Which Canadian company was hacked this week? Take The Globe’s business and investing news quiz

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s business and investing news quiz. Join us each week to test your knowledge of the stories making the headlines. Our business reporters come up with the questions, and you can show us what you know.

This week in business and investing: The former chief executive officer of a noted Canadian company came out of retirement to retake the reins of a business she started more than three decades ago, after the previous boss quit – just one year into the gig. The last year has been fairly tumultuous for the company, with leadership shakeups, a cyberattack, the exit of half of its board and competitive pressures in the industry.

Meanwhile, a U.S.-based software company also attempted to bring back former staffers – this time, employees that were part of mass layoffs. The business offered relatively plush perks, as part of its pitch to ex-staffers to return. Elsewhere, borrowing costs remain sky-high, and a Canadian province wants to separate – from the federal pension program, that is.

Do you remember these stories? Take our quiz below to test your recall for the week ending Sept. 21.

1‘If you want to bring in the ______ CEOs and whip them with wet noodles, you can do that,’ Prof. Christopher Ragan said about executives from which industry?

a. Grocery

b. Bank

c. Entertainment

d. Oil and gas

a. Grocery. Prof. Ragan was referring to the move by the federal government to summon grocery chain executives to Ottawa to testify over food inflation (still far above most other components CPI data).

2Founder and former CEO ____ announced she’s coming out of retirement to retake the helm of _____, the company she founded 30 years ago.

a. Arlene Dickinson, Indigo

b. Heather Reisman, Indigo

c. Margaret Atwood, Indigo

d. Arlene Dickinson, Chapters

b. Heather Reisman. It’s the latest in a year of leadership shakeups at the bookseller; in early September, Indigo announced the departure of its CEO and president after just one year in the job.

3The Walt Disney Company said it would be doubling its capital expenditure into its parks division as Disney+ continues to see losses. How much will they invest in parks in the next 10 years?

a. US$33-billion

b. US$100-billion

c. US$60-billion

d. US$50-billion

4Yet another Canadian company was the victim of cyberattacks this week. Which company announced

Read more

Kingston area students launching businesses thanks to Summer Company

Ten area students are launching their own businesses through the Summer Company Program. Top row (L to R): Sam King, Tyler Kraus, Roman Mironov, Owen McDowell, and Mason Rice. Bottom row: Ryleigh Hillier, Josh Bowry, Eric Colonna, Jasmine Woboditsch, and Nicolas Inscho. Photos via Kingston EcDev website.

Ten students from the Kingston area have made their way into the Summer Company Program, which will provide their businesses with a $3,000 grant funded by the Ontario government. 

Since its inception, the Summer Company program has been instrumental in helping young individuals aged 15 to 29 start and run their own businesses, providing them with valuable business training and financial support, according to a release from Kingston Economic Development (EcDev), who facilitate the program. Out of the $3,000 grant amount, up to $1,500 is designated for the startup cost, and the remaining funds will be awarded upon successful completion of the program. 

“Supporting students on their entrepreneurial journey is an incredible experience, witnessing their passion transform into businesses, as they continue to explore if entrepreneurship is a potential future career option. With a team of highly successful coaches guiding them this year, we are empowering these young minds to build their dreams. From mastering the art of lure-making to bridging gaps in sports training, from making fashion inclusive to capturing moments through a lens, they are filling gaps in the Kingston business market,” stated Norman Musengimana, Business Development Manager for Start-Ups & Entrepreneurship at Kingston Economic Development.

According to the release, this year’s cohort of Summer Company participants have already begun demonstrating their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication throughout the week-long business bootcamp hosted by Business Coach, Claire Bouvier. The student entrepreneurs have each been matched with a business mentor to help guide them as they start and grow their businesses over the course of the summer. The students are currently in the process of refining their business’ respective products or services and serving their first customers, Kingston EcDev noted.

“During the business bootcamp, I had the privilege to connect with young entrepreneurs and learn about their unique businesses,” said Mason Rice, Founder of Rice Photography and 2023 Summer Company participant. “Interacting with them was valuable, as it broadened my perspective and allowed room for future collaboration. Additionally, I gained practical sales skills and marketing strategies that I plan on implementing soon. I am excited to apply what I’ve learned and take my

Read more

The Importance of Crafting a Compelling Narrative About Your Company

The journey from idea to IPO is a difficult one. In this series, we look at how founders scaled their startups and reached new milestones.

