Small and medium-sized businesses are positive contributors to the country's economy. When it comes to the business and commercial realm in Canada, these companies employ nearly 90 per cent of the nation's workforce in the private sector and heartily drive economic growth. Governments at all levels realize the integral role these businesses play and have helped entrepreneurs to grow their companies and to flourish.
The closure of several outlets of a popular store seems to be a sign of the times. Recent business and commercial news indicates that Gap will be shutting the doors on a number of its stores in the country, some of which are located in Ontario. The company owns 230 stores across North America, but has not indicated how many closures will take place in Canada. The company said the move is in keeping with guidelines for outlets that are not consistently meeting sales requirements.
A major Ontario financial corporation is shelling out big money to invest in the legal cannabis industry. Trichome Financial Corp. out of Toronto is leaping into the business and commercial sector of the cannabis world with $100 million in debt financing for a number of cannabis companies. Up until now, this sort of debt financing has been a rarity in the cannabis sector, but Trichome is already taking receivables as a guarantee from some of the country's leading cannabis companies.
The 5G network in Canada may ban Huawei Technologies Co. That decision, though, may be delayed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's efforts to try to safeguard three Canadians detained in China. The business and commercial world is waiting for a security review by the federal government as to what steps will be taken in terms of a possible Huawei freeze out. Some of the country's allies have already taken that step.
Canadians are an optimistic lot for the most part, so when they begin to complain about certain situations, there must be some basis in fact. There have been some pessimistic rumblings lately regarding the business and commercial world in Canada. In fact, a survey by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) showed that 35 per cent of accountants who responded to the survey felt an increased negativity when it came to the national economy.
Some of Canada's largest banking institutions are cultivating cannabis clients. Some of the biggest business and commercial outlays from these banks are loans to entrepreneurs in Canada invested in the now legal cannabis market. Both the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and the Bank of Montreal (BMO) provided $80 million loan to marijuana cultivator PharmHouse.
The two major railway companies in the country are on track to weather possible economic fallout from the U.S.-China trade war. Amid business and commercial undertakings in Canada last year, Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway actually drove total rail freight traffic up by four per cent in 2018 thanks to shipping more than 20 per cent more petroleum and oil during the year. Even with a pipeline shortage of oil in Canada, crude by railway exports increased.
Toronto Dominion Bank was the pack forerunner when it came to dealmaking in 2018. It was a year in Canada that was replete with mergers and acquisitions deals with TD Bank's securities division outshining its competitors. The slowpoke area of business in 2018, however, seems to have been in equity financing -- the slowest it had been in a decade.
An new entity has been created by the coming together of two managed service providers. In mergers and acquisitions news in Canada, Fully Managed Technology Inc. and CareWorx Corporation have merged, giving birth to CareWorx Fully Managed. The new company will have 270 employees under its wing as it takes flight.
The provincial government is investing in the province's northern mining supply and services industry. The business and commercial sectors of Ontario have been given a boost with the recent news that the province will be pumping more than $2 million into businesses in Nipissing from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. Money will go to four separate mining supply and service companies and is expected to create 46 full-time and two part-time jobs.