Blog

5 Loans to Finance Your Budding Retail Business

Having your own business is a sweet deal.
No more bosses, no more annoying colleagues, no more dumb orders – just freedom. (Tweet this!)
Freedom to take the direction you want; freedom to implement your ideas of how your business should look like; freedom to experiment with marketing strategies and even technology.

That said, Canada seems to be a fertile soil where small businesses thrive, according to the latest statistics available. The annual Key Small Business Statistics report, published by Industry Canada in August 2013, provides detailed information about small, medium and large enterprises supporting this upward trend.

Canada’s Retail Statistics

The report states that at the end of 2012, there were 1,107,540 employer businesses, out of which 1,087,803 were small. In other words, small businesses make up 98.2% of all employer businesses, and contribute between 25% and 41% to Canada’s GDP.


Independent We Stand / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

With those numbers in mind, the decision to start your own small business is only natural. If you are still on the level of contemplating what kind of small business will be good for you, we suggest you consider retail.
With the right products and an active engagement with your customers, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be successful. (Tweet this! )

Here are some more encouraging statistics about this sector, specifically. Small wholesale and retail businesses in Canada (with 1-99 employees) amount to 204,270, while the annual retail trade for 2012 accumulated $470 million.

Just to give you an idea of what kind of retail trade was most successful, here are the numbers in millions:

  • Food and beverage stores: $107,051 million
  • Motor vehicle and parts dealers: $105,332 million
  • Automobile dealers: $91,084 million
  • New car dealers: $85,096 million
  • Grocery stores: $82,556 million
  • Supermarkets and other grocery (except convenience) stores: $75,755 million

Once you’ve settled on the kind of business you want to run, the bigger questions arise: How can you finance your new company? (Tweet this!)
Where can you find financial help in order to kick-start your new enterprise?

We, at Zillidy, want to share the following 5 recommendations with you. Take a look:

#1. Merchant Cash Advance


ariztravel / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

This is a great opportunity to fund your starting small business with up to $250,000 and with approval in less than 10 days.

However, you’d have to calculate carefully whether the cash advance you’re getting will be easy to return, based on your potential future sales.

Because of the way the system works, your payments will be based on a small fixed percentage of your future credit and debit transactions. Or, payments can also be a fixed daily amount that’s automatically withdrawn from your account.

Overall, a merchant cash advance is a good option, because it has easy-to-understand rules and is directly attached to the success of your business.

#2. Line of Credit or Operating Loan

If there are ups and downs in your business’ cash flow, remember that there’s a line of credit or operating loan to save the day. It’s usually connected to your checking account, and with it, you can cover operational expenses when the money in your business’ bank account is tight.

You may also be able to secure a line of credit with the equity of your home.

It’s worth noting that since since this a loan, an interest will apply, and it may vary according to your credit score. As far as paying the loan back, you have to start as soon as you borrow the money, and continue over the pre-specified period of time.

#3. Business Incubators


Infusionsoft / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Incubators can be helpful in more areas than just financing. They can definitely be a great asset in supporting you as a fledgling entrepreneur and help you through the start-up stage. Count on them to develop your business plan, to provide office space and administrative services, technical support, to offer you access to the right lawyers and accountants, to give you invaluable business advice and an opportunity to network and find other businesses or individuals that can be useful to you.

Contact the Canadian Association of Business Incubation to learn more about how to gain entrance into a business incubator near you.

#4. Supplier Credit

If your business is in need of some equipment or machinery, your supplier may be willing to finance your purchase. Usually, the terms suppliers set revolve around a 30 or 45-day payment plan. An interest rate on the amount of the purchase is quite possible.

In case you are purchasing goods to resell to your clients, you may pay up front the whole amount, but then, there remains a risk to lose money if you cannot sell them. However, some manufacturers of new goods may be willing to sell them to you on consignment. This is indeed a viable option, because you’ll pay the manufacturer only when you sell all the products.

#5. A Short Term Collateral Loan

Among the business loans, the short collateral loan is one of the most creative financial solutions, and it can also be an answer to your prayers for money. All you need is something small but of great value such as a luxury watch or a gold ring or loose diamonds.

An antique that’s been in the family for decades can be put up as collateral for a short term business loan, as well. Just look around – you’d be surprised what may be hidden in the attic or the basement, unnoticed for years. The best part – when your asset is approved and you agree with the proposed amount, the money will be immediately deposited to your bank account.

You can pay your loan back any time during the loan period. All terms are subject to mutual agreement and understanding. Once you’ve paid it off, your asset will be shipped back to you free of charge and fully insured.

Whatever your choice of extra financial assistance, consider the pros and cons of each possibility and go for it.

Nothing should stop you from starting the retail business of your dreams! (Tweet this!)

 

An Echo From the Past: A Lost Fabergé Egg Reappears

The famous Fabergé eggs have come back to the front page of the news again. And why wouldn’t they? Ever since the Russian imperial goldsmith Peter Carl Fabergé began making them in the 1880s, these jeweled eggs have fascinated the world over with their exceptional craftsmanship, sophistication and beauty.

If you are interested in unique expensive jewelry, the Fabergé eggs are a great example, so keep on reading to learn more about their fascinating history. These famous antiques, made of pure gold and encrusted with gemstones, now cost millions of dollars each, and only a few collectors around the world can afford to possess one.

