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December/January 2013



The Centre Mall Renovations, new anchor stores assure a bright future at Circle and 8th

Beyond Borders Immigrant Entrepreneurs as a Succession Strategy

Is Saskatoon Experiencing a housing bubble?

Also inside: Member updates, Business News, and Events David Bubnick, Manager of The Centre Mall in Saskatoon

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201-1st Avenue South, Saskatoon SK 306.653.8844

BUSINESS View December/January 2013

Featured Articles

5 13

The Centre Mall

Renovations, new anchor stores assure a bright future at Circle and 8th

Business Property Taxes in Saskatoon Making Saskatoon a more attractive place for investment

18 Some of the staff behind the scenes at The Centre Mall: (Left to Right) Dave Bubnick - Manager, Donna Wruck – Accounting Administrator, Judy Quesnell – Administrative Assistant, Bob Johnson – Operations Manager. Photo: Grant Romancia


Beyond Borders

Immigrant Entrepreneurs as a succession strategy

Is Saskatoon Experiencing a Housing Bubble?

Promotional Features

21 BUSINESS View­is a bimonthly publication of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce 104-202 4th Avenue North, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0K1 Phone: (306) 244-2151 Fax: (306) 244-8366 Email: Website: Twitter: @stoonchamber Reproduction of any material contained in Business View is permitted provided credit is given to the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce. Articles and criticisms are invited, but views expressed in Business View are those of contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by, or are policy of, the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce. We encourage you to support the business leaders whose names and products you see advertised in this issue as well as throughout our entire membership. The Board reserves the right to edit submissions.

BUSINESS View­ December/January 2013

2 Web Design

The Chamber

Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce Building the Best Business Climate in Canada, Thereby Creating a City of Opportunity


Cover image by Grant Romancia

Kent Smith-Windsor, Executive Director Derek Crang, Membership & Marketing Director Terry Lawrence, Administration Roz Macala, Executive Secretary Breanne Lishchynsky, Director of Operations Linda Saunders, Bookkeeper Kevin Meldrum, Director of Communications Kayla Brien, Special Projects and Research Officer



Entrepreneurs building the new Saskatoon


hile doing your holiday shopping and celebrating this year, you can’t help but notice how many more fun, edgy and new options there are to enjoy here in Saskatoon. In recent years we’ve seen a virtual explosion of high-end fashion boutiques, chic interior design shops, cosmopolitan restaurants and alternative coffee shops here in the city. And it hasn’t happened by accident. Saskatoon is home to a set of new entrepreneurs who make launching a successful business look easy. They are putting in the 60- and 70-hour weeks, and are having a blast doing it. With the local economy booming, they are willing to take the risks. All around them they see their peers succeeding, and constantly encourage one another to take the leap. They feel like everyone is rooting for them, and thoughts of failure rarely enter the picture.

They work to live, and they do what they enjoy. They’re not depending on employers to provide the lifestyle they want. Instead of doing it all themselves, they’re building teams and getting mentors. When they can’t do it themselves – like marketing or website design – they seek outside expertise, and are willing to pay for it. When these new entrepreneurs take the big risks and succeed, it raises the quality of life of everyone in our community. Saskatoon is no longer just a remote provincial farming city that’s 20 years behind Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal. The scarcity mentality and risk aversion that we struggled with for so many years is gone, and the world is taking notice. Along with the many local firms, retailers, and restaurants we have also seen a number of large global retailers choose to set up flagship stores here in Saskatoon.

It’s because of what we ourselves are building here in Saskatoon that they came. So support these new businesses that – though their innovation – are bringing an exciting new-and-improved quality of life to our city. And if you have an idea whose time has come, move boldly ahead and join the new entrepreneurial class. Have a happy and safe holiday season. Tracy Arno is president and founder of Essence Recruitment, and currently the President of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce


2013-14 Board of Directors Barry Berglund Lawson Heights Pentecostal Assembly Kristy Rempel Saskatoon Community Foundation

Gerry Bonsal Individual Member

Debby Criddle Synergos Management

Kelly Bode WMCZ Lawyers - Mediators

President: Tracy Arno Essence Recruitment

1 Vice-President: Tony Van Burgsteden AREVA Resources Canada Inc. st


Rich Gabruch Gabruch Legal Group

Karl Miller Meridian Development

2nd Vice-President: Tanya Knight MNP LLP

Jason Yochim Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®

Sanj Singh AdeTherapeutics Inc.

Ainsley Robertson Golden Opportunities Fund Inc.

Chris Woodland MacPherson, Leslie & Tyerman LLP

Past President: Christian Braid Braid Flooring & Window Fashion

December/January 2013

Executive Governance Chair: Silvia Martini Interlink Research Inc.

BUSINESS View­­­ ­


The Centre Mall evolving into a retail leader Renovations, new anchor stores assure a bright future at Circle and 8th By Jeff Davis


ith major new renovations on the way, a location to die for, and a handful of key new consumer draws like Target, the future is looking pretty rosy for Saskatoon’s Centre Mall. The local economy is riding high and Saskatoon has caught the attention of the world’s major retailers. In years past major companies wrote Saskatoon off as too small a market, but things have changed. “National retailers are certainly eyeing the market,” says The Centre Mall’s manager Dave Bubnick. “With our economy and the population growth, they are looking to Saskatoon for the growth of their companies.” In the past few years, anchor tenants like Best Buy, Bath & Body Works and Indigo have set up shop at the Centre Mall. Unique to the city and region, these stores are drawing healthy interest from local shoppers, “We’re finding that, in the past, people would take a run to Edmonton for a lot of the stores we don’t have here in the province,” Bubnick says. “Now we’re seeing those stores in Saskatchewan.” The Centre Mall went through a major evolution in 1995, when the Circle Park Mall and the Wildwood Mall were connected with a pedway. This merged shopping centre was renamed The Centre at Circle and Eighth, and is now being rebranded simply “The Centre.” Nearly 20 years later, Bubnick says the 500,000 sq.ft. mall is due for a complete inside-and-out renovation. “The finishes do become dated over time,” he says. Work will begin soon to install two new main pylon signs to catch the attention of passing traffic. Next the whole building will receive a coat of paint, new entry ways and lit entrance signs.

