JULY 2016



Tsunami- a Force oF naTure

IntroducIng the new tsunamI wheel from ItP. A modern tAke on the clAssic, 8-spoke design for AtVs And side-by-sides

Flat black finish with milled accents and window edges.

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In dealershIPs august 2016

1200 lb. load rating.

14-in. and 15-in. sizes in all popular bolt patterns. The Tsunami is the 3rd wheel in ITP’s Storm Series line, which includes the Hurricane and Tornado designs.

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SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS • JULY 2016 © 2016 The carlstar Group, LLc. All rights reserved



spotlight on july

W ell it is the season that we all wait for, well most of us, Summer. This is the time of year when we are either packing up the RV and heading out with the family or putting the roof down and heading to the beach. Whether riding on two wheels, four wheels or six you are planning out your weekend events or just hitting the open roadwith the top down to see where the road takes you. Regardless of what your plans are get out and enjoy yourself. Whether it is that family vacation to the Grand Canyon in the state of Arizona, or The Calgary Stampede in Alberta enjoy

Editor Lee Atwater

Managing Director Stewart Gregg

International Operations Director Nick Gregg

Accounts Manager Samantha Ford

Office Administrator Kyte Carter

Webmaster Aaron Allen

the time that you have and send us pictures of the places that you went.

As a team we always like to hear about events and see where our readers and viewers are going and have been. So keep in touch on whether your travels are on or off the road as we like to hear from you. We are sure your travels will have you at a festival or event this Summer, and we are very excited about partnering with the Cavendish Beach Music Festival this Summer. Jeff Squires, President of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival knows a thing or two about festivals and running a successful business as he is also the President of the PEI Brewing Company which is a major sponsor of the festival. Jeff Squires passion for Prince Edwards Island is second to none. Jeff has taken an idea to draw tourists to Prince Edwards Island during the tourist season, a season which the province is largely dependent on, into the largest music festival in Atlantic Canada. The Cavendish Beach Music Festival, now in its eighth year, has spotlighted the best in country music with past artists like; Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Alabama and Rascal Flatts. This year is no exception with Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney and The Band Perry as this year’s headliners for the festival. It is no wonder why this event attracts more than 70,000 concert goers over the three day music event, which pumps millions into the Prince Edwards Island economy. We know that Jeff and his team put an amazing amount of time into The Cavendish Beach Music Festival to make it a success as do the people that organize and run other festivals and events but we also need to remember the sponsors of these events as without them there is no event or festival. It is their marketing dollars that allow these events to continue so please remember them when spending your vacation money this Summer and all year for that matter. So we hope you can join us at Cavendish Beach this year, but if you can’t please follow us on social media for all your updates on events and we wish you all the very best and that you are safe regardless where your road travels.

Content Director Rod Gregg Research Sarah Lajoie Ryan Jacobs Latasha Hetland Barry Cox Alia Morash Contributing Writers Katie Davis David MacDonald Charlene Boyce Jamie Barrie Director of Creative & Graphic Design Carmen Fitzpatrick

Advertising & Marketing Team Wayne Jacobs Nicole Rayner

Publisher AIDACA Media


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BIG COUNTRY, LITTLE ISLAND Cavendish Beach Music Festival


More than 1.4 million tourists visit the tiny Island of Prince Edwards Island yearly, with the majority of that coming in the summer months. Along with the tourists comes spending with more than $400 million being pumped into the economy...


TAB? Brexit





DAUPHIN’S COUNTRYFEST 2016 Riding Mountain Nation Park – Dauphin, MB, Canada

June 30th - July 3rd 2016

Nestled on the North side of Riding Mountain Nation Park is where Canada’s longest running Country Music Festival, Countryfest, takes place. Countryfest has a history of providing first class entertainment to many loyal fans, offering the best in local, national and international entertainment on three separate stages.

For more information visit

AIA CANADA - 16TH ANNUAL ATLANTIC NATIONALS Crowne Plaza Moncton-Downtown – Moncton, NB, Canada

July 6th-10th 2016

Starting in 2016, we will be pairing our new leadership represented by AIA President Jean- François Champagne with your regional/local knowledge and expertise from different government offices, business intelligence agencies and other subject matter experts to offer you a new format of events. This Canada-wide series is available to AIA members to create a climate where innovating thinking can be applied to solve industry problems, addressing the development of products and services that impact your business environ- ment and bringing forward the best practices that remove ambiguity and drive results.

For more information visit

OTTAWA BLUESFEST Lebreton Flats – Ottawa, ON,Canada

July 7th-17th 2016

COUNTRY CONCERT 2016 Hickory Hill Lakes Campground – Fort Loramie, OH, USA Headlining the event are Eric Church, Dierks Bentley and Sam Hunt. This event might have a simple name, but big country fun … the Country Concert is billed as the midwest’s premier country music festival. Since 1981 they’ve been at it in Fort Loramie, Ohio. It’s three days of camping and country music and coolers are welcome! That alone makes this party unique.