Just several months ago, however, a new Fabergé egg was accidentally discovered by a scrap metal dealer who unsuspectingly bought it at a flea market in America’s Midwest. Unaware of the object’s origin and worth, he made the purchase with the hopes of reselling it just for its gold content.

The beauty and craftsmanship of the Fabergé eggs never cease to invoke a sense of wonder.
 

 

The Birth of a Legend

Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé made 50 eggs for the Russian crown, 43 of which now have been recovered.
 

Back in 1885, a Russian jeweler named Peter Carl Fabergé (1846 – 1920), a Russian jeweller, made the first egg. It was commissioned by Russian Tsar Alexander III, who wanted to give his wife an Easter egg made of gold. This first Fabergé egg is known as the Hen Egg. In the fashion of the famous Russian nesting doll Matryoshka, most Fabergé eggs open and contain other small items each placed one inside the other. The Hen Egg in particular has a matte yellow-gold yolk, which opens to reveal a golden hen that “carries” a miniature diamond replica of the Russian imperial crown.

Following the success of this first masterpiece, Fabergé was appointed as a special goldsmith to the Imperial Crown. From 1885 until 1917 when the Russian Revolution started, he made a total of 50 Imperial Eggs, 42 of which have survived. Until recently that is, for the scrap metal dealer accidentally found a 43rd. It is believed that most of the other seven were melted down to extract their gold. But nobody knows for sure, so it’s not impossible that more Fabergé eggs may crop up in the future.

The Lost Third Imperial Egg

The gold egg that the scrap dealer from the American Midwest bought for only $14,000 is believed to be the lost Third Imperial Egg. Not knowing its worth, the buyer was thinking of reselling it, in the hopes of making a mere $500 profit. When he tried to sell the jewel-encrusted piece, no buyers actually came forth. Then one day, he saw an online article about a Fabergé Easter egg made for the Russian royalty. He began to suspect that the egg might be worth more than he had originally thought.

The long lost Third Imperial Egg.

The long lost Third Imperial Egg.
 

After some research, he found the name of an expert from the London-based Wartski firm that specializes in Russian artifacts, and at the beginning of 2014 he flew to Europe to learn more. The expert immediately recognized the egg as genuine, and began negotiations with an undisclosed private collector who wanted to buy it. Reportedly, the egg’s worth was estimated at $33 million.

It has been confirmed by now that the egg discovered by the American scrap dealer is indeed the Third Imperial Egg, made in 1887. It’s made of gold with a fantastic diamond in the middle, which serves as a button to open the egg. The “surprise” inside is a Vacheron Constantin watch with golden arms. A special stand adorned with blue sapphires and rose diamonds adds even more grace to the precious gold egg.

The Third Imperial Egg will be on a public display at Wartski for the first time in 112 years, and only for four days during the week of April 14, 2014.

The Fabergé Exhibit in Montreal

Starting June 14, 2014, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will host an extensive exhibition that will feature 240 artifacts made by “Fabergé, Jeweler of the Tsars.” Along with many fine objects of great value, visitors will see four of the famous Imperial Eggs, more specifically those which are currently owned by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The exhibit will also present interesting facts about the history of imperial Russia, and examine the great wave of Fabergé look-alike items that have been flooding the western art markets since the 1930s.

All this will be on display until October 5, 2014.

Conclusion

Fabergé eggs will never go out of fashion, and their unique beauty and craftsmanship will never cease to invoke that sense of wonder.

As lenders of small business loans against valuable personal assets, here at Zillidy we understand the worth of such antiques. We are experts at estimating the true value of a real diamond or a ring with a precious stone, in case you need advice on how much your valuable asset is worth. Our expertise has helped many people finance their budding small businesses or their various personal needs.

Have you seen anything more impressive than the Fabergé eggs? Did you know anything about them and their million dollar worth prior to this article? Share your thoughts in the section below.

5 Hot Ottawa Startups to Consult for Your New Business

It’s good to do business in the Canadian capital, the fourth largest city in the country, as there are currently 108 Ottawa startups, correlating to a population of about 900,000 people.

According to Invest Ottawa, a local economic development organization, there are six key sectors that have shown the greatest potential for growth: Wireless, Photonics, Defense and Security, Cleantech, Life Sciences, and Film, Digital Media and Television Production.

If you are at the final stages of preparation and are ready to launch your startup, or just recently did, you might need some support when making your first steps.

Luckily, Ottawa has a vibrant startup community with numerous economic and business development agencies, readily available for entrepreneurs to consult. The connecting link between them is Startup Community Ottawa, a “grassroots driven movement in Ottawa, bringing together people passionate about collaboration, innovation and learning.”

We, at Zillidy, are closely following the start-up scene in Ottawa, and are supporting new business ideas with small business loans. Here we have selected for you some examples of successful Ottawa startups. It’s hard to choose the best 5 out of 108 great companies, but here are some definitely worth noting:

#1. Evergrade Interactive

Screen shot 2014-03-30 at 11.29.02 PM

This award-winning marketing agency specializes in inbound marketing. Evergrade helps businesses increase their online presence and attract more people to their websites or social media pages. To extend their clients’ online presence, the company employs an array of different methods such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (SMM), content marketing and marketing for mobile devices, to name a few. When combined in a coherent strategy, all of these should attract more paying customers.

Evergrade can also help with your website design and development if you need it.
So far, the company has helped increase traffic and revenue for 100 businesses across Canada and the U.S.

