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December 2003 - Issue 19
In this Issue

Happy Holidays!

The Business Link's Holiday Schedule:

Dec. 24: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dec. 25: closed
Dec. 26: closed
Dec. 29: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dec. 30: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dec. 31: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Jan. 1: closed
Jan. 2: closed

The Business Link and its staff wish you a happy holiday season!

A New Service for Alberta's Exporters

The Business Link recently introduced a new specialized service under the banner of Export Link. Funded by Western Economic Diversification, Export Link will serve the needs of new and potential exporters in the province of Alberta.

Export Link will offer information and guidance through its information centre in Edmonton and regional export centres, a toll-free export information line, and on-line. An expanded collection of specialized library resources will be acquired to help new and potential exporters do preliminary market research and will be made available throughout the province through The Business Link's Library. New export training sessions will also be developed, which will provide information on a variety of topics of interest to new and potential exporters.

For more information on Export Link, call our export information line at: 1-888-811-1119.

End of the Season...

The Fall season of The Business Link's Guest Advisor Program and Small Business Seminars is now over.

Stay tuned for a new season of affordable and informative seminars and brown bag presentations starting February 10, 2004.

The Guest Advisor Program will be offered again on February 2, 2004.

Aboriginal Success Stories

The Business Link's Aboriginal Business Service Network (ABSN) recently launched a series of on-line video clips featuring aboriginal business success stories: the Aboriginal Business Profiles.

Six of the video clips feature Alberta Aboriginal business people, and four depict entrepreneurs from eastern Canada. Approximately six minutes each, the clips will allow viewers to gain a better perspective of how other entrepreneurs have addressed various issues within their individual home-based businesses. The series showcases businesses in three general stages of development: Start-up Home Biz, Established Home Biz, and Take-off Success.

To view the Aboriginal Business Profiles, visit ABSN Alberta's web site at: www.cbsc.org/alberta/

Meet the Link

Dawn Clarke

Dawn Clarke is a Business Officer at The Business Link. She's been assisting new and existing entrepreneurs for almost 7 years.

Dawn has a Marketing Diploma from NAIT. She can help you with questions about start-up requirements, choosing a form of business, marketing, international business and intellectual property. She also shares in promoting The Business Link to potential entrepreneurs. One way is by providing guided tours of our facilities to groups. If you would like to arrange to bring a group in, please contact her.

Dawn can be reached at (780) 415-0362 or by e-mail at: clarke.dawn@

Call for Mentors

Grant MacEwan College is a one of the sponsors of Economic Development Edmonton's Venture Prize, Business Plan Competition.

MacEwan Corporate Learning, which is administering the mentorship portion of the program, is actively seeking mentors with business experience who may be interested in participating.

Participants will be seeking potential mentors with expertise in marketing, finance and business plan writing. Commitments expire at the end of January, so they are limited and manageable.

More details may be found on the website at www.ventureprize.com.

Talk to Us!

Need assistance in finding information on our web site? Check out our web/voice support service, "Talk to Us".

Send to a Friend

Please feel free to forward E-News! from The Business Link to a friend or colleague. They can subscribe on-line on our web site.

Cliquez ici pour accéder, ou vous abonner à ce bulletin électronique en français.

Welcome to a new issue of E-News! from The Business Link. Whether this is your first time to receive E-News!, or you've been with us from the first issue, we hope you will enjoy this quick monthly e-newsletter. Our goal is to keep you informed of upcoming events and services at The Business Link and other items of interest to Alberta's small business community.

Your feedback is welcome at any time to help us improve and enhance our services for Alberta entrepreneurs. Simply click on the "Feedback" icon located at the top of E-News! to send us your views.