July 7th-9th 2016

Over the years, Bluesfest has grown to become the landmark event of the Ottawa summer and one of the top-ten music festi- vals in the world, according to Billboard Magazine. The ongoing love affair between the Bluesfest and its fans continues to this day. Clarence Clemons took the stage in 1994 and helped kick off what would become Canada’s fastest growing outdoor music festival. Five thousand people descended on Majors Hill Park that first year, probably not realizing the tradition they were helping to create. Over the past 16 years, more than a million people have tuned in their ears and opened their hearts to some of the biggest names in the music industry. In more recent years, Bluesfest has become the Canadian version of Bonnaroo, Coachella, and/or the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival; all highly regarded tourist attractions and highly popular outdoor music festivals. The festival has grown from a one-stage, three-day event to a multi- staged, two-week music showcase featuring some of the best talent available on the planet.

For more information visit

For more information visit



CMT MUSIC FEST 2016 Bingemans – Kitchener, ON, Canada

July 8th-9th 2016

Headlining the event are Eric Church and the Zac Brown Band additional artists Kip Moore, Brothers Osborne, Drake White and Tom Cochrane will also join this lineup. Fans will get to experience the CMT lifestyle first hand and celebrate their love for country music the best way possible: with great friends, great music, in a spectacular venue. The two-day festival takes place at Bingeman’s in Ontario. It’s a country music and camping party in Kitchener.

For more information visit

CAVENDISH BEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL Cavendish Beach Music Festival Grounds – Cavendish, PEI, Canada

July 8th-10th 2016

Since 2009 country music fans have headed to the beaches of Cavendish to soak up the sun and take in the best artist Country Music has to offer locally, nationally and internationally in the resort community located 39 kilometres (24 mi) northwest of the provincial capital Charlottetown. This is an event not to be missed by any country music fan and is considered one of the best venues in Canada. Headlining the event this year are Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney and The Band Perry along with many other great country artists.

For more information visit

COUNTRY JAM USA Country Jam Festival Grounds – Eau Claire, WI, USA Headlining the event are Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean and The Band Perry plus many more additional artists. The three-day lineup once again promises to be extraordinary. Camping and hotels are options for lodging for this Wisconsin fest. It’s another huge country music party in the cheese state!

July 8th-10th 2016

MONSTER ENERGY CENTER OF GRAVITY - MECOG 2016 Kelowna’s City Park – Kelowna, BC, Canada

July 8th-10th 2016

The Okanagan’s biggest adrenaline fueled sports & music festival is back for its 9th year! Monster Energy Center of Gravity will return to the shores of Okanagan Lake and Kelowna’s City Park, July 8 – 10, 2016. Kelowna has long since been known as one of Canada’s top summer hotspots – the beautiful rolling hills filled with orchards and wineries, the warm weather, unbeatable Lake Okanagan. Monster Energy Center of Gravity (MECOG) was born on the beaches of Okanagan Lake in Kelowna, BC. The combination of action sports, professional beach volleyball, world class musical talents, and beach culture has seen great success drawing crowds of 30,000 per year.

For more information visit http://

For more information visit kelowna/info/general-info/



SUNFEST FESTIVAL Laketown Ranch Music & Recreation Park – Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada event are Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley and Dallas Smith and will also feature performances from High Valley, the Road Hammers andNealMcCoy. Vancouver Island’s premiere country music festival and for the first time the festival will be at a new venue as Sunfest 2016 moves to the 172-acre Laketown Ranch. Headlining the

THE CALGARY STAMPEDE Stampede Park – Calgary, AB, Canada

July 8th-17th 2016

July 28th-31st 2016

The Calgary Stampede is a not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. The Stampede contributes to the quality of life by promoting volunteerism, presenting a year-round slate of events, investing in youth and agricultural programs, and developing a unique western experience for the world to enjoy. At the root of the Calgary Stampede brand are the core values of western hospitality, integrity, pride of place, and commitment to the community. The Stampede is a gathering place – hosting, educating and entertaining a global audience. In true western fashion, integrity is at the heart of all our relationships. Our commitment to community is reflected in every experience and in particular by the people who bring them to life. A storied and valuable brand, the Calgary Stampede is an internationally recognized embodiment of western culture and heritage. As one of the world’s most enduring identities, it helps distinguish Calgary and Canadians through its principles and traditions.