“The exterior will have a totally new look,” Bubnick says. In the coming years, once exterior upgrades are complete, work on the interior will begin. New flooring tile will be installed everywhere and bathrooms will be overhauled. New furniture, garbage cans and updated finishes will complete the new look. Keith Webb, vice president of Colliers International here in Saskatoon, is one of the leading realtors in the local retail market. He said retail is the hottest segment of the city’s real estate market, and will remain so for the next five to ten years. The Centre Mall is smart to go ahead with a major face lift, Webb said, predicting the renovations could attract a higher end New tenants and an updated look have drawn stores and shoppers. customers to The Centre. (Mall Manager Dave Bubnick.) Photo: Grant Romancia “Good height of ceilings, lots of glass second-run films, will help get people and good parking – those are what tenants are looking for,” in the doors and into small independent Webb says. The Centre Mall’s location shops. near two of the city’s highest traffic “They’ve got a great mix of national roads – Circle Drive and 8th Street – is an enviable one, Webb says, with tens of tenancies,” he says. “And you’ve got thousands of cars passing by each day. traffic from all directions.”Professor of retail economics David Williams, The arrival of anchor stores like who teaches at the Edwards School of Target and solid longtime tenants like Business, said demand for retail space the Rainbow Cinema, which shows is high today, and across the city retail Continued on Page 6

BUSINESS View­ December/January 2013


COVER STORY “The Centre Mall“ Continued from Page 5 vacancy rates are near record lows. Williams said trends are changing for malls today, and department stores like The Bay are not drawing the crowds they used to. Meanwhile, shopping is slowly shifting online, especially for young tech-savvy consumers. “If you’re a teenager you used to hang out at the mall,” he says. “That doesn’t happen now to such an extent.” Williams calls the Centre Mall “a sleeping giant” in the local retail scene, and says the arrival of anchors like Target are now rejuvenating the mall. “The anchors change the dynamics,” he says. “Target is a draw because it is affordable stuff you might need.” Webb says improvements to the Saskatoon shopping experience are making locals think twice about driving long distances to spend their bucks. “The better the quality of the retailers that come to the province, the less likely the consumer will leave Saskatchewan to shop in Alberta or Manitoba or America,” Webb says. Due in large part to Saskatoon’s relatively small population, many major national retailers have passed over Saskatoon in favour of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and a handful of other secondary markets. But these days Saskatchewan residents have cash in hand, and major chains are noticing, despite populations numbers remaining fairly low. “Saskatoon and Regina have sort of moved up from the third- or fourth-tier to probably the second tier,” Webb says. “The biggest reason retailers want to come here is the disposable income that’s available and the spending power the economy has.”

(Left to Right) Dave Bubnick - Manager, Donna Wruck – Accounting Administrator, Judy Quesnell – Administrative Assistant, Bob Johnson – Operations Manager. Photo: Grant Romancia

typically five years.” Kiosks can be rented for as short as eight weeks, Bubnick says, and are great for the holiday period, especially if you have a seasonal product or an ideal stocking stuffer. Williams says that while the higher rent costs of prominent mall positions can be intimidating for entrepreneurs, the increased visibility and higher walk-by traffic is often worth it. “Expensive rent can still be the cheapest form of advertising,” he says. Paying close attention to the neighbouring stores is also essential, Webb says.

In the not-so-distant future coveted national retailers like MEC, H&M, Forever21 and Aritzia could set up shop in Saskatoon, Webb says. And it may be hard for some people to fathom, Webb says, but luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Coach may not be that far behind.

Undesirable stores nearby can drive away customers, he says, while attractive stores can have a spillover effect. And though it may seem counterintuitive, choosing a place that’s close to similar shops – even direct competitors – can give you a bump by creating a destination for certain segments of shoppers.

“I really, really believe retail in Saskatchewan is about to come alive,” he says. “It’s not there yet, but its percolating and I believe in five years people are going to think ‘I can’t believe we’ve come this far.’”

“You want to go where there are similar types of business to you,” Webb says. “You want to have something that causes some synergy for you.”

So what should you be consider before opening your own retail location in a mall? It’s prudent to take it step by step, Bubnick says, and test the retail waters with a temporary occupancy lease. Leases as short as one year are available, and offer an easy way out if your business tanks. “A short-term agreement allows people to test the market, their product, and tweak their business,” he says. “If they’re doing well, we look into a longer term lease agreement –


The Centre

3510 8th Street East Saskatoon, SK (306) 955-6611 From now until December 23rd The Centre’s extended hours are: Monday - Saturday 9:30am to 9pm Sunday - 11am to 5pm

December/January 2013

BUSINESS View­­­ ­


Letter from a Chamber Member (Originally in response to a Letter to the Editor in The Star Phoenix, Saturday Oct. 19th, 2013 - “Enough Handouts”)

us – everyday we have to earn the trust and support of our clients.

