an effective website?
With experience in the design and management of a number
of websites incorporating good design and usability,
the National Cancer Institute created its Research-Based
Web Design & Usability Guidelines website to
provide guidelines on how to create a well designed
and easy to use website.
The site is very simple to use with guidelines on topics such as:
design process, design considerations, content/content organization,
titles/headers, page length, page layout, font/text
size, reading and scanning, links, graphics and navigation.
Each guideline has a simple written explanation and
is accompanied by one or more clear graphic examples.
The site has a "Strength of the Evidence"
rating system allowing users to quickly determine the
importance of a particular guideline, as well there
is a source document supporting the validity of each
guideline. To make it even more convenient if anything
on this webpage eludes you, there is a How
to Use This Site section as well as a Dictionary
The Business Link works in partnership
with over 30 Regional Access Sites located throughout
the province, plus the Calgary Business Information
Centre (CBIC), to provide information and resources
to Alberta entrepreneurs. To find the closest Regional
Access Site in your area, visit our web site at: www.canadabusiness.ab.ca/tbl.cfm?fn=regional.
Pass Business Development Corporation provides
entrepreneurs in its communities of Bellevue, Blairmore,
Frank, Hillcrest Mines, and Mtn. Crowsnest Pass with
a variety of services. These services include financial
assistance, technical services, and the Self Employment
The business loan programs offered through the CPBDC
include the Standard Loan Fund, the Western
Youth Entrepreneur Program, and the Entrepreneurs with
Disabilities Loan Fund. In terms of technical services,
the CPBDC provides new venture and business plan analysis,
as well as resources for business research purposes.
The Self Employment Program which is offered by the
CPBDC and other organizations, assists individuals receiving
Employment Assistance to learn how to run their own
Crowsnest Pass Business Development Corporation
PO Box 818
Blairmore, AB T0K 0E0
|The Business Link
Business Service Centre
100-10237 104 Street NW Edmonton, AB T5J 1B1
Business Info Line: 780-422-7722 or 1-800-272-9675