#2. idea2delivery

An important first step for any new business is to know how to organize all of its creative ideas and implement them most successfully. Idea2delivery offers just that – real world entrepreneur training.

Screen shot 2014-03-30 at 11.49.50 PM

You can watch their 13 online episodes to learn more about business fundamentals starting with preparing a business plan, to online marketing and how to draw traffic to your website, among other things. Each episode features a speaker who is an experienced entrepreneur and can offer the best advice derived from his or her successful business practices. It’s the kind of a mentorship that many startups need, so give it a try.

#3. Inversoft Solutions Inc.

Screen shot 2014-03-30 at 11.35.28 PM

The company specializes in mobile app development for businesses in various industries. Created to be user-friendly, reliable and functional, the mobile apps and platform solutions are meant to be in touch with their clients, cater to their market needs, increase brand presence online and bring in more sales.

Inversoft Solutions Inc. has a team of experts whose creative work has enhanced the business of clients in industries such as publishing, entertainment, automotive, and insurance. Some of the apps the company has developed include the Audi Canada app, the Ottawa Humane Society app, and MyBLR On-The-Go app.

#4. Blacksumac

Screen shot 2014-03-30 at 11.38.52 PM

This is one of Ottawa’s most successful technology development and engineering design startup. Blacksumac is the creator of Piper, a fully customized security system that monitors your office, home or vacation house when you are away.

You can set the system to detect even very small movement, and then either record a video, give you a call, sound a siren or send you a text message. You can even add people you trust to the notification system, so it will reach them if you are not available. In other words, Piper is a convenient gadget with which you can skip over other security systems, that require monthly subscription fees and binding contracts.

#5. Time Doctor

Screen shot 2014-03-30 at 11.23.47 PM

Well, who doesn’t need this? As the name suggests, this software helps people and businesses with their time management. Time Doctor helps track the total time worked by every person in your office; it helps you stay focused, and if you’re spending too much time on Facebook, for example, it will give you a polite reminder that you are still at work and need to be doing something else.

The tool can even monitor application and internet usage, and later produce a detailed report on how much time is spent on writing emails or chatting, as well as what websites have been visited. That way, it can help identify office productivity issues and much more.

Conclusion

Starting your own business is a tough endeavor. Despite all challenges, the growing startup community in Ottawa has become a great asset to the city’s innovations development. The five successful companies discussed in this article are all an encouraging example that if you have a good idea and find money to back it up, there can be endless possibilities for growth. On the other hand, great ideas need more collaborators to become a reality, so exploring all options available to you could mean a better chance of reaching your goal.

 

5 Ways to Get a Bad Credit Loan in Canada

Even though it might be hard to believe that the Canadian economy is improving, experts say it’s true.

If you are a small business owner, is your business also picking up, or you are still struggling with the lingering effects of the recession?

Because of the bad economic climate in the last 5 years, many small business owners couldn’t service their loans and now they have a bad credit history. If you are one of them, and you’ve been wondering if its possible to get a small business loan with your bad credit, the answer is yes! You certainly can.

If you need fresh cash to stay afloat, here at Zillidy we can help you with just the right amount of money to keep your engine running. Your credit history is of little importance to us, because even with bad credit, we can give you a simple short term loan in exchange for collateral, to cover your most urgent expenses.

But there’s more than one way to get a bad credit loan in Canada, and collateral loans are only the tip of the iceberg. There are many ways to get cash without having to deal with banks or being asked to pay an excruciatingly high interest rate.

BookMama / Foter / CC BY

 

Let’s take a look at 5 great loan options:

#1.Community Business Development Corporations (CBDC)

In its core a compilation of non-profit organizations, the Corporations help small business owners with bad credit ratings avoid traditional banks.

You can qualify if you prove that your business benefits the local community. You’d have to demonstrate economic viability, in addition to the fact that you create jobs for the local people.

The Corporations are usually supported by local businesses and service providers, not the federal government.

The CBDCs can lend you up to $150,000. You will have to present a business proposal with detailed plan of how you intend to use the money.

Find out if there is an office of the CBDCs near you and give them a call. Take a look at some of the loans they offer, such as the General Business Loan, First-Time Entrepreneur Loan or Innovation Loan.

#2. Home Equity Line of Credit

aag_photos / Foter / CC BY-SA

 

You can use this option if you have equity in your property. Then you can use this low-interest, tax-deductible line of credit to meet your needs.

However, the problem with home equity is that if you can’t repay the debt, you will put the financial security of your home in danger. On the other hand, if you are confident in making regular payments, this is an inexpensive option for a loan and your bad credit won’t matter at all.

#3. Turn to a Credit Union

Of course, if you can choose between a bank and a credit union to get a small business loan, always go for the credit union. At its core, a credit union is a nonprofit organization owned by its members. What unites them is the fact that they work in the same industry or live in one geographic area.

Money is passed among members only and this makes everybody happy, especially with the interest rate, which can be as little as 1%.

There’s one tiny hiccup, though. You’d have to become a member before you can qualify for a loan. See if you share something in common with a credit union near you, to take advantage of this favourable financial environment. The commonality could be the same employer, postal code or church community.

Try Credit Union Central of Canada to find the unions in your area, and give them a call to inquire about how you can become a member and get a loan.

#4. Ask Your Family or Friends

moodboardphotography / Foter / CC BY

People usually avoid borrowing money from family or friends, even though this may seem like the most obvious choice. When money is owed, sooner or later things often sour and good relationships may be ruined.