In response to Mr. Smith’s comments about business My experience tells me that our business is not the property taxes I would like to provide the following exception. Most business people I know are staunch clarification based on my own experience as a business owner supporters of our community and they truly want to make in this city: a positive difference in it. We get no special treatment from the city in return. Our front street was finally swept clean of • Our business pays over $13,000 a year in city taxes. (4 dust and sand in August of this year. Several major potholes times my residential taxes) were finally fixed shortly after that – after my neighbor and • We pay a surcharge on our water and sewer even though I called the city a number of times. we invested in water sumps and we pay another $1200 to $1500 a year to have a local firm pump those out. Every businessperson takes a chance and goes into business • We buy a business licence to operate in the city of in faith that they will succeed – there are no guarantees, lots Saskatoon. don’t make it. Those that do and are successful should be • We collect and pay over $30,000 a month to three levels commended and thanked for stepping out and creating new of government. opportunities for wealth creation in community. • We pay almost $4000 a year to dispose of our garbage and handle our re-cycling. Business ownership is, in my opinion, one of the highest • We budget and spend up to 10% of our profits on local callings and I believe it should be promoted rather than made charities. to appear outrageous or greedy. It is far from that. • We pay a premium for electricity and natural gas. • We provide jobs for 15 people and support their families Tom Bissonnette in any way we can. Parr Auto Body • We provide a needed and valuable service to the citizens of Saskatoon with no guarantee that they will choose

We’re here to help

The Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce proudly sponsors the 7th Annual

Jingle Bell Lunch in support of Junior Achievement Thursday, December 12th, 2013 The Travelodge Hotel

Tickets and info:

BUSINESS View­ December/January 2013

TO ORDER VISIT SELECT your survey(s) DOWNLOAD results

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New Legislation Protects Foreign Workers The Government of Saskatchewan has introduced new legislation to ensure Saskatchewan continues to be a destination of choice for immigrants seeking a good place to live and work. The Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act, proclaimed October 11, 2013, protects foreign workers from exploitation and mistreatment during the immigration and recruitment process. Employers also benefit from greater transparency in services provided by recruiters and immigration consultants. Under the Act, recruiters and immigration consultants must be licensed by the Government of Saskatchewan before providing services to Saskatchewan employers or immigrants moving to the province. Both employers and foreign workers must give their signed consent in advance to all services and fees. Only employers pay costs associated with recruitment. Neither recruiters nor employers can charge recruitment fees to foreign workers.

As of November 12, 2013, Saskatchewan employers are required to register with the provincial government before making a job offer to a foreign worker – whether through a federal or provincial immigration program. There is no cost, and the registration remains valid for up to two years. Employers already registered through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program are automatically registered under the new Act. Providing better protection for foreign workers means more skilled immigrants will come here to live and work. That’s good for employers and good for our growing economy. For more information on the Act and how to register, go to or email

BUSINESS NEWS Immigrant Access Fund of Saskatchewan helps newcomers with the high costs of credentials


nurse cleaning hospital rooms, an engineer driving a taxicab, a teacher stocking shelves. Have you heard stories like this?

Many immigrants to Canada and Saskatchewan bring a wealth of knowledge and experience with them, but do not have the Canadian credentials to gain meaningful employment in their fields in Canada. Immigrant Access Fund of Saskatchewan (IAF) is working to change that. IAF offers low-interest, term micro loans of $10,000 or less to immigrants who need funds for licensing exams, training, books and course materials, travel for exams, license and professional association fees, living expenses and other related costs, including English language proficiency, in order to work in their pre-migration trades and professions. "It was a huge advantage in terms of cushioning expenses for registration of exams and some certification courses," said one recipient now in a senior medical position. "The IAF loan made it possible." Unlike a bank loan, IAF micro loans are based on character and commitment, not collateral and credit rating which many newcomers have not yet acquired in Canada. IAF micro loans are funded through charitable donations, a line of credit for


loan capital which is secured by personal guarantees signed by community leaders and government grants. IAF loan recipients are highly motivated to pay back this generosity. According to IAF Alberta, which has operated for ten years, 97 percent of micro loan recipients met their repayment requirements. IAF Saskatchewan opened its doors in Saskatoon in February 2012 and in Regina in June 2012. In its first 20 months of operation, IAF Saskatchewan provided micro loans to 110 recipients, an average loan of $6,820 for a total of $750,240. These immigrants came from 26 countries of origin and live in 12 different communities across our province. For more information about the IAF micro loan program, to make a donation or participate in the line of credit guarantee, or to apply for an immigrant micro loan in Saskatchewan, please call 1-855-423-2262 and visit the website of



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Business property taxes in Saskatoon

Making Saskatoon a more attractive place for investment By Kent Smith-Windsor


t the last reassessment in April, your Chamber asked Saskatoon City Council to reduce the City’s business property tax surcharge from 175% of residential rates to 143% of residential rates over an extended time frame (16 years). Under this proposal, businesses would continue to pay more property tax than residents for every dollar of property value, however the gap between the two would be narrowed. This is the rate recommended by the Canada West Foundation as a sound tax policy for our City. Reducing this tax premium will keep Saskatoon growing over time by attracting additional business investment to our city. City Council delayed their decision until October of this year at which time we asked City Council and they agreed to defer this decision to the next reassessment. Aligning these policy changes to the assessment cycle is needed so residents wouldn’t face a tax increase from this policy change. By growing the business property tax base in Saskatoon, we can make our community even more business competitive without costing residential property tax payers.

