Toronto—The difficulty Canadian manufacturers face in securing sufficient operating and investment capital is finally getting some notice.
CBC, Canada’s national broadcaster, is launching a new show aimed at getting small businesses some of the financing they need to survive and thrive, and it wants you to apply.
Based loosely on the successful Dragons Den television show, CBC’s newest offering—dubbed The Big Decision—will bring together investors and companies in need of funds.
“The feedback that we get is that businesses are always in need of cash and that businesses can’t get any more money from the bank or other areas,” says Katie Cumby, associate producer at CBC.
“Resources they thought they had just were not there as much as they had been in the past, so the opportunity for the cash flow and the access to advice on what to do with that cash, well, I think a lot of people are starting to see the benefit of that.”
It’s no secret cash flow has been tight. And things aren’t getting better anytime soon.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty recently said at a news conference in Burlington Ont. that he is “very concerned” about the debt crisis in the U.S., warning that if Washington defaulted on its loans it could lead to higher interest rates even as credit became less available for Canada and other countries.
Even if the U.S. government gets a debt-ceiling deal in place, the resulting belt-tightening would still drag down Canada’s economic growth.
Indeed, RBC Capital Markets chief economist Craig Wright says a one per cent hit to U.S. growth translates into a 0.5 per cent drop in Canada.
“It does leave the economy more vulnerable and you start wondering about the cumulative effect of all these negative shocks when the economy is sort of struggling,” he said in an interview with the Canadian Press.
Which brings us back to the show, which Cumby says will see an investor visit two businesses in each episode. The businesses are not competing against each other and the investor will decide if he or she would like to invest in one business, both or neither.
“This is not an elevator pitch” says Cumby.
“The investor will go there to learn more about the business, why it needs money, a little about its history and things like that. It’s real investors with real money and real advice.”
These types of companies can apply:
– Must have been in operation for at least three years
– Average annual gross revenue of $500,000
– More than five employees
– Privately held business, family business, partnerships, limited partnerships
– Must be willing to commit to being filmed on camera for two-weeks
– Must be registered in Canada
– Fluent English speakers