Mar 1, 2009
At the Crossroads: B.C. real estate
Peter Mitham

B.C. real estate—and specifically Vancouver real estate—has long been subject to boom-and-bust cycles. Speculation arrived on the Granville townsite with the railway in the 1880s, flourished with the influx of investors from Asia in the 1980s and gave legs to...

Mar 1, 2009
The Peaks and Troughs of Olympic Anticipation
Frances Bula

The scary thought creeps into your mind on little cat feet one night as you’re lying awake contemplating both the impending global economic conflagration and your own recent 12-page Visa bill. What if the Olympics aren’t, after all, the fiscal...

Mar 1, 2009
Crossing the Line
Myles Murchison

“It’s a labyrinth, a rabbit hole,” says John Wellwood, describing his efforts to illustrate the process of customs brokerage. Wellwood is designing a book about the import and export business called Business Without Borders: The Story of A&A Contract Customs...

Mar 1, 2009
The Profit Myth
Brent Holliday

A smart technology-industry observer here in the Northwest had a great saying when he spoke of the dot-com companies that flashed and fizzled last decade: Profits: Nature’s Way of Saying You Belong. Mark Anderson made and sold T-shirts and bumper stickers that tech geeks like me thought were hilarious. The...

Mar 1, 2009
What Was Your First Big Real-Estate Venture?
BCBusiness D.B.

DEREK TRETHEWEY (l) President & CEO, Okanagan Land Development Corp. “I was 20 and without a pot to piss in. A friend calls me up and says, ‘You gotta get up to Kelowna; there’s a couple of motels for sale for $750,000.’ Once there, I start talking to this guy...

Mar 1, 2009
"V" for Vitamin - and Victory
Steven Schelling

The current economic climate may have us tightening our belts before long, but, no matter the privations of a recession or full-scale depression, for some the question will always be, Which belt do I tighten, and does it go with my outfit? Last December, while news of Tribune Co.’s bankruptcy protection...

Mar 1, 2009
And on the Third Day
Alison McLaughlin

The numbers don’t lie; Vancouver has never been much of a radio town. Since 1991, on average, listenership has been down about half an hour per person per year, with the average Vancouverite tuning in for roughly 12 hours a week. With the rising popularity of file sharing, satellite radio...

Mar 1, 2009
Priced Right
J Bucher

What is the price of dignity? Well, according to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, $10,000. For those keeping score, that also happens to be the outlay for a green Hermès Birkin bag with gold hardware, a base model 2008 Kia...

Feb 25, 2009
Note To Customer: Get Lost
Tony Wanless

In the midst of a recession, the credit card company American Express is offering “selected customers” a $300 AmEx prepaid gift card if they pay off their balances and close their accounts. Other US credit card issuers, equally hard hit by escalating payment defaults, are expected to follow suit. Okay, so...

Feb 13, 2009
The Bolts Come Off Canadian Tire
Tony Wanless

The digerati are all – ahem – atwitter about the fact that Canadian Tire, citing economic return, is shutting down its massive e-commerce website. The venerable retailer, which was hailed at one time as a big-company leader in adopting e-commerce, says the site will now be available only for customer research purposes. This, apparently, is what most customers do now – research a purchase online and then buy it in a store.

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