Martin Cash

  • It's not us, it's them, think-tank says

    The first time the Conference Board of Canada included a Winnipeg stop in its economic outlook tour has coincided with the think-tank's strongest forecast for Manitoba in many years. Monday's Winnipeg Business Outlook 2015 event -- co-sponsored by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce -- was preceded by the Ottawa-based think-tank's most recent provincial outlook that has Manitoba producing the second-best GDP growth this year and the strongest by far in 2016.
  • Gathering helps startups navigate aid jungle

    The price of oil is plummeting throwing the economy off-kilter, U.S. President Barack Obama has vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline, Target is forfeiting billions of dollars of investment -- and thousands of jobs -- to shutter its Canadian expansion. Youth unemployment is on the rise and many employers who once may have provided "jobs for life" have long since gone the outsourcing route.
  • It's a scary digital world for many

    Gayemarie Brown, the national innovation leader for Deloitte Canada, understands it is stressful for business people to talk about the impact the digital economy can have on their businesses. "Most of my career has been in front of non-believers," she said at the opening day of the Driving Innovation conference and workshop this week in Winnipeg.
  • Workplace harassment still a work in progress

    NO reasonable person would condone sexual harassment in the workplace. Some, who might consider themselves reasonable people, may have dramatically different beliefs from others as to what constitutes harassment, but that's another story.
  • Businesswomen leading by example

    There was a celebratory atmosphere in the large main-floor meeting room at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg on Thursday, with close to 600 women in attendance at the inaugural (and likely annual) SheDay event. They had come to hear success stories from about a dozen Winnipeg women talking about networking, working their way through the leadership system and understanding the value of personal brands.
  • Grain executives bullish on Canadian wheat exports

    ON Thursday, Cargill Inc. the global agricultural and food company based near Minneapolis released second-quarter results showing a whopping 41 per cent increase in profits. Cargill operates in 67 countries -- with sizable operations in many of them -- so it's not clear how much of those US$784 million profits (from just one three-month period) came from its Canadian operations.
  • Taking care of business

    The most noteworthy dynamic about the local business scene in 2014 may have been the bustling startup community. Considering the deep and broad diversity of the Manitoba economy and the fact startups are notorious for not creating jobs (and many of them not lasting long), it's another way of saying it was not necessarily a big news year in the local business scene.
  • B Corp sees planet as important as profits

    As the ability of governments around the world to be the chief stewards of the world's social and environmental conditions declines, those responsibilities need to be shared. The B Corp movement (the "B" stands for benefits) believes it's time for the for-profit, private sector to step up.
  • Lone Wolf Trax now in good company

    The founders of Wolf Trax Inc. likely didn't know it at the time, but the history of that Winnipeg company coincided nicely with global investor interest in plant science and agricultural technologies. Wolf Trax benefited from the first wave of retail venture-capital investment in Canada and was part of the Ensis portfolio when that Winnipeg-based fund was sold to GrowthWorks.
  • Manitoba's agri-food industry has export expert's attention

    Among the benefits expected to come out of this week's announcement that Ag Growth International will acquire Westeel is the strength of their combined international sales networks. Westeel has been making inroads in eastern and western Canada and North Africa. In addition to Europe, Ag Growth is making sales into Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa.
  • Mobile migration pushes telcos back to the tablet

    A new survey on telecommunications habits among Canadians confirms what many industry experts have been talking about for some time -- we are migrating to mobile. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released survey results Thursday showing the most dramatic development is the increasing number of people who own smartphones or tablets.
  • Prentice still hoping airship dreams will fly

    There are no cargo airships flying into northern Manitoba these days. Indeed, there are no cargo airships of any kind currently flying here.
  • Tim Hortons the conquering hero this time

    If Tim Hortons Inc. is a Canadian national institution, then the merger (or sale) with Burger King ought to get patriot endorsement because it's designed to facilitate the export of the Timbit and the Double-Double, helping Canadian culture conquer foreign lands. The $12.5-billion deal is not the largest or most surprising commercial transaction, but it is freighted with assumed national values both companies carry, Tim Hortons to a greater extent in Canada than Burger King in the U.S.
  • Challenges, experience, growth