Upcoming Events

The Business Link's Fall 2003
Seminars and Brown Bag Presentations

Our economically-priced Small Business Seminars and FREE Brown Bag Presentations feature the basics of business from start-up to marketing to e-business...and more! All sessions are held at The Business Link at 100 - 10237 104 Street in Edmonton. Pre-registration is required for the seminars but not for the "brown baggers", however there is limited seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

December Schedule
12 noon - 1 p.m.
Getting in Front of the Media
12 noon - 1 p.m.
Getting Your Goods Into the United States
12 noon - 1 p.m.
Selling More by Talking Less
12 noon - 1 p.m.
Inventing a New Product

For more information on our Small Business Seminars and to register on-line, visit our web site at: www.cbsc.org/alberta/seminars.cfm. Details on the "Brown Baggers" are available at: www.cbsc.org/alberta/brownbag.cfm.

US/Canada Trade: A Practical Approach

Export Link, a new specialized service of The Business Link, is organizing an export training session at the border to provide new and potential exporters with information on the import-export process between Canada and the United States.

The session will consist of a two-hour "Export Information Session" to be held in Lethbridge on December 3, followed by a full day session: "US/ Canada Trade: A Practical Approach", to be held in Coutts on December 4.

For only $50, visit the newly renovated customs facilities, meet with US and Canadian customs and immigration officials, learn tips from trade commissioners, freight forwarders, customs brokers and representatives from agencies helping exporters on both sides of the border, and network with other companies doing business in Canada and in the United States.

For more information, and to register, access the registration form on-line at: www.cbsc.org/alberta/content/bordersession.pdf.

Quality Council of Alberta Brown Bag Sessions

The Quality Council of Alberta (QCA) invites you to attend their FREE monthly Brown Bag Sessions, held every third Friday of the month at noon from September to June, 2004. Bring your lunch and take in this series on this year's theme "Share, Celebrate, Invigorate". Presenters will share best practices used by high performing organizations throughout the world, celebrate some home grown examples and invigorate participants with "what's going well".

This month's session on "Encouraging Creativity Amongst Employees" will be held at The Business Link on Friday, December 19, 2003 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. Seating is limited and allocated on a first come - first served basis.

For more information and to register for this session, contact Ann Beaque at the Quality Council of Alberta at 780-423-6878 or 1-800-224-0848 or by e-mail at: abeaque@telusplanet.net.

Idea to Implementation: Innovation Workshop

Do you have an idea for a new product? Wondering how to get it into the market place? Want to better understand the need for innovation? Not sure how to incorporate innovation into your business or organization? Then this workshop is for you! A joint project of the Integrated Resource Unit, the Industrial Research Assistance Program and The Innovation Network of the Peace Region Economic Development Alliance (PREDA), this workshop will guide participants through the steps of the Idea to Implementation WebtoolTM. Learn that developing a new product is manageable if you know what the key steps are and how to manage them. Key success factors will be discussed and the resources available to you within the region will be identified.

Date: December 12, 2003
Location: Manning, Alberta
Cost: $75 - includes lunch & resource workbooks ($25 discount available for PREDA members - please ask for eligibility)
Register by Friday Dec 5, 2003 by calling The Innovation Network at 780.835.3959 or 1.866.835.5005.

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Business Article

Privacy Act for the Private Sector
by Rosemary Pon - RJP Ventures Inc

With the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) coming into effect on January 1, 2004, private sector businesses will need to focus attention on how they manage personal information. This legislation affects data pertaining to employees and customers.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada defines personal information that "is any factual or subjective information, recorded or not, about an identifiable individual. It includes:

  • age, name, weight, height;
  • medical records;
  • ID numbers, income, ethnic origin, or blood type;
  • opinions, evaluations, comments, social status, or disciplinary action; and
  • employee files, credit records, loan records, existence of a dispute between a consumer and a merchant, intentions (for example, to acquire goods or services, or change jobs.)"

Personal information that is available publicly is excluded under PIPEDA. This includes telephone book and business card information, such as your job title, telephone number or address.