For more information visit

For more information visit

THE 16TH ANNUAL MERRICKVILLE CAR SHOW “CRUISE & SHOP” July 10th, 2016 Downtown Merrickville - Merrickville, ON, Canada Welcome to the largest one day non- judging Car Shows in Canada and marvel at over 1200 classic cars, trucks and street rods. Enjoy live entertainment, special events, exhibits and contests that are sure to please all classic car enthusiasts. Visit over 40 quality car-related vendors, enter draws to win some amazing prizes, and be sure to support our local on-site charity food services. While in historic Merrickville, take advantage of the exceptional shopping, unique artist galleries, great food, and diverse accommodations. There’s something for everyone at the 2016 Merrickville Car Show “Cruise & Shop”.

June 10th-12th 2016 J ly 10th

BOOTS AND HEARTS MUSIC FESTIVAL Burl’s Creek Event Grounds – Oro-Medonte, ON, Canada Headlining the event are Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Dierks Bentley with Sam Hunt, Chase Rice, Emerson Drive and Cam also part of the artist lineup for the festival. Boots and Hearts Music Festival is Canada’s largest camping and country music festival of its kind ever to be hosted on Canadian soil, always featuring the biggest stars in country. The beautiful campgrounds are what keep people returning. It is a four-day celebration of country music where music lovers of all genres can escape from the rigors of daily life, band together with thousands of other country music fans and experience a once-in-a-lifetime event that they will never forget.

August 4th-7th 2016

For more information visit

For more information visit




October 21st-23rd 2016

October 21st – 23rd, 2016 Dorrigo Showgrounds – Dorrigo, NSW, Australia

We welcome old and new Festival patrons to Dorrigo Mountain for an intimate and friendly three day weekend of acoustic music. A key feature of the Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival has always been the range of instrument, vocal and band Workshops conducted by some of the top artists in their field, who pass on their knowledge, skills, experience and heritage to a new generation of folk enthusiasts. There is an extraordinary lineup of Folk, Bluegrass and Old-Time Artists from around Australia and overseas performing at this year’s Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival. For more information visit au/

PEPSI GULF COAST JAM September 2nd - 4th, 2016 Frank Brown Park – Panama City Beach, FL, USA.

September 2nd-4th 2016

Headlining the event are Brad Paisley, Jake Owen, Eric Church, Bret Eldredge, Sara Evans and The Band Perry along with many other amazing country artists. Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam is a three-day country music festival in Panama City Beach, Florida over Labor Day weekend. Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam is located in one of Florida’s most beautiful beach locations. We have festivalgoers travel from all across the United States not only for the country music but for a beach vacation as well.

For more information visit

Please contact to get your event spotlighted in our upcoming issue.



By James Barrie W hen British citizens voted to leave the European Union the clock started ticking. Brexit as it has become known signaled the begin- ning of negotiations of new trade deals and other pacts for the British government with remaining EU members. Brits have two years in which to work out deals outlining their future relationship with member countries. Formal talks will not begin until Prime Minister David Cameron steps down in October. Cameron vowed an exit vote would force his resignation. He will step aside to afford his successor full control of Britain’s exit planning. Britain’s participation in the EU never followed the full integration path. They kept their own currency and limited which EU countries had open access to the UK. Their departure is fuelled by problems with immigration and the belief that EU red tape has put a stranglehold on British businesses. Some fear this historic decision will rekindle separatist battles across Europe and in the west. Scottish residents narrowly rejected separation from Great Britain in 2014 however they voted opposite to Britain choosing to remain in the EU. It is a widely held opinion Brexit will trigger a new sovereignty vote in Scotland in the near future. Will this activity ignite the sovereignty within Quebec? During the 2015 federal election New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair opened the door by challenging then Liberal leader Justin Trudeau on repealing the Clarity Act. The Act states any referendum on Quebec separation requires a clear question and clear majority to succeed. Mulcair repeatedly challenged Trudeau to place a number on the “clear majority” requirement to which Trudeau refused. Sovereignty proponents wasted no time amplifying the debate in hopes of using it to gain momentum for their separation movement.

With a sluggish economy and large deficits forecast for his entire mandate the last thing Prime Minister Trudeau needs is another referendum. If Brexit quiets the critics with a reasonably painless execution it could very well be the tipping point for Quebec and Scottish sovereigntists to revisit sepa- ration with renewed hope. In the 1995 Quebec referendum there was a fast rise of separatist support that clouded the “No” campaign message. Many feel it took an impromptu one minute pro-unity endorsement from US President Bill Clinton to break the impasse and sway undecided voters to keep Canada united. The event paralyzed Canada’s government for months. If Brexit ignites separat- ist passions in Quebec PM Trudeau could very well find himself drawn into a battle he cannot afford to fight and also turn Ottawa’s focus away from the economy and placing it on national unity. In the months ahead Brexit will be watched closely by nationalists and separatists to see if Britain struggles or prevails.