Your Chamber’s attention now turns to the Provincial Education Property Tax component of your property tax bill. For Saskatoon (and for the province as a whole) the Education Property Tax Portion is a much larger problem. Saskatchewan Education Property Tax rates are more than twice as high as in Alberta. This gap badly needs to be reduced. We will press the Provincial government to freeze or reduce the business property mill rates in their next budget with the view of getting the provincial property tax rates in line with those in Alberta. This is needed to ensure that Saskatoon businesses can compete with those in Alberta. It is also needed to ensure that investing in Saskatoon isn’t placed a disadvantage to an alternative investment in Alberta. To say this is a hard file that requires a lot of persistent effort is an understatement, but we will continue to press on your behalf. You and your Chamber are building the best business climate in Canada. This task won’t be accomplished overnight, but will be achieved with your help and perseverance. An important part of that business climate is good property tax policy and others are helping up on the way to achieving this vision. We would like to thank all of you who have supported us in these efforts including many business organizations from across Saskatchewan that have helped us finance the in depth research required to build our case and to the team at the C.D. Howe institute who completed the “What Gets Measured Get Managed Study” as part of this effort. Persistence is a trait that describes all great entrepreneurs. We are applying that trait to improving property tax and help you grow and prosper now and in the future. All the best for 2014 and thank you for helping to build a great city full of opportunity now and in the future.

Kent Smith-Windsor is the Executive Director of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce.

BUSINESS View­ December/January 2013



Saskatchewan Chamber’s growth strategy is “Growing Up and Moving On”


ctober 2013 was an important anniversary for the Saskatchewan Chamber; marking six years since we launched The Sustainable Growth Strategy for the New Saskatchewan. Looking back, we knew at the time what we were undertaking was big (the months spent pouring over statistics and measures gave us a scope of the project) but none of us really understood what an impact the Strategy would have on the policy landscape six years later. The launch of the Growth Strategy was a natural evolution for the Saskatchewan Chamber. Our 2005 Action Saskatchewan initiative had concluded and its challenge of ‘Up Your Attitude’ had been heard. The people of the province were ready. The premise of the Growth Strategy started out simple: What would Saskatchewan need if we wanted 1.5 million people to live here by 2030. The logic spread; what started as a population target, moved to housing, post-secondary education targets and community size. Eventually the growth strategy with its target of 1.5 million people became the fundamental driver of every policy effort put forward by the Chamber. We needed changes to happen to support the growth for which we were planning. The response was amazing! Infrastructure and facilities, both privately and publicly, were being built to easily accommodate future expansion; this is now a regular occurrence. As a province, we are making planning to grow the pie instead of just cutting off a larger chunk for ourselves. The introduction of the Strategy in conjunction with the 2007 provincial election brought it to the front of discussion for the political leadership and we were very proud when then Leader of the Opposition Brad Wall signed onto our memorandum of understanding. Over the past six years our policy calls for increased immigration, strategic infrastructure investments, additional post-secondary training capacity, an attractive taxation environment and so many other efforts, all driving towards the attainment of the Growth Strategy targets, have been acted upon. Nevertheless, the massive change in the business community’s planning mindset and the ongoing policy victories pale in comparison to what is inarguably the Growth Strategy’s biggest accomplishment. One of the fundamentals of the Growth Strategy (and a position echoed tirelessly over the years) was our urgent call for the political leadership to think beyond the four year election cycle. Finally in October 2012, five years after the launch, we saw action. The provincial government’s 2012 “Saskatchewan Plan for Growth” provides a vision with clear outcomes for Saskatchewan stretching until 2020. In many ways the Plan for Growth parallels the Strategy.

This left the Saskatchewan Chamber with a decision to make; do we continue to push for our targets or do we adopt those set out by the government and monitor their progress, push for the completion of the commitments and celebrate the successes on they have achieved? We have determined that as a sign of support and belief in the province’s plan, we will advance and monitor the province’s Plan for Growth without clouding the landscape with our own targets. However, the Saskatchewan Chamber will continue to use the target of supporting 1.5 million people by 2030 as a tool in our policy evaluation and decision making process. Therefore, the “Sustainable Growth Strategy for the New Saskatchewan” will no longer be updated and a new process to monitor and measure the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth will be implemented. We are excited about this significant advocacy win and believe it will be a cornerstone to help develop better public policy on every front over the long-term. The results of our new monitoring will be communicated widely and will impact future Saskatchewan Chamber advocacy efforts. We offer our thanks to the numerous businesses and community leaders who have helped us advance the Growth Strategy over the last six years. Our deepest appreciate goes out to the members of our Growth Strategy Task Force, which has been chaired since inception by Dave Dutchak. Through their ongoing determination and effort, we have taken a big step towards making Saskatchewan the best place to live, work and invest. Yours truly, Marion Ghiglione Dave Dutchak Board Chair & Chair of the Growth Strategy Task Force Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce

Are you a Chamber Member that has an announcement or news release you’d like to share? Contact Derek Crang, Membership and Marketing Director at for more information.


Government funds language training at SIAST


he federal government has renewed its contract with SIAST to provide language instruction for immigrants settling in Saskatchewan. The three year, $12.7-million contract will fund language instruction at two SIAST locations – SIAST Wascana Campus in Regina and SIAST Kelsey Campus in Saskatoon. "Study after study has shown that a newcomer’s ability to communicate in English or French is key to their ability to integrate more quickly and contribute more fully,” said Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander. “New Canadians work hard to learn our languages, our values, and our traditions, and in turn, are welcomed as equal members of the Canadian family.” “Language skills are fundamental to success in postsecondary education and in the workplace,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, SIAST’s president and CEO. “The federal government’s continued support of language instruction for newcomers at SIAST is especially important today as we strive to meet increased labour market demand in Saskatchewan’s growing economy.”