Organizations in the private sector are required to handle personal information appropriately, in accordance to PIPEDA. They will be held legally responsible for managing information and will need to designate a privacy information gatekeeper. Organizations must:

  • Obtain consent from the individual when they collect, use or disclose their personal information, unless:
    • The need to collect the information is clearly in their best interest and their consent cannot be obtained in a timely manner; or
    • The information is needed by a law enforcement agency for an investigation, and obtaining consent may jeopardize the information's accuracy.
  • Supply the product or a service, even if the individual refuses consent for the collection, use or disclosure of their personal information.
  • Collect information fairly and lawfully, and
  • Provide personal information policies that are clear, understandable and readily available.
  • Destroy, erase or make anonymous personal information about an individual that is no longer needed to fulfill the purpose for which it was collected.

The Ombudsman from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada will handle complaints under the new law. They will investigate complaints, conduct audits, promote the awareness of PIPEDA, and research privacy matters.

For further details about privacy protection, see:

Copyright © 2003 Rosemary Pon RJP Ventures Inc

To access the full version of this article, visit The Business Link's web site at: www.cbsc.org/alberta/tbl.cfm?fn=tip10.

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Feature Web Site

Would you like to increase the worldwide awareness of your company? The Virtual Trade Commissioner (VTC) is your personal gateway to the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, an organization with over 500 trade officers in 140 cities worldwide. Over 30,000 qualified Canadian exporters of goods and services take advantage of this internal government database (formerly known as WIN Exports). The VTC provides your company with access to market information, international business opportunities, and much more.

To receive your personalized VTC, all you have to do is register as a client of the Trade Commissioner Service by completing the free registration form, available on-line at www.infoexport.gc.ca/ie-en/login.jsp. Once registered you will access the free services of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service; receive information and services through a personalized Virtual Trade Commissioner Web page; obtain international business leads; and get international promotion of your company.

For more useful links to additional sources of business information, visit our web site at: www.cbsc.org/alberta/tbl.cfm?fn=weblinks.

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Regional Access Site in the Spotlight

The Business Link works in partnership with over 30 Regional Access Sites located throughout the province, plus the Calgary Business Information Centre (CBIC), to provide information and resources to Alberta entrepreneurs. To find the closest Regional Access Site in your area, visit our web site at: www.cbsc.org/alberta/regional.cfm

One of these Regional Access Sites is Lamont-Two Hills Business Development Corporation (BDC).

Lamont-Two Hills Business Development Corporation is dedicated to encouraging economic and community development in the counties of Lamont, Two Hills, Minburn and the rural portion of Strathcona County. Entrepreneurs and business people may access a number of services and resources at the Centre, including business counseling, business planning services and feasibility studies, market research assistance and access to MERX (open bidding system for Government contracts). Other services include faxing, photocopying, business cards & sign development, laminating, resume help, job search help, and FREE Internet access. A Resource Library offering a wealth of information to help you plan, start and manage your business is also available.

Lamont-Two Hills BDC provides financing to entrepreneurs and existing business owners who are unable to obtain conventional financing. New and existing small businesses can obtain a loan up to $75,000 (Investment Fund Loan Program). Business loans up to $75,000 are also available for entrepreneurs with disabilities through the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program and youth between the ages of 18 and 29 can apply for a loan up to $25,000 through its Western Youth Entrepreneur Program.

Lamont-Two Hills BDC also runs the "Self-Employment Program" which allows Employment Insurance (E.I.) recipients and unemployed Albertans the opportunity to start their own business while receiving possible financial assistance, training and technical assistance, and the "I Want to be a Millionaire Youth Program" for youth ages 12-18.

For more information, contact Lamont-Two Hills Business Development Corporation at:

5019 - 51 Street
P.O. Box 547
Two Hills, AB T0B 4K0
Phone: (780) 657-3512
Fax: (780) 657-2359
E-mail: lthbdc@telusplanet.net
Web site: www.centraleastalberta.com

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The Business Link Business Service Centre
100-10237 104 Street NW Edmonton, AB T5J 1B1
Business Info Line: 780-422-7722 or 1-800-272-9675
Fax: 780-422-0055
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