By James Barrie I t is a new era for LinkedIn employees, as the business-ori- ented social network enters into the next phase of its life cycle as part of the Microsoft family. In a recent announce- ment, Microsoft revealed that it had acquired LinkedIn. It is not business as usual lately for the staff at LinkedIn. The business social media giant is now a member of the Microsoft Empire. The company will maintain its popular brand, culture and autonomy. The CEO Jeff Weiner will also remain in his current position. Microsoft paid $196 per share in an all cash transaction which totaled $26.2 billion to buy the growing company in hopes of synergiz- ing its efforts with Microsoft’s. Satya Nadella who is the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft proclaimed “the LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals. Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.” This purchase was not hostile. The co- founder and chairman of LinkedIn’s board Reid Hoffman supported the move. CEO Weiner was also pleased with the purchase. Nadella told employees of LinkedIn “This deal is the next step forward for Office 365 and Dynamics as they connect to the world’s largest and most valuable professional network.” The social media business engine has over 400 million users globally and gets well over one million distinctive visiting members every month. As a recruit- ment service LinkedIn boasts over 7 million employment opportunities on their site. CEO Weiner praised the deal in saying “just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works.” Weiner sees this as a new era for LinkedIn adding “for the last 13 years, we’ve been uniquely positioned to connect profession- als to make them more productive and successful, and I’m looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story.” Hoffman praised the board for making the decision and called the deal a “re-founding” moment for his company and expressed optimism in saying “I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business,” Nadella assured staff that there will be not be any imme- diate changes to LinkedIn’s organization.

The $26.2 billion transaction is estimated to be complet- ed by the end of this year.





By 1970 she was ready for a new one and leased an additional car for each of her top five earners. Thus the pink car sales incentive began.

By James Barrie M ary Kay Ash is one of the most successful female entrepreneurs of all time. Her cosmetics empire, started in Texas, has grown globally to become the sixth largest direct sales company in the world with annual sales of close to three billion dollars. Kay, who passed away in 2001, was replaced at the helm of the global giant in 1996 by her son Richard Rogers. Before doing so, she left her mark on the world in many ways including the marketing genius of furnishing her top per- formers with pink Cadillacs for their efforts. Elvis Presley drove one. Bruce Springsteen sang about them. However, it was Mary Kay that made pink Cadillacs iconic. What is not as well known is that they were almost Lincolns. In 1967 Kay had four years of success corpo- rate to celebrate. Her husband Mel and her decided she should mark the milestone with a new car that suited the image of her business. Kay went to the local Lincoln dealership in Dallas. After much thought, Kay decided she wanted her car to be a powdery pink color. The salesman that approached Kay and made a huge mistake, for himself and for the Lincoln brand that historic day, as he suggested Kay should go home and get her husband and when he came back they could get her into the Lincoln she wanted. Kay recalls that she did not even have time to open her compact and let the man see the color she wanted the car painted, before she was more or less dismissed out of the showroom. That story has become a legendary tale within the organization told numerous times through- out the decades. Kay took the high road and dropped the Lincoln brand from the account over the years. She knew it was an irrelevant detail. It was not the first time Kay faced sexist roadblocks in her life. She started her legendary journey to the top of the cosmet- ics world by leaving an employer of 25 years because a lessor qualified male candidate she trained was promoted instead of her. Kay left the Lincoln salesman and made her way to a Cadillac dealership. The experience was much different. She chose a 1968 Sedan de Villes painted Mountain Laurel pink which was a GM color brought out of retirement just for her. Her sales directors liked the idea so much they

bought matching rides. By 1970 she was ready for a new one and leased an additional car for each of her top five earners. Thus the pink car sales incentive began. At last count over one hundred thousand cars have been produced for Mary Kay. The units are leased for 2 years. Today’s drivers have a choice of a CTS or top choice SRX. The company still rewards associates with lower sales with cars. There are BMWs and Chevrolets up for grabs but they are not pink. For a brief period of time the Ford Mustang was a part of the program. Cadillac has not mirrored the success of Mary Kay globally and thus different cars are awarded in other sales markets. In Europe and China the prize is a Mercedes-Benz. In Aus- tralia associates get an Opel convertible. In Russia May Kay leases Ford Mondeos and Brazilians receive a Honda Civic. Each one is unquestionably still pink. Over time many ask if the Lincoln story is a myth or some sort of motivational sales mantra. The tale is repeated continuously within the organization and given the sexism that was rampant in the sixties, along with Kay’s own personal experience; it serves as a valuable reminder. Associates are taught that good customer service has the power to change the course of history. As far as the Elvis Presley or Bruce Springsteen connec- tion, there is none, well not to Mary Kay, but definitely to a Pink Cadillac. In early 1955, Elvis bought his first Cadillac, a 1954 Fleet- wood Series 60, which was the color pink. “Baby, Let’s Play House” was The King’s first recorded song to appear on a national chart and in the song Elvis made mention of a Pink Cadillac. Bruce Springsteen released the song, Pink Cadillac, as a “B” side track (a necessity in the days of 45s) to Dancing in the Dark and ironically it received a large amount of airplay prompting it to be played at his live performances. The lyrics used car travel as a representation of romantic activity. In what some say was a sexist move, Springsteen blocked Bette Medler from releasing a version in 1983. In a move that would inspire Kay herself, Natalie Cole suc- ceeded in releasing the song in 1988 and her success with the song eclipsed all previous versions including Springsteen’s.