You can treat getting a loan from someone you know like a normal business transaction, with set responsibilities and deadlines, to avoid any trouble.

Create a written agreement where all the details are clarified, starting from the interest rate and when you expect to repay the loan to documentation of any collateral put up for the loan and what happens if the borrower fails to pay off the debt.

But just a piece of friendly advice – use the family loan only as a last resort.

#5. A Short Term Collateral Loan

Frankly, for many small businesses this may be your best option, especially if you are in possession of something small but of great value. It could be a luxury watch or a gold ring or loose diamonds.

If you’re not sure you have valuable possessions, you can look around the house to try to find that antique or a luxury item that you can put up as collateral for a short term business loan. You can often be surprised by what’s been in storage for decades, never taken out.

Read more about how to get a collateral Zillidy loan here. With us, no degree of bad credit can stop you from getting the cash you need and keeping your business going.

Give us a call or send us an email and let us know how we can help.

Most Helpful Small Business Associations in Canada

Startups make the news almost every day. But did you know that a whopping 90% of technology startups lose momentum and eventually fail? What business associations in Canada can provide that much-needed aid to keep your startup going?

Canadian entrepreneurs enjoy a vast and diverse range of business associations they can rely on. Moreover, information about such associations is readily available on the internet and the majority of them are listed on Industry Canada. Here are the five that caught our eye.

1. The Canadian Youth Business Foundation

Young entrepreneurs, this one is for you. The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is poised to provide financial assistance and expert advice to entrepreneurs aged 18 to 39.

CYBF began in 1996 in an effort to fight youth unemployment. The association nurtures Canada’s youngest entrepreneurs from the earliest stages of development. If you are at square one and you are yet to write down your business plan, CYBF has a free tool for you. A startup help package of up to $15,000 is provided when it comes to financing.

More importantly though, CYBF pairs up matching participants with volunteer mentors for two years. While they’re not all necessarily business owners, all mentors are a skillful and knowledgeable somebody assigned to partner the new entrepreneurs.

Business organization bring business together, but other help do they provide?

Business associations bring companies together, but what other help do they provide?

2. Small Business BC

Defining themselves as the premiere resource centre for knowledge-based business products and services, Small Business BC tackles business’ core problems such as productivity and profitability.

To finance small businesses, the Vancouver based business-helpers rely on trustworthy sources such as Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.

Among their business partners, Small Business BC lists OneStop Business Registry and Canadian Youth Business Foundation in their strive to provide additional help to business owners. They also work closely with the Canada Business network to bring the national point of service closer to businesses in need.

Small Business BC also has a blog that gets weekly updates with articles for which entrepreneurs cannot thank them enough. Topics are all things business, approached from a personal point of view. This makes the content not only useful, but extremely relatable and easy to pick off the page and put into action.

3. BC Chamber of Commerce

These are the traditionalists in our list. British Columbia Chamber of Commerce have been laying the foundations for business-friendly public policy and they have been advocating it actively. Actually, the BC Chambers take such pride in what they do that they call themselves the Voice of Business in B.C.

On top of advocacy, BC Chambers run various programs such as BC Micro Business Training. This particular program targets businesses with 5 or less employees and offers up to $1,500 in aid for training. This extra training is invaluable to small teams and ultimately results in improved efficiency.

BC Chamber of Commerce is highly influential in the province, offering its members numerous benefits, certification services, and more.

4. Canadian Federation of Independent Business

The insight knowledge you get from business organization events can be the turning point for your business

The insight knowledge you get from business organization events can be the turning point for your business

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has been around for over 40 years. This non-profit business organization represents the interests and concerns of over 109,000 Canadian owners of small and mid-size business nationwide.

Membership includes benefits that encompass all aspects of entrepreneurship. From banking, to training solutions and certification, from payroll processing to insurance, CFIB’s members have got it all.

Needles to say, CFIB provides its members with free advice covering more than just the common pain points of its members. Moreover, CFIB is not only staying up to date with economy changes and business regulations- they push for changes themselves. They collect data from members through surveys, opinion polls, and face-to-face visits in order to represent the Canadian business landscape accurately. We can’t deny that CFIB has been quite influential on Canadian economic policy.

5. Toronto Region Board of Trade

This is the largest local chamber of commerce in Canada. It was founded in 1845 and currently represents more than 250,000 business.

Toronto Region Board of Trade aims to be the most influential business network for its members. They organize various events to help knowledge-sharing where small and mid-sized businesses get to meet the big fish and gather valuable information. In addition, the non-profit business organization provides business resources, brand building and various opportunities for cost savings.

From recent media publications, it becomes apparent that the Toronto Region Board actively drives the region to better days. Gathering data from its investors and members, this business organization manages to address and work on the region’s most important weaknesses.

The green light that your business need might be quick cash for that much needed equipment investment

The green light that your business needs might be quick cash for that much needed equipment investment

However, If you are looking for some short-term financial aid, business associations in Canada might not be the best option. As helpful as they can be, “swift” is rarely how businesses describe them. To find out more about how to get some quick funds in order to keep up with your rapid business expansion, head over to the website for Zillidy’s Business Loan. It is a quick and valuable financial solution that doesn’t reflect negatively on your credit history or your future ability to obtain bank loans.

Meeting the Winners of the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction

On February 28, Alberta hosted its annual business awards. Going strong for over 21 years, the awards are primarily given to small and mid-sized businesses, with numerous benefits for the finalists as well as the winners.