Sponsored by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), SIAST’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program is offered to permanent residents. LINC is based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 2012. The CLB is a complex evaluation of language abilities from literacy to proficiency. The benchmarks encompass the four skill areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The LINC program is unique from other English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in that it also teaches students aspects of Canadian culture. For example, the students in LINC learn the English language while also covering topics such as job searches and the Canadian legal system. SIAST offers the highest possible LINC levels. Students who graduate from SIAST LINC 7 have the language skills required for almost all SIAST and university courses.

SIAST Wascana Campus LINC program head Brenda Sherring says, “Many of our newcomers to the province have university degrees or technical/trade certificates. The only thing stopping them from working in their chosen fields and fully contributing to the Canadian economy is the English language. This continued relationship with CIC will see more The funding provides instruction for 1,170 people at SIAST people benefitting from the LINC programs at SIAST than Wascana Campus and 1,812 people at SIAST Kelsey Campus. ever before.”

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A common ground for health innovation

A recap of the 2020 Health Visions Conference in Saskatoon


ovember 5th and 6th 2013 - Enthusiasm and passion in the room were palpable as over 140 delegates from sectors including business, academia, investment, the health region and the medical community came together to share their respective insights at the “Health Care Innovation Means Business” Conference. Delivered on behalf of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce Health Opportunities & Business of Science Committees (HOC/BoS), Chairs Dave Dutchak, Debby Criddle and Sanj Singh, shared a goal to encourage conversations amongst stakeholders that strengthen the identified HOC/ BoS health industry triangle: Commerce (The Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce), Research (the University of Saskatchewan), and Clinical Services (the Saskatoon Heath Region). Appreciation of potential synergies grew as the diverse and high caliber roster of speakers took the podium. The opening banquet featured exciting spotlights of successful businesses and health entrepreneurs who shared their visions of a vibrant and successful health industry. Special guest, The Honourable Dustin Duncan, Minister of Health, in a relaxed interview style by HOC Co-Chair, Dave Dutchak (President & CEO of MD Ambulance), explored the economic activity in health. Clear that business has always been involved with health in some manner, the Minister noted that approximately 30% of the health delivery in Saskatchewan is by the business community. He shared a positive and encouraging message that this sector plays an important and valuable role in ensuring quality outcomes for our province’s health and wellbeing, and it can be greater. Followed was a full day of discussion, networking and audience exchange with featured health industry leaders and experts. Keynote addresses by John Wade, U.S. Chamber of

Commerce Committee of 100 and the American Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, shared Rochester, Minnesota’s integrated health economic development success, which now contributes $9.6B in economic benefit, and Mr. Don Gerhardt, Co-Founder & Chair of Tri-Med International, LLC & Vital Simulations LLC, who opined that there is a connected integrated inter-operable opportunity with a triple-aim goal to improving the patient experience in both quality and satisfaction, improving the health of our populace, and reducing capital costs. The business community is an important contributor at this table with research and clinical, and this conference affirmed the opportunity to collaborate to an eco-system and culture that supports not only innovative health care research, but also its timely commercialization and delivery. The Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce Health Opportunities & Business of Science Committees extends profound gratitude to the staff and volunteers who have made this meaningful event possible: Kayla Brien and Breanne Lishchynsky - Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, Corey Miller - Saskatoon Health Region, John Hyshka Phenomenome Discoveries, Royal Hinther - Canadian Light Source Inc., Donnalu Garvie - M.D. Ambulance Care Ltd., Tom Archibald - Eden Health Solutions, Silvia L. Martini Interlink Research Inc., Garry Derenoski - IRC Innovative Rehabilitation Consultants Inc., Launel Scott - Bayshore Home Health Saskatoon, Jordan Dutchak - Student, Monika Polewicz - Ag-West Bio Inc., Daniel Ramage - Genome Prairie, Glen Schuler - U of S Industry Liaison Office, Kelly Martin Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority, and Scott Adams, Student. Special thanks to our generous sponsors listed below:

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BUSINESS View­ December/January 2013



Beyond borders - immigrant entrepreneurship as a succession strategy By Monica Kreuger


ost people aren’t surprised by the fact that entrepreneurs have a significant impact on our community and economy. Almost 98% of businesses in Canada have less than 50 employees and account for 1/3 of total jobs. They lead in R&D Investment with almost 6% of revenues and make up almost ¾ of total exporters (CFIB). And they are responsible for the most net new jobs in our nation. But they are much more. Entrepreneurs are your next door neighbours or classmates, or the treasurer on your community association or volunteer on the charity marathon. In Saskatchewan there are almost 100,000 business locations with an average of 90 business locations per 1000 population – the highest in Canada. They run the corner store where you buy that carton of milk you forgot to pick up earlier and the insurance office where you have been getting your licence renewed for the past decade. Others meet at kitchen tables and create new products that you may find on Kickstarter or Indiegogo and quickly rise to become financially successful. They have created their own jobs and jobs for others in the community and provided you with services and products that make your life richer. They also have kids or grandkids in school, attend places of worship, volunteer in community events, sponsor local charities and purchase products and services from others in the community. Some run out of their homes, others have small offices or commercial spaces; others have warehouses and industrial space in the north end and still other have grown their companies into multi million dollar enterprises that have spanned generations. Without entrepreneurs, we would have less to choose from, less passion, less innovation, fewer jobs, fewer people and less vibrance. Saskatoon has earned a global reputation as a land of entrepreneurial opportunity and possibility. What we need to do now, is build on the momentum – not take this place in time for granted. We need to encourage more entrepreneurs to take the leap forward in our fine city and province, and encourage those that are here to continue to build a sustainable future. So how do we do that? At a recent briefing about labour supply and demand, we discussed the fact that even if we could fill all the new jobs that will be required in the next ten years, we do not have enough people in our province to do so. People are retiring and not enough young people are emerging to take their places. A number of solutions are needed including