By James Barrie

“The e-commerce train has left the station, and not just in Canada, but globally.”



H ave you ever felt cheated by purchasing online from Canada what appeared to be a “great bargain” on a website like,, overstock. com or another American retailer? The $50 (USD) sweet deal was a $110 reality check when your ordered item finally arrived. Don’t feel bad, you are not the only one, and as a Canadian consumer the entire deck is stacked against you and surprise, it is primarily the Canadian gov- ernment doing it. Did you know that if the item you order from a US website is shipped and is over $20 (CDN) Customs can stop it, open it, put a hold on it, add federal and provincial sales taxes, and depending on the origin of the goods impose duty charges? Well it is true and Ottawa’s protectionist policies have influenced US merchants to stop shipping to Canada. US retailers are reporting that the red tape and paper-work has made sending parcels to the customers north of the border more trouble than it is worth. A recent economic study found this exclusionary policy is actually costing Canadian taxpayers real money, out of both your wallet and paycheck. Ottawa spends an average of $166 million implementing these border controls and collects $39 million in taxes and duties. So as taxpayers we cover the other $127 million. In this recent economic study commissioned by eBay, who by the way has been lobbying for years to have that $20 minimum limit raised to a more sensible number. The limit that is known as “de minimus” in the commerce world was reviewed. The study uncovered that Canada has the lowest “de minimus” in the developed world, and we think that Trump wants to protest the US borders. Look at our consumers to the south, as the US retail market consumer enjoys maximum product selection, lowers taxes, free shipping and an $800 de minimus. This limit was recently raised by hundreds of dollars in the US while Canada’s hasn’t changed theirs since 1985, so who is pro- testing borders now. Ottawa is under siege by eBay and similar merchandis- ers, shippers, Canadian businesses, and consumers to address the discrepancy. Proponents suggest that the “de minimus” level needs to immediately increase to $200 and keep pace with that of the United States. So far though, the Canadian government isn’t listening, and is not making any changes to open the borders up to make online shopping any different than it is today. Of course not everyone supports this move to make US online goodsmore accessible. TheCanadian Retail Council and most customs brokers want the level to remain where it is. The Council has gone so far as to distribute a pre- scripted letter to its members urging them to send a copy to their Member of Parliament. Their motivation is nothing more than their own economic safety and security with hungry American merchants looking for new territory and

a greater share of the North America market. The Retail Council cites an apparent unfairness with tax collection for its members as a reason they oppose changes. They say their supporters are forced to administer the tax collection process for Federal and Provincial governments while US merchants are excused, but we ask would that not be the same for US consumers buying goods from Canada, but their government does not think that it is such a big issue in today’s global market place. Karl Littler, spokesperson for the Retail Council, says that raising de minimus “would create an automatic 12.3 percent tax disadvantage for our members.” Littler goes on to say that once the door is opened to American online sellers they would expand their “free shipping” policy to Canada causing US sales totals to grow “exponentially.” Canadian retailers who create approximately 2 million jobs in Canada would be in jeopardy of laying off employ- ees with a change in de minimus according to Littler. Christine McDaniel, as chief economist at Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, says Ottawa must look long term. McDaniel suggests any savings on duties and taxes for buyers would create growth within Canada in the long run. McDaniel argues Canadian retailers might need to sharpen their competition skills forcing businesses to be more productive. McDaniel adds it would also smooth commerce between two important trade partners. Online shopping should be no different than crossing the border in person to shop. Today if Canadians travel to the US their de minimus is $200 for 24 hours and $800 after two days. It can also be argued Canadians living a con- siderable distance from the US border to consider a cross border shopping trip are being unfairly penalized with only having the $20 limit for shipping goods from the US. Plus look at the impact these trips can have on dispos- able income when Canadian make the shopping migra- tion to the US as money spent on accommodations and food could be going to increased purchases on Canadian product at home. The ugly truth is Canada wants to maintain a protectionist border system to discourage cross border buying and it is con- sumers that are being told to pay the price not the industry. Canadian Treasury Board President, Scott Brison recently hinted at change when he said “the e-commerce train has left the station, and not just in Canada, but globally.” However, that may just be political jargon as the very threat of job losses in any sector makes governments panic. The powerful forces that control our markets have made it clear fierce competition, low prices and smaller taxes aren’t welcome. So I guess Trump isn’t the only one in government looking to put up walls or at least not looking to break them down.