The awards are sponsored by Alberta Chambers of Commerce and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Affairs Canada, with extra funding from the Institute of the Chartered Accountants of Alberta, Alberta Human Services, Alberta Human Rights Commission, and Alberta Aboriginal Relations for a few of the awards, all of which fall into 10 categories:

This is a last year Alberta Business Awards of Distinction winner. How do this year winners look and more importantly, what are they doing to win such distinctions?

Last year’s Persons with Disabilities Award of Distinction went to Enmax Corporation. Who are the winnersthis year?
 
  1. Aboriginal Woman Entrepreneur
  2. Diversity Leadership
  3. Employer of Persons with Disabilities
  4. Employer of Youth
  5. Small Business
  6. Aboriginal Relations – Best Practice
  7. Eagle Feather Business
  8. Youth Entrepreneur Business
  9. Marketing Award
  10. Export Award of Distinction

Fast growing, yet considerate, businesses are well looked after in Alberta

Fast growing, yet considerate, businesses are well looked after in Alberta
 

On top of that all finalists are considered for the Premier’s Award of Distinction. It is awarded for outstanding leadership and involvement in community events.

Who are some of the Albertasauruses in the Canadian business jungle that received honours on February 28, 2014?

Canadian North

Canadian North's logo

The airport-serving business from Calgary received the Premier’s Award of Distinction. The prestigious award was given for outstanding entrepreneurship and involving cultural concepts in its business plan. Needless to say, the company has been reaping the success from these remarkable practices for quite some time now.

The company has more than 30,000 shareholders and still manages to be 100% owned by Aboriginals. Although focused in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Canadian North’s charter flights cover the rest of Canada and the U.S.

Syncrude Canada Ltd.

Syncrude's logo

The Employer of Youth Award of Distinction went to Syncrude Canada Ltd. The company takes advantage of Alberta’s oil sands and is one of the largest producers of crude oil. Syncrude Canada Ltd. is also the nation’s largest industrial employer of Aboriginal people.

Despite its substantial production, the company is fearlessly striving for sustainability. The company itself and its largest owner have both been indexed in private lists in recognition of their environmental and social commitment.

Enbridge Pipelines

Endbridge's logo

The winner of the Diversity Leadership Award of Distinction this year is Endbridge Pipelines. The Calgary-based company is where energy meets people, to borrow their company slogan. Endbridge Pipeline has the world’s longest crude oil pipeline system, transporting over 65% of Canadian crude oil.

Alberta boasts many socially aware business owners
 

 

All it takes is a quick glance at Endbridge Pipelines’ website to find everything you want to know about their social policies. The company aids Aboriginal schools and rural areas where fire departments primarily use volunteers and the police runs on minimal staff.

Sun Dog Tour Co.

SunDog's logo

The Small Business Award of Distinction went to the Jasper-based Sun Dog Tour Co. From conference services, to airport shuttles and sightseeing excursions, this business does all things land transport. The company operates with a variety of vehicles ranging from luxury SUVs for up to 4 people to 28-seat touring coaches.

Sun Dog Tour Co. take special pride in their tour guides, which take tourists around the Canadian Rockies and Jasper National Park like no other company out there.

On top of well-equipped, experienced staff, the company has an attractive and informative website. It is an excellent example of entrepreneurs taking their business online successfully.

Eagle Feather Business Award of Distinction

Canadian North makes a second appearance. They were awarded Eagle Feather Business Award of Distinction for their distinct cultural take on entrepreneurship. The company’s growth has created many jobs and developing Alberta’s infrastructure. The company is constantly involved in the community where it operates. Canadian North are truly the noble eagles that fly in Alberta.

Notable Mentions

Some of the finalists who didn’t get first place still caught our attention.

Budget Blinds was a finalist in the Small Business category. The company was founded by five young entrepreneurs who started running the company from a small apartment. They’ve managed to expand it to more than 1,000 consultants throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Bonnyville Veterinary Clinic Inc., also a Small Business finalist, is living proof that small businesses can indeed provide extensive services. The clinic is very well equipped, featuring a small 11-member team that’s incredibly passionate about what they do. They take veterinary medicine a step further with special attention to preventative care.

If you want to take your small business to the next level, but need extra funds, banks are not the only option. In order to make it to the final round in the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction, a careful management of resources is required. Utilising personal assets such as jewelry, gemstones and watches can be a great financial boost for your company, even though this is something entrepreneurs often overlook. Taking advantage of Zillidy’s Business Loan will elevate your business without any credit score risks. And you might just be next year’s Alberta Business Awards of Distinction winner!

 

Top 10 Canadian Tax Myths that Could Cost You Money

It is tax season again, a time of the year dreaded by most Canadians. Even though there is a lot of helpful information on the internet, there are some rumors that don’t necessarily save you money.

These myths about Canadian taxes range from completely obscure ones to myths that sound logical at first. Here at Zillidy, we have been keeping an eye on the tax mythology for quite some time now. We have put together a list of 10 myths about Canadian taxes that we are going to bust right away.

Myth 1: Filing taxes is voluntary

Actually, this one is true. However, it only works if you owe $2 or less. Self-employed persons and their spouses are obligated to file tax return for 2013 before June 15, 2014. An important note is that if you have any unpaid taxes from the previous year, April 30, 2014 is the deadline to clear the old payments.