attraction of new talent from outside our province, attraction of people not currently in the workforce into jobs or part time jobs or start small companies to fill in the knowledge gaps left as they retire. The same situation faces us with our small and medium size enterprises. Although entrepreneurs tend to work past 65, the majority of them do not have a plan for succession. And even if they did, there aren’t enough people to step in and purchase existing companies, leaving them with the option of closing when they ready to retire or move on to another venture. Closure affects more than just the entrepreneur – it affects customers, employees and their families, suppliers and communities. We need to ensure that there are options for entrepreneurs to sell when they are ready. But we face the same shortage of people to purchase these businesses. One under utilized source of buyers is immigrant entrepreneurs. Thousands of people have applied to come to Saskatchewan as entrepreneurs, and for whom purchasing or investing in an existing business is an excellent option. And since they are injecting new human, cultural, financial and philosophical capital into our community, we are building our capacity as a city and province at the same time. If we keep our small and medium size businesses flourishing, we open the doors to new ideas, innovations, methods of production, global perspectives, export markets and trade relationships, talent, and the opportunity for our province to build a sustainable future. Interestingly, 52% of the tech startups in the US are immigrant entrepreneurs. And here in Saskatchewan we have a plethora of successful entrepreneurs who brought their ideas with them (John Cross, Ravi Mathiel, Dr. Nasser, Norm Wallace, Dale Lemke and Dawn Zhou to name a few). We have tools to do this through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program – Entrepreneurship stream (although it only accounts for about 5% of the total nominee positions). We have professionals in the province to help connect the buyer and the seller. We have support services to help entrepreneurs settle in our community and learn how business works in Saskatchewan, and we have a business community that welcomes diversity and new connections. Let’s step out of our comfort zones and open our doors! It’s time to plan forward. Monica Kreuger is a past president of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chair of the Going Global Committee as well as Founder/President and Chief Visionary Officer Global Infobrokers Inc., Home of the Praxis School of Entrepreneurship and Praxis International Institute.

December/January 2013

BUSINESS View­­­ ­


Is Saskatoon experiencing a housing bubble? By Jason Yochim


heard a comment recently in a public forum that Saskatoon’s real estate market is in a “bubble”. I ask myself, “Why is it that no matter how good things are there is always someone so sceptical and narrow minded that they can peer through a key hole with both eyes at the same time!” This new normal that our provinces economy is experiencing is the envy of every other province in Canada (including Alberta) for several reasons. First of all, let me start with the housing market. The Saskatoon real estate market has been firmly positioned in balanced territory with a sales-to-listing ratio of 51% clearly suggesting that the supply for housing is meeting the demand. Currently Saskatoon has a 3.5 month supply of inventory with a total of 1,334 active listings in Saskatoon with the average home taking 39 days to sell. In 2007 our market experienced the most significant price adjustment in recent memory. This sharp increase was necessary to catch up to where prices should be relative to the rest of Canada. According to the Home Price Index, which uses January 2005 as a base year for comparing change in value for a typical single family home in Saskatoon, the benchmark home value increased from $175,600 in January of 2007 to a peak value of $319,600 in May of 2008. In a 16 month period the average home value in Saskatoon rose by 82%. This looks like a bubble about to burst to me. So what happened? For the next 8 months single family home values “tumbled” by 14% to $274,500. This adjustment was partially due to the necessity to curb the pressure on home values driven by speculators. Since then we have seen values continue a steady increase to the point where as of May of this year they reached $322,600. Currently in Saskatoon there is a shortage of homes for sale in the $300,000 to $450,000 range, this does not mean that the days of homes in this price range are gone in Saskatoon, but rather that very few of them are currently available on the market. A surplus of homes exists in the $500,000 to $750,000 range which is causing a downward pressure in this price range, where we are starting to see prices adjust slightly downward. As these prices begin to reflect what buyers are willing to pay, more “move up buyers” will purchase these homes making available their existing homes in the entry level price range where there is a shortage. Additionally, interest rates are still not a deterrent to home ownership as they remain at record lows and are not expected to see an increase of any significance in the near future. The issue of affordable housing continues to come up from time to time. Saskatoon still boasts some of the most affordable housing in the country. According to an RBC Economics report, Saskatchewan’s housing affordability measure for a detached bungalow in Q2 was the fourth lowest in Canada at 37.2%. The qualifying income for the average

BUSINESS View­ December/January 2013

house price of $351,900 was $74,700. The Atlantic Provinces boasted the lowest qualifying income for housing at $52,500 where the average sale price is $221,900. We are still a far cry however from the lofty average prices in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary which were $819,500/$568,200 and $457,900 respectively. A population growth for Saskatoon is forecasted to be around 3% in 2014 which is nearly triple the national average according to the Conference Board of Canada. This rate of growth is not expected to stop in the foreseeable future. Retail sales growth is expected to be just over 5% in 2014. Saskatchewan enjoys a diversity of natural resources unlike Alberta whose economy is largely built on the single resource of fossil fuels. Our major resources of agriculture and potash are key to feeding a booming world population. Where there are alternatives to energy there are few alternatives to potash and certainly no alternatives to food. According to Mario LeFebvre, the only challenge we will face as a province and a city is the supply side of labour. An unemployment rate of 4% or less would not be healthy for our economy as it would fuel inflation and a higher cost of living which would discourage workers from wanting to relocate here. We do not have a shortage of jobs but rather a shortage of bodies to fill those positions. In conclusion, don’t expect things to return to the way they were five years ago as our province has shifted to a “new normal”. Unfortunately even in good times there will always be those who either find it hard to accept that our time as a province has come or else they are against growth. The reality is that it takes growth and economic spin off to pay for programs and deteriorating infrastructure. The alternative is to have a greater tax burden placed on a smaller population. Jason Yochim is Executive Officer at Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® and serves on the board for the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce.