By Katie Davis T he majority Brexit referendum vote shook up markets and lowered growth forecasts for Britain and, to a lesser degree, the other 27 members of the European Union (EU). Economists say that means central banks are now going to be forced to keep their massive stimulus efforts in place for even longer than predicted to help keep the global economy afloat, something that they have been doing since the 2008 financial crisis. Some economic experts are also saying that many gov- ernment’s central banks may have to look to new stimulus packages to keep their economies moving in a positive direction and this may include additional interest rate cuts. While others say that lower interest rates are just masking the problem and creating bubbles in financial markets Britain’s was not the only one affected by the Brexit as the reaction of Britain’s vote will impact governments and fiscal policy all around the world.

Do not get us wrong, the sky is not falling and this is nothing like the economic shock wave that followed the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Bros. in 2008, which caused credit markets to freeze and central banks had to step up with aggressive measure to keep the finan- cial system functioning. Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank had this to say about the Brexit vote, “It is a significant re-pricing, but financial markets are not seizing up.” So central banks aren’t likely to offer big amounts of emer- gency stimulus very soon for a couple of reasons. First being, that many governments have injected or are currently injecting massive amounts of stimulus money into their economies. The European Central Bank (ECB) has cut its main interest rate to zero and is pouring almost 2 trillion dollars (1.74 trillion euros) into the banking system by purchasing government and corporate bonds with newly printed money. This follows similar moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve and




The Bank of England which have moved forward with similar stimulus programs and cut rates to or near zero.

As would be expected Britain will take the brunt of the economic fallout from its exit from the EU. Business investment is expected to suffer as the country is forced to redefine its trade relationship with its biggest export market, the EU, where it currently enjoys free trade. There has been much talk and speculation that many businesses could leave Britain or move production to others coun- tries within the EU and now that the Brexit vote compa- nies have to weigh their options which is causing much uncertainly in the marketplace. Britain’s was not the only one affected by the Brexit as the reaction of Britain’s vote will impact governments and fiscal policy all around the world. It was expected by some analysts that The Bank of England would increase its benchmark interest rate this year. However, given the Brexit outcome, Britain may be forced to cut rates and some even think it could have to start injecting new money into its economy again. Looking at the United States, the expectation had been that the Feds would raise rates twice this year, with the first increase occurring in July. Given the recent stumble on the market and the impact that Brexit is having on global markets, economists are now saying that a rate increase is very unlikely for the rest of 2016. The US government is not only concerned about stock market volatility, but other fallouts from the British vote, including a further rise in the value of the dollar which could hurt U.S. exports and further slow the American economy and falling oil prices which could worsen the slowdown in the U.S. energy sector. Many economists have lowered their U.S. growth fore- casts this year by as much as a half-point, now predicting the U.S. economy will likely manage growth of perhaps 1.9 per cent this year, with further weakness in 2017. Many are asking what will be the long term impact as central banks appear ready to keep rates lower for much longer than expected. The Bank for International Settle- ments, which is a forum for the world’s central banks, has warned that the effectiveness of low rates diminishes and risk adverse side effects increase the longer interest rates are kept low. It is easy to see why the world was watching Britain this past month and history will tell us whether the correct decision was made, the unfortunate part is that there is more than just the British economy at stake.


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By James Barrie B lackberry threw everything they have into their very first Android phone and came up a little short. The Priv has posted disappointing sales but company CEO, John Chen is not exiting the hardware business. Blackberry, once the King of high tech stocks, reported a $670 million US net loss for the latest financial quarter. Chen said despite that he is confident it won’t derail Blackberry’s recovery plan which he says is on track for the rest of the year.



Chen has declared that profitability within the crucial smartphone hardware business is the top priority for this year. With a poor first quarter he is sounding the call to duty for the company’s new mobility solutions division where he expects to break even or better later this year. Their hedging all bets on enhancing sales with new distri- bution channels along with a software licensing service. The besieged CEO told analysts on the company’s market call “I really, really believe that we couldmakemoney out of it... out of our device business.” Some seriously question that mindset. This last quarter, the second quarter the Priv has been sold, Blackberry collected $152 million US of revenue and ended with a $21 million US net loss. The trend is downward for devices sales. Blackberry managed nearly 500,000 devices sold at just under $300 per unit. Those sales figures are off by 100,000 devices from the previous quarter and twice that amount from two quarters ago. The company’s own finan- cial reports to the market stated that with a $300 per device price Blackberry needs to sell about 3 million units to break even.

and see approach with Blackberry stock for some time. The company had positive news with operating profits in its other two business units: $37 million US from software and services, and $78 million US from service access fees. Analysts estimate a 33-cent per share loss this fiscal year but Blackberry says that number will be more like 15 cents.