Canadian income tax filing for 2013 wasn't due in Jaunary 2014 contrary to what some believe.

Canadian income tax filing for 2013 wasn’t due in January 2014, contrary to what some believe.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provides an extensive lists describing who has to file tax return where interesting and surprising situations are found. Such is the example with students, who want to transfer their tuition, education, and textbook amounts.

Myth 2: If I file my taxes online, my odds of being audited increase

This myth exists because you cannot file paper receipts or tax slips online and is not true. The CRA does employ some routine checks on such documentation, but they are nowhere near the complexity of a tax audit. These tax audits are not dependant on the filing method, as broader criteria are incorporated.

You should not be afraid to file online. This filing method has benefits that go beyond ease of use. Market Wired claims that people filing online get their refunds faster.

Does the 21st century way of filing tax has a dark side?
>Does the 21st century way of filing tax have a dark side?

Myth 3: I don’t earn enough money to pay income tax, so I don’t need to file a tax return

Unfortunately this is not true. As seen above, there are many reasons to file a tax return. Not filing a tax return will make you unfit for benefits and credits like the GST/HST credit and the child tax credit. Filing a tax return is also a must if you want to apply for a tax refund.

Myth 4: 29% tax rate if my income is over $136,270

The tax rate for incomes over $136,270 is indeed 29% but it is applied only to the part of the income that exceeds $136,270. The same principle is used for lower income as well

  1. 15% on the first $43,953 of taxable income
  2. 22% on the portion of taxable income from $43,953 up to $87,907
  3. 26% on the portion of taxable income from $87,907 up to $136,270
  4. 29% of taxable income over $136,270

Keep in mind that these are the Federal tax rates and they are not set nationwide, as some parts of the country have their provincial/territorial tax rates detailed by CRA.

Myth 5: Barters without money involved aren’t taxable

Such barters are not the most common thing and people don’t know how to convey them legally. The common presumption is that if you receive services or even a product that is not in the form of cash, the barter is exempted from taxation. Although this myth was busted by the CRA back in 1982, it still persists today. Interpretation Bulletin 490 states that the value of any goods or any service you offer must be added in your income if they are the kinds of things you normally earn income from.

Eligible childcare costs include daycare or babysitting, boarding school and certain camp expenses

Eligible childcare costs include daycare or babysitting, boarding school and certain camp expenses

Myth 6: It doesn’t matter which spouse claims the child-care deduction

Canadians opting for child-care deductions are often left clueless about who should make the claim and thus a myth was born. However, the CRA says that the claim should come from the spouse with the lower net income. There are some exceptions to this rule and if this spouse is a  full-time student or a full-time inmate in prison, the higher income spouse can make the claim.

 
 
 

 

Myth 7: Moving expenses are not deductible

Au contraire. If you are employed and you have moved at least 40 kilometers closer to work, this is considered a legal moving expense by the CRA. You’d be surprised on how many deductions Canadians are missing out.

Myth 8: My work with income tax is done and dusted after filing

This is where you can get into trouble. CRA can choose your forms for review and this practice can cover more than just the previous year. In fact, CRA advises to keep income tax records for the past 6 years. Failure to do so may result in CRA disallowing tax deductions you have claimed.

Myth 9: There’s nothing I can do if I don’t have the cash to pay my tax return

Not all is lost if the tax bill seems "unpayable"

Not all is lost if the tax bill seems “unpayable”

Not true! Failing to pay your tax bill and not doing anything about it only leads to unwanted fees and interest. Such penalties start with 5% for late filing. Further charges include a 1% interest on your balance owing for each full month that your return is late, for up to a maximum of 12 months.

However, there are ways to get around this unpleasant situation. If you owe more than $3,000 in net tax, CRA provides an option to pay it in four installments spread out throughout the year. Everything you have to know about it can be found on CRA’s website.

Your assets may just hold the key to getting the tax bill paid even if you don’t’ have the money for it. Zillidy’s Personal Loan looks like the best thing you can do in such situation. You don’t risk harming your credit history, you get the much needed cash quicker than bank loans and once the loan is repaid, you get your valuable asset back. Don’t hesitate and find out more about the Personal Loan offered by Zillidy.

Myth 10: CRA is also in the myth-busting business

This one is actually true. CRA’s website is a valuable tool for any taxpayer, providing extensive and well-explained information. They have also debunked myths about the constitutional justification for federal taxing, the auditing process, and even negotiating lower tax with them.

Boost Your Startup with a Private Business Loan

Today is the day to be the rockstar of your assets, to put them to use when trying to find short-term funding for your startup.

Finding money when you need it might seem like the hardest thing to do when you’re just starting your own business. Important growth opportunities may be time-sensitive and this might make them difficult to grab on to. When you find a great investment idea, be ready! That means having the right amount of funding available at the right moment.

Finding Fast Funds: Your Source Options

Where can you get extra funds to jump on a promising opportunity? Options are plentiful. Crowdfunding, bank loans and private business loans are all possibilities. While every funding method will have its unique pros and cons, when it comes to quick cash Private Business Loans are the way to go.With distinct advantages over the conventional bank loan as well as crowdfunding, private loans are the smart funding solution for our fast-paced modern business landscape. Here are our thoughts on why such a loan is today’s top choice.

Sitting and waiting for business development just won't cut it. Be proactive!

Sitting around, waiting for business development to happen on its own just won’t cut it. Be proactive!