234 2nd Ave. S., Saskatoon, SK S7K 1K9 P: 306.244.8277 F: 306.934.5981 E:



Promotional Feature

Good to great marketing By Mouneeb Shahid, CEO and Founder


ccording to Wikipedia, “marketing” is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers for the purpose of selling that product or service. The key words in this definition are “the process of communicating value” and it is this process that differentiates great marketing from good marketing. Unfortunately most businesses have been negligent to the dramatic shift of how buyers access information to make a purchasing decision, especially in recent years. Hopefully in this article I can shed some light on making that journey from good to great marketing.

prominence in search results and when research is done about your business or about your industry, you are much more likely to get targeted traffic. We have solved the first piece of the puzzle.

To begin with, let’s look at the two main marketing types that are available to most businesses today. We have “traditional media” comprising of mostly print and TV, that is declining at a rapid rate, and we have “new media” that mainly include your digital platforms such as your website, app, social media presence and search engines.

Once the lead is generated there needs to be emphasis put on nurturing the lead. Giving your target audience irresistible information that they would enjoy and look forward to. Nurturing your leads is a crucial process in developing trust and credibility, and can be very effective especially if you are a brand that is not well known. By nurturing your leads you are building their consideration of your service and enforcing their intention. This final piece ensures that when they evaluate you as an industry expert, you have already established that and they are ready to make a purchasing decision.

There are however many challenges when it comes to marketing through new media channels. The main challenge is the lack of information that most businesses have of new media and how it can translate into more business. Sure, there is a lot of information out there, but it is overwhelming and without a focus and strategy you are simply in the dark. The first step therefore is to set specific goals and KPIs to measure those goals. The question however remains; what exactly is working in today’s world of new media? According to recent research done by Forrester, when you present a marketing piece to an interested buyer, it results in the buyer researching 3 pieces of content related to your business online. Thanks to smartphones and wonderful data plans, buyers can do research immediately and make decisions much sooner. Now from a marketing perspective it is crucial that when that research is done by the interested buyer, you are able to “get found” online and leave a lasting positive impression. If you join the dots, you will notice that the strategy is quite simple. It goes back to what powers the web; CONTENT. To sum it all up, if you create compelling content for your organization and present it well on your website as well as on social media channels, then search engines will love that and bring your website rankings up. This will give you more

BUSINESS View­ December/January 2013

The next step is to convert that interested visitor reading your lovely content in to a lead. To do this, it is important to direct the visitor to a sign up form that would deliver them extremely useful information. If the information is highly targeted to your audience, they will enter their details and submit for access. This second piece is lead generation.

In conclusion, great marketing requires a different mindset. In order to achieve great marketing results you need to adapt your marketing efforts to the behaviour of your audience. It requires less selling and more marketing because in today’s world you are dealing with an informed buyer. To learn more, please visit our blog at www.2WebDesign. com. As always, I like to highlight recent work completed by our wonderful team for some great clients. They are as follows: • • • • •

STEP: Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership ( Schulte Industries Ltd. ( Doepker Industries Ltd. ( Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation Inc. (www. Purich Publishing Ltd. (

Mouneeb Shahid Founder, 2 Web Design Inc.


CHAMBER VOLUNTEER COMMITTEES COMMITTEE CHAIRS Aboriginal Opportunities Melanie Stroh - Radisson Hotel

Meetings: 1st Tuesday of the month - 9:00-10:30 am

Agribusiness Opportunities Bert Sutherland - Loran Forer - BMO

Meetings: 2nd Monday of the month - 3:30-5:00 pm

Business Growth Elise Hildebrandt - The Mortgage Centre

Meetings: Last Tuesday of the month - 8:00 am

Business of Science Sanj Singh - AdeTheraputics Inc. Meetings: TBA

Celebrate Success! Lynn Nastiuk - Sask. Health Research Foundation Meetings: Depending on need - more closer to event

Environmental Sustainability Chair Position Vacant

Meetings: Last Monday of the month - 3:30-5:00 pm

Going Global Ken Ziegler - Robertson Stromberg Pedersen LLP Monica Kreuger - Global Infobrokers Meetings: Last Thursday of the month - 3:30-5:00 pm

Government Affairs Michael Chudoba - Innovative Residential

Meetings: 2nd Wednesday of the month - 4:00-5:30 pm

Health Opportunities Dave Dutchak - MD Ambulance Care Ltd. Debby Criddle - Synergos Capital Management Inc. Meetings: TBA

Knowledge & Youth Development Ainsley Robertson - Westcap Mgt. Ltd.

Meetings: 2nd Wednesday of the month - 5:00 pm

Membership Development Evan Drisner - Nu-Fab Building Products Kristy Rempel - Saskatoon Community Foundation Meetings: 2


Thursday of the month - 11:45-1:30 pm

More information available online at under Committees.