“I really, really believe that we could make money out of it... out of our device business.”

Blackberry took some heavy hits recently totaling a per share loss of $1.28 US. That included a half billion dollar US write down of smartphone assets. If you exclude all the extraordinary accounting items like write downs and restructuring, Blackberry was only $1 million US away from breaking even which surpasses analyst’s expectations.

The trend is downward for devices sales

Chen said the Priv has sold poorly because it is just too expensive for all but top level executives. To counteract this weakness Blackberry plans to introduce two mid-range Android phones before the end of the fiscal year. Chen said he would provide the spe- cifics on these devices next month.

The hard working CEO has suggest- ed in the past that the company will abandon device manufac- turing and sales if the division

cannot operate at a profit. Chen believes devices will turn a profit but he isn’t putting all his eggs in one basket. BlackBerry will start to license some of

its device software to improve growth and profitability. Chen said the software licensing plan could help make a depar- ture from devices smoother if the time comes.

Analysts have had a wait



The company, which owns the Ralphs, Smith’s and Food 4 Less grocery chains, saw first-quarter sales, excluding fuel increase 2.4 percent. These increases were for stores open for more than a year without expansion or reloca- tion and although the growth was a good sign it was slightly below analysts’ average estimate of an expected 2.5 percent increase. Total operating expenses, excluding fuel and Roundy’s which was acquired by Kroger in 2015, fell 4 basis points as a percent of sales compared to the last year. Net income attributable to Kroger rose about 10 percent to $680 million, or 70 cents per share, in the first quarter with total sales increasing 4.7% to $34.60 billion USD.

By James Barrie T he Kroger Company, which is an American retailer founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 and as of 2015 was listed as the largest U.S. supermarket operator by revenue and store count, reported a better-than-expect- ed rise in quarterly profit as costs fell.



By Katie Davis B rowns Shoes is a family-owned business, founded in 1940 in Montreal by Benjamin Brownstein. The company is now a third-generation run business with its stores feature designer brands as well as in-house brands includingMimosa, Browns Couture, TheWishbone Collection, Luca Del Forte, Intensi and B2. Montreal-based multi-brand footwear retailer announced that it will continue to expand throughout Canada over the next several years, which is something to get excited about for consumer and market analysts. Brown Shoes, is an amazing Canadian business success story, with the brand now operat- ing stores coast-to-coast from Vancouver to Halifax. At a time when a lot of retailers, like Staples are downsiz- ing their brick and mortar operations it is great to see that Browns Shoes is seeking management and other staff as part of its expansion which, according to a company rep-

resentative, could see more than 25 stores open between now and the year 2020.

Browns Shoes already operates 55 stores in Canada, including 43 Browns stores, seven B2 by Browns stores, and five Browns Outlets. According to Vice President of Sales, David Brownstein the company will open between 8 and 10 Canadian loca- tions in 2016 with an eye on the Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver markets. Brownstein did not reveal exact locations, as a number of sites are still under negotiation. Brownstein further revealed that the company will open between four and six new Canadian locations each year in the years 2017 to 2020. This is great news for shoppers and job seekers alike.



By James Barrie A bout 700 small business owners participated in the survey in May the results show that US small business confidence edged up but there are growing concerns about weak sales growth, which are hurting businesses willing to spend on capital goods and inventory investment. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released that its small business optimism index rose 0.2 points to a reading of 93.8 last month. Although it was the second straight monthly increase in the index, it remained well below the 42 year average of 98. Worries about weak sales numbers ranked high among small business owners. 14 percent of owners said weak sales were their main business problem, up 3 points from April survey. The share of owners reporting an increase in sales in the past three months unfortunately fell 2 percentage points compared to the prior quarter. The share of owners expecting higher sales was unchanged showing that business owners are remaining very cautious.

Given the pessimism over sales, businesses remained hesitant to increase inventory. There was a decline in the share of owners reporting an increase in inventory as well as those planning to build stocks. “These weak inventory investment readings are consistent with the rather poor performance of consumer spending in the first quarter, leaving owners with excessive stocks and no incentive to add to them,” said the NFIB. 58 percent of small business owners reported capital investment, down 2 points from April. The share of owners planning capital spending in the next 3 to 6 months also fell 2 points. Hiring continues to be a pain point as small businesses continued to report difficulties finding qualified workers for open positions. 56 percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire, up 3 points, but 48 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. While the share of all owners saying they had job openings they could not fill fell two points, it remained at higher levels. 15 percent of owners reported using temporary workers, up 2 points from April and 5 points from March.