    Countdown! A 100-day countdown! That's right, it's 100 days until the launch of the annual 10-day conference of the International Association of Women Police to be held in Winnipeg. The conference is the culmination of four years of planning challenges and meeting after meeting after meeting. To celebrate this 100-day milestone, the conference committee held a volunteer pep rally at RCMP headquarters June 20.
  • Rancour over grain bottleneck only growing

    The finger-pointing and war of words between the railways and the grain shippers are not letting up. This week, the venue moved to Ottawa for hearings in front of the House of Commons standing committee on agriculture regarding Bill C-30 that attempts to address the current serious rail-capacity issues.
  • Collegial air aids manufacturing industry

    For many manufacturing businesses in Manitoba, the biggest issue of concern for the past few years has been the availability of skilled workers. That's saying something considering the myriad pressure points the manufacturing sector has to deal with in the age of technology, sophisticated cost containment and productivity demands, the global trade environment and volatile foreign-currency markets.
  • Advisers lift small firms

    Jean-René Halde has long been an advocate of the benefits of advisory boards for small businesses. As the CEO of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Halde is all about figuring out ways to help small business succeed.
  • Face time

    When one of the founders of Advolve saw a crude attempt to use a mirror surface to conceal a television monitor, he got the idea to turn that around -- making a mirror that could display digital advertising.

    The Business

  • Customers win as grocers battle each other

    It may take some local know-how to properly negotiate the parking at DeLuca's Specialty Foods on Portage Avenue but it's not keeping shoppers away. The West End grocery/delicatessen/restaurant/cooking school/wine store recently invested in renovations at its cramped, non-traditional location and has done nothing but grow every year for the last decade.
  • Manitoba tech start-ups starving for money

    Last Friday evening, more than 50 people met in a Smartpark building to hear technology pitches from seven University of Manitoba researchers. The idea was to try to connect these early-stage technologies -- including a colour-correction technology for heads-up displays, concrete corrosion sensors, probiotics for animal feed and a microfluidics technology -- with entrepreneurs who might be interested in advancing them to a stage where they might be ready for licensing or sold for commercial use.
  • Fascinating stories lie behind the big picture

    No matter what angle you take or how hard you look -- and believe us, we've been looking hard -- the economic performance of Manitoba in 2013 looked generally the same as it does most years. A survey of the bank and institutional forecasters has tagged Manitoba's GDP growth rate at 2.6 per cent for 2012, 1.9 per cent for 2013 and 2.2 per cent in 2014, effectively mirroring the Canadian national experience.
  • Cangene takeover might not be a bad thing

    One of the facts of life in the global economy is commercial ownership of assets is going to be bought and sold throughout that global marketplace. Winnipeggers might be a little more sensitive than other cities, whose head-office rosters are a little deeper than ours.
  • Exports to foreign, U.S. markets top of mind for many

    Manitoba's exports topped $11 billion last year, which sounds like a lot but definitely could be better. In fact, the total fell last year by close to five per cent compared with 2011, but through the first eight months of this year the total value of exports is up 8.3 per cent.
  • Oil, gas Manitoba economic gushers

    Every year, the Manitoba Association of Business Economists (MABE) gets together to chew over the provincial economic numbers. Not surprisingly, the general message and tone does not change much from year to year -- slow and steady growth driven by the classic diversified economy.
  • He's got the power

    Over the years, J.D. Power and Associates has had a lot of influence in the automobile industry. But the founder of the company that virtually invented the "consumer satisfaction" ratings in the auto industry, J.D. (Dave) Power, has never been a car nut.

About Martin Cash

Martin Cash joined the Free Press in 1987 as the paper’s business columnist.

He has spent two decades chronicling the city’s business affairs.

Martin won a citation of merit from the National Newspaper Awards in 2001 for his coverage of the strike and subsequent multi-million-dollar union settlement at the Versatile tractor plant. He has also received honours and awards for his work on agriculture and technology development in Manitoba.

Martin has written a coffee-table book about the commercial and industrial make-up of the city, called Winnipeg: A Prairie Portrait.

Martin Cash on Twitter: @martycash


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