Aboriginal Opportunities Committee The Aboriginal Opportunities Committee has been working hard to highlight Aboriginal business in the Saskatoon area and expose them to the business community to help facilitate partnerships. Agribusiness Committee The Agribusiness Committee would like to welcome Loran Forer as the new Co-Chair of the committee. Every month a guest speaker embedded in the agricultural sector presents on informative and best practises in the agricultural industry. Business Growth Committee The five week Business By Design series “Everybody Sells” took place in October, bringing together business professionals from all industries. This series featured a different speaker each week who presented on the importance of every employee of your business and how they each play a special role in helping sell your business. Shaken with a Twist continues to interview predominant business women in the YXE business climate the third Thursday of every month at Tusq. Celebrate Success! Committee The 2014 SABEX award nominations are now available online! This committee is busy planning another great event set for May. Please visit to nominate a business in our community. Future Opportunities Committee The Future Opportunities Committee is back, keeping Saskatoon updated on the new innovations happening right here and internationally to help Saskatoon stay prepared and propel successfully into the future. Going Global Committee The Going Global Committee has been lobbying the provincial government to increase quota thresholds on the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program. They also hosted an international delegation to showcase business investment opportunities in Saskatoon. Government Affairs Committee The Government Affairs Committee has been pushing the business property tax agenda and this issue was brought to the attention at the municipal level in late October. The C.D. Howe Institute completed a study entitled “What Gets Measured Gets Managed: The Economic Burden of Business Property Taxes” mid-October concerning the tax burden on business investment with emphasis on Saskatoon. Knowledge and Youth Committee The Knowledge and Youth Committee partnered with the Junior Chamber of Commerce and launched the Student Apprenticeship Program in September placing twenty students amongst the Chamber committees. This program will help expose student to real life business experiences and bring a fresh new perspective to these committees. Membership Development Committee Chamber on Tap kicked off in October with special guest Aaron Loraas of Loraas Disposal. Come out to Hudson’s the first Wednesday of every month and listen to local successful business professionals talk about their trials and successes of starting and growing a business right here in Saskatoon!

December/January 2013

BUSINESS View­­­ ­

For membership information contact Derek Crang

(306) 664-0702 Visit today under Member Services for more details

621451 Saskatchewan Ltd. Home-Based Business Phone: (306) 382-4654 Jack Brodsky Archway Landscaping Ltd. Landscape Services AND HomeBased Business Phone: (306) 361-9273 Brett Archibald Botting Leadership Inc. Consultants - Business AND HomeBased Business Phone: (306) 221-1785 Dale Botting Bridgepoint Business Brokers Real Estate - Commercial AND Consultants - Business 810-410 22nd St E, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 979-8750 Travis Kellett CyberVision Inc. Consultants AND Home-Based Business Phone: (306) 249-5860 Darlene Demsys DJ’s Windows & Aerial Access Other Services 542 Ave L S, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 665-3061 Dave Nichols Dr. Audrey Kinzel, Registered Doctoral Psychologist Health Care - Services / Supplies AND Home-Based Business Phone: (306) 281-3424 Audrey Kinzel Eagleye Technologies Canada Inc. Security / Surveillance Systems 2334 Hanselman Ave, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 978-9740 Karen Hounsell Earls Restaurant Restaurants 610 2nd Ave N, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 664-4060 Ray Dulos

New Members

Elemental Spa Corp. Cosmetic / Esthetic - Services / Supplies 126-1820 McOrmond Dr, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 974-0409 Thomas Hartle

Nu-West Electrical Services Ltd. Electrical Contractors / Equipment / Services 730D 45th St W, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 222-3190 Randy Schinkel / Ginette Schinkel

Frontier Bookkeeping & Payroll Accountants / Bookkeepers 429 Golden Willow Way, Warman Phone: (306) 380-5821 Jenna Rolston

Nucerity International Home-Based Business Phone: (306) 251-2272 Maureen Alice Torr

Hnatyshyn Gough Legal Services 601-402 21st St E, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 653-5150 David Hnatyshyn / Janet Loitz International Plant Nutrition Institute Non-Profit Organizations 102-411 Downey Rd, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 652-3535 Laurae Doell La Troupe du Jour Non-Profit Organizations 914 20th St W, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 244-1040 Dany Rousseau Lawson Heights Pentecostal Assembly Non-Profit Organizations 233 Pinehouse Dr, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 934-7100 Barry Berglund LDM Services Home-Based Business PO Box 193, Vanscoy Phone: (306) 361-1813 Cheryl Loadman Machine Safety Services Management Services - Project / Construction 36-2105 8th St E, Saskatoon Phone: (807) 632-4997 Mitch St-Onge

Prairie Sun Brewery Breweries AND Beverages 2020 Quebec Ave, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 343-7000 Heather Williams Saskatoon Real Estate - Residential AND Real Estate - Commercial Phone: (306) 381-6703 Rick Epp Regency Gaming Ind. Gaming Industry 307 Jessop Ave, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 652-4746 Maurice Berry Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop (Millar Crossing) Hair Stylists 70-831 51st St E, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 384-5664 Doreen Belliveau Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop (Stonebridge) Hair Stylists 60-214 Stonebridge Blvd, Saskatoon Phone: (306) 374-0733 Doreen Belliveau Wood’s Body Goods Retail AND Home-Based Business Phone: (306) 715-9775 Chris Wood

Nanjing Yuye Technology Co. Home-Based Business Phone: (647) 704-8422 Yi Li

BUSINESS View­ December/January 2013


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