“Overall, it appears that labor markets are tightening,” the NFIB said.



By Katie Davis R evlon has announced that it is opening up their purse and buying Elizabeth Arden, a deal uniting two giant names in the world of beauty and cosmetics, for about $420 million in cash. The companies say the total amount of the deal is $870 million when you include assumed debt with the purchase. Company founder Elizabeth Arden opened her first Red Door salon on New York’s Fifth Avenue in 1910. The company now based in Miramar, Florida, sells skin-care and fragrance products in 120 countries. It was in the midst of trying to turn its business around and posted a loss of $28.4 million on revenue of $191.9 million in its most recent quarter.

The New York company is paying $14 for each Elizabeth Arden share, a premium of 50 percent over their closing price on the previous day of trading. Revlon said they expect the deal to close this year and that the combined company will benefit from having a presence in more markets worldwide and expects savings of about $140 million from the combination.

Revlon was founded in 1932 with the launch of nail enamel. It posted a first- quarter profit of $11 million on sales of $439.6 million.

News of the purchase surged Arden shares up 49 percent, while Revlon’s stock gained more than 6 percent, a sign that the purchase was liked by the market and seen as a good fit for both brands.



By James Barrie H ow things change in a month as thought to be tag team partners now go head to head for back-to-school supremacy. I am not sure if it will be the most wonderful time of the year for either Office Depot or Staples as the nation’s two biggest office supply retailers battle it out during their busiest sales periods of the year. Staples, the larger of the two competitors, threw the proverbial first punch announcing that it will offer same-day delivery in several major markets for a fee of $14.99. Office Depot answered by going into a hiringmode and said that it will hire over 30 percent more U.S. workers this summer, which is great for those looking for work, focusing on customer service for teachers, students and parents during the back-to-school season. Office Depot’s strategy will add an additional 2,000 staff compared to last summer and push total new hires to over 8,000 looking to show strength in numbers to capture sales. In a recent interview Lynn Gross, Office Depot’s VP of Human Resources for Retail said, “This is our big season, the back-to-school season, so this is when we do the most of our seasonal hiring,” not confirm- ing that this year’s staffing increase was related to the failed merger but Gross did say, “I think, it is a sign that we are moving forward as a stand-alone company and focused on providing superior customer service.”

Gross said most of the summer hires will assist with in-store needs such as stocking shelves, helping custom- ers and working the checkout register. The retailer is also putting a big emphasis on its buy online, pick up in store service, so the hires will also help with those needs.

Other than its same-day delivery for $14.99, Staples has been close lipped about its back-to-school plans

Since a May court ruling declared Office Depot and Staples’ merger a no contest, analysts have questioned whether both could continue to exist as stand-alone com- panies. Staples management was quick to respond, laying out its plan for growth, which included closing more of its North America stores and ramping up its offerings for businesses, but that plan was staggered by a powerful uppercut when Staples CEO, Ron Sargent resigned, stating a need for new leadership in the Staples’ corner Office Depot management has offered few details regard- ing its strategies other than it is hiring consulting firm Bain & Co. to assist with identifying strategic alternatives like a $100 million stock repurchase program. We do know that as these two heavy weights battle it out for back-to-school supremacy; As Amazon continues to bulk up and go after marketing share in an attempt to deliver a knockout punch to both competitors.

Okay back-to-school shoppers, let’s get ready to rumble.



By Katie Davis O n the heels of recent protests by workers from the fast food, home care and child care industries demanding a nationwide increase of the minimum wage to $15-an-hour. The International Monetary Fund is downgrading its forecast for the US economy this year. The IMP supports what protesters are saying and recom- mends that the US should raise the minimum wage to help the poor and offer paid maternity leave to encour- age more women to work. In the IMF’s annual checkup of the US economy, it predicts 2.2 percent growth this year, down from 2.4 percent in 2015, and lower than the 2.4 percent growth that it fore- casted in April for the US economy.

IMF’s Managing Director, Christine Lagarde was quick to note that low unemployment and strong hiring over the past year shows that “the US economy is in good shape.” The US economy got off to a slow start this year as a strong dollar hurt exporters by making their goods costlier overseas, which is also a looming concern with the recent Brexit vote and investors back the US currency.

Reduced Energy sector spending has also dampened the US economy as spending is cut due to low oil prices.

The unfortunate part of an increased minimum wage results in increase cost to the consumer as companies are unable or unwilling to absorb these increased costs which in most cases puts you back at ground zero.



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