Bank Loans and Crowdfunding: Smart, but Slow

Quick cash won’t come from a bank loan, unfortunately. This loan process is well established with certain advantages such as complete business decision freedom, but it lacks the swiftness that today’s entrepreneurs need. Preparing the documents needed for a bank loan is a time consuming process that won’t fit everyone’s schedule. And the story’s not over – after all the forms are filed, there’s the long wait for approval.Trendy crowdfunding, however awesome it may be, suffers from the same disadvantage. It will raise brand awareness and even help your marketing research, but it won’t provide the quick cash you when you need it. Not only does setting up the campaign and promoting it effectively take time and valuable resources, but optimal campaign lengths usually range between 30 and 40 days. A Private Business Loan, on the other hand, can quickly get you the cash you need to invest in any time-sensitive business opportunities that could prove pivotal for your business growth. Modern service providers in Canada include Zillidy, which gives a loan offer just 24 hours after receiving your application. After a quick inspection of your assets, the capital is yours to put to use right away.

Bank Loans take time and you might miss the vital investment opportunity you've just been offered
Bank Loans take time and you might miss the vital investment opportunity for which you’ve been planning

Private Business Loans: The Win-Win Scenario

If you have valuable assets that you don’t regularly put to use, it’s only logical to make them work for you when you need cash. That’s exactly what you do with a Private Business Loan – you exchange your assets for a quick and secure monetary loan. Once the loan is paid back, your assets are yours again to keep. This is the most straightforward way of getting extra funds for your startup.

It’s also the most risk-free. Whereas banks loans have a very intrusive application process, the collateral loan process is very discreet and that’s one of its biggest advantages. With Zillidy, you don’t risk damaging your credit score. Moreover, with asset loans you can avoid complicated costs and structures.

Another advantage to the discreetness is that there’s no risk of affecting public opinion of your company. A recent analysis on crowdfunding by Lorna Sixsmith commented on the negative effect of a failed crowdfunding campaign. Because the result is evident for all to see, your brand image suffers extensively. But with private business loans, nothing is in the public eye.

How Private Business Loans Can Help

Credit Cards might not be the best solution when looking for short term cash

Credit Cards might not be the best solution when looking for short term cash

These loans have the option for reasonable interest-only monthly rates with flexible payment terms to help you reach your business goals successfully. You can take advantage of immediate investment opportunities, and still get your personal assets – whether they be luxury watches, gemstones, diamonds or precious metals – back safely. In the interim they will be stored in secured facilities and are guaranteed to be returned in the very same condition in which they were deposited.

Managing your business isn’t just about operating with available resources. In order to outsmart the competition, you have to look at the bigger picture. Constant research on possible business expansion opportunities and investments is what sets apart good entrepreneurs from great ones.

If the right business opportunity isn’t here yet, it’s just around the corner. Figure out if personal business loans are right for you, and get a quote. Be ready when the moment arrives!

Don’t Let the Canadian Small Business Income Tax Catch You Off-Guard

Has your business made it through the tax year? Excellent! Have you decided to go with an optimistic economic outlook for 2014? Even better! Stick to your plan, but keep in mind that the deadline for filing the Canadian income tax forms for small businesses has changed.

The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) now expects you to file the income tax form for 2013 by April 30, 2014. However, if you are self-employed, you have time until June 15th, 2014 to file your taxes. Filling out the form is a lengthy process that requires a certain amount of preparation. Start now if you want plenty of time to do things correctly, without the pressure of a nearing deadline. We have a few tips that will make this process a bit less daunting.

Danger lurks around filing your income tax forms, but it's no match for a small business on the rise

Danger lurks around filing your income tax forms, but it’s no match for a small business on the rise

The Forms You’ll Need

The required income tax forms vary depending on what type of business you run, but for partnerships and sole proprietorships the T2125 Statement of Business or Professional Activities is a must. If your business falls in one of these two categories, you will also have to provide a handful of other forms, such as the T4, T5, Capital Gain/Losses and Universal Child Care Benefit.

Obtaining the forms is easy – they’re available both on the CRA website and by mail. The bigger concern in dealing with your income tax is the clutter. It’s the sheer amount of documentation used to fill the forms that scares most business owners. The best practice is to go through the forms, design a spreadsheet that covers the required information, summarize your data there and only then proceed to filling the forms.

Don’t Forget Claimable Expenses

Deducting your expenses properly will greatly reduce your income tax. To do this you need receipts and invoices for all expenses deemed claimable by the CRA. Read this in-depth guide on claimable expenses put together by Origami Accounting to learn more. Expenses that fall into this category include:

You don't have to keep everything you have filed. CRA looks only in the last 6 years of filing history

You don’t have to keep your files forever. The CRA only looks at the last 6 years of filing history
  • RRSP Contributions
  • Charitable Donations
  • Medical Expenses
  • First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit
  • Education Expenses
  • Child Care Expenses
  • Investment Loans
  • Transit Pass Tax Credit

 

What Happens If Your Income Tax Is Just Too High?

After you have calculated your income tax and subtracted all your claimable expenses the amount of tax due can still seem alarming. Before you panic, get your documentation to an accountant to get it double-checked. It’s possible something slipped through your fingers, but accountants know where to look and will catch the mistake.

But what if there is no mistake? Not paying is not a great option as the charges and interest will only cost you more. The first thing you want to do is contact the CRA. If you are able to pay the taxes you owe in a six to twelve month period, the agency can work out a payment plan. You might be required to issue post-dated cheques or direct debit payments from your bank account.

There are ways to get out of the uncomfortable situation where you don't have the funds to pay your income tax

Don’t panic – even if you can’t pay right away, alternative solutions are available

Alternatively, you can look for short term cash to pay off your small business taxes. Credit cards are an option, but you’ll be putting your credit score at risk. It’ll be seriously damaged if you fail to make the minimum monthly payments.

Zillidy has a different solution that won’t damage your credit history in any way. Our Business Loan may be a possible win-win solution if you have assets lying around.

Simply temporarily swap your assets for cash for the duration of the loan. Putting them to a good use can save you money from paying your income tax late. Moreover, the whole application procedure is quick and straightforward, so the CRA won’t even notice you’ve had troubles paying what you owe.

Submitting your forms can be done in various ways ranging from using an accountant, to the classic paper return, to modern online software like Ufile. Don’t hesitate to ask for professional advice, since doing your income tax yourself can get complicated. Just make sure you prepare as much as you can beforehand. This will save time and save you money.

As you can see, figuring out your tax payment amount and how you’re going to pay it are complex and time-consuming tasks. It’s best to start as soon as possible to make sure it all goes smoothly. And if it turns out that you need extra financing, learn more about Zillidy’s Business Loans to see if they’re right for you.

5 Ways To Finance Your Retirement

Most Canadians are headed toward a comfortable retirement, especially if they had worked since their early 20s and had began planning and saving early.

When the time comes, they can receive money form the Old Age Security program, which is Canada’s largest government pension program. It is a benefit people over 65 are entitled to, especially if they have nothing else to rely on.

Another secure retirement income option is the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). It’s assumed that almost all working Canadians contribute to the CPP. In return, the Plan secures pensions and benefits when people retire, become disabled, or die and their spouses or children are entitled to a portion of their pension.

Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

 

Most people try to estimate how much money is enough to ensure carefree retirement. Financial companies say that somewhere between 60% and 70% of the pre-retirement income will be sufficient to live well for the remaining years of your life.

Statistics Canada, however, revealed that the average Canadian couple is unable to replace more than half of their working income.

That said, as unpredictable as life can be, there are people who find themselves in a difficult financial situation and dramatically changed family circumstances. Some need to pay excessive medical bills; others have to make plans to move into a retirement home where monthly costs can reach $3,000. A third category may need private care in a public home and have to pay for it.

So the question is: Where to look for that extra cash?

Reverse Mortgage

It’s a good solution for seniors who had paid off their house but need cash. The reverse mortgage is a loan that doesn’t require monthly payments; there is no need to pay it off until a person sells their home or dies. It’s a good source for seniors with limited income, and they aren’t even pressed to sell.

Foter.com / CC BY-NC

The reverse mortgage is offered by HomEquity Bank’s Canadian Home Income Plan (CHIP), or it can be obtained through mortgage brokers or financial planners and advisers. Approval is usually fast, with a current interest rate at 4.99% for a six-month term and 5.79% for a five-year fixed rate.

Age eligibility is minimum 55, and no more than 50% of the home’s appraised value can be borrowed, depending on age and location.

Long-Term Insurance Plan

Many financial planners would advise you to get such a plan if you are ready for a retirement home. However, critics of this solution say that the plan costs more than the return is worth. Often, the received premium in terms of benefits is low and most likely insufficient. Another setback can be the fact that even if you are ready to move into a retirement home, you may not qualify for the plan if the insurance company decides you are in relatively good health. In spite of that, the insurance plan is acceptable for covering long-term care costs, along with some government financial support.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

HELOC may help you save on interest costs because it has lower rates than reverse mortgages (3.5%). Plus, you can borrow up to 65% of the home’s value. The best part is that you don’t need to wait around for monthly payments to arrive, or receive the money in large lump sums. You can take money out when you need it.

HELOC is a good solution for seniors who can pay at least the interest each month (have a good employer pension), otherwise, they may not qualify.

Foter.com / CC BY-NC

In addition, it has to be noted that the concept of HELOC hides a certain risk. A retired couple may qualify for the loan based on their combined pension income. But if one spouse dies, the other will have a hard time servicing the loan with the already reduced income. In that situation, the retiree might face the decision to sell their home prematurely.

Downsizing

Moving to a smaller home isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and not only to ward off potential financial difficulties. There comes a time when a several thousand square foot house becomes a burden what with all the stairs to be climbed and rooms to be walked. Even the owner’s favorite garden turns into an impossible task to handle as older people become less mobile. Seniors also sell their larger homes in order to move to a warmer climate or be close to their children and grandchildren.

So when you buy a smaller place, some free cash becomes available immediately. With it, a retirement or nursing home stay can be secured, along with some peace of mind.

However, transaction costs have to be considered. They may include real estate commissions, moving, sales taxes, land transfer tax in most provinces and legal fees.

A Short-Term Collateral Loan

Many people overlook this as an option to cover financial needs or wants, but it actually works. You get money in exchange for a valuable asset you are willing to part with for a short period of time but don’t want to sell. Elderly people have accumulated a lot throughout their lives. They can use as collateral an old engagement ring that had been in the family; some rare European antique brought by long gone parents or grandparents; an old gold watch or whatever else has been a family relic. The higher the value, the more money it brings without ever fearing that you may lose it. A comfortable amount of money can be sufficient to finance any unexpected life change and ensure a joyful retirement.