Brandon Moffatt has spent his career solving complex problems. As owner and vice president of London, Ont.-based StormFisher Hydrogen, Moffatt has led the development and construction of more than $1 billion in clean energy infrastructure and is currently developing a facility for creating hydrogen and other low-carbon fuels. He’s an entrepreneur, an engineer and an environmentalist, and he excels at all three. In short, he and his company have a good story to tell. His problem? Finding the right way to tell it.

“We know what we’re doing on setting up the companies and engaging with corporate buyers,” Moffatt says. “But we’ve always been a steak-and-potatoes business. We’ve always approached it as, we’ll just do our job, and people will learn about us. We haven’t necessarily been telling our story.”

This build-it-and-the-words-will-come approach is not uncommon among busy company founders, especially those who work in highly technical fields. But time spent on getting the corporate narrative straight can quickly pay dividends.

“In my experience, a lot of companies’ success is achieved once everybody is aligned and telling the same story on who the company is, what they do and why they do it,” says Kristina Cleary, a former chief marketing officer at global software company Ceridian who now advises ventures, including StormFisher, in MaRS’ Momentum program.

While smaller companies can often get by with the founder delivering a version of their elevator pitch to all comers, that approach quickly hits the buffers when a business starts to scale. If every member of staff is delivering their own take on what the company is and does, potential customers, partners and regulators will hear a cacophony of mixed messages. “It’s hard to even hire employees when you’re all telling a different story,” says Cleary.

What’s needed is a clear, concise plan that communicates the company’s vision, mission and impact. While that sounds simple, answering the question “Who are we?” can be surprisingly complex and thought-provoking. Here’s how StormFisher approached fine-tuning its messaging, and why that was an essential ingredient in its success.

Cut through the complexity

StormFisher’s business takes a minute to grasp. The company made its name in the biogas industry, building processing plants that create renewable natural gas from food waste. Last year,

Read more

Calgary company accuses Google of driving business away with fake listing

A longtime family-run Calgary company is accusing Google of driving traffic to another business in a bizarre situation.

Ryan Schoel, owner of The Costume Shoppe, came across a Google listing that showed his address as Pirate Fashions Canada, even though the photos and phone number were for his business. Schoel said he discovered it about three weeks ago while trying to geotag a photo.

“(The site) said I was in Pirate Fashions Canada. Um, I’m in my building. Who is Pirates Fashion Canada?” he questioned.

Read more:

Businesses warn of costly and dangerous fake reservation, party planning scam

The Costume Shoppe has been in Calgary since 1994 and in its current location off of Blackfoot Trail for the past 12 years. Schoel said he found it absolutely absurd the search engine would tell him he was in the wrong place.

Story continues below advertisement

“(Google) says you don’t exist, so you don’t exist,” he said. “They say The Costume Shoppe isn’t The Costume Shoppe — it’s this company in Florida — therefore we’re the company in Florida. That doesn’t make sense.”

Calgary store owner calls on Google to fix listing mistake.

Tomasia DaSilva

The listing that told Schoel he was in the wrong place also had a link to a website — again not for The Costume Shoppe, but for Pirate Fashions.

He contacted the American company but said not much came of his concerns. The owner did click on a Google setting that advises the business is not at that location. However, Schoel said that just made things even worse.

“Google did turn around and say it’s permanently closed. That’s great, however it still has a picture of my building, so now my building looks closed,” he pointed out.

Story continues below advertisement

“That’s not a win. A win for me is the whole thing comes down because it’s fraudulent.”

Pirate Fashions tells Global News it didn’t know anything about this until Schoel contacted them. It also said it did nothing wrong on its end and tried to help by letting Google know it was a wrong address.

However, when we asked why it’s not pushing Google to take the listing down, owner Tiger Lee told us having it up has not hurt the business and may in fact help it.

Read more:

Google to stop blocking Canadian news links next week

Global News also reached out to

Read more

Bed Bath & Beyond gift cards to expire weeks before company closes its Canadian stores

When Ann Hull of Barrie, Ont., visited her local Bed Bath & Beyond store last week, she bought an ice cream scooper and a paper towel holder, determined to use her $50 gift card before it was too late.

“It was not what I really wanted,” she said. “I was disappointed and I was definitely frustrated.”

The U.S.-based Bed Bath & Beyond retail chain is in financial trouble, so it’s closing all of its 54 Bed Bath & Beyond stores and 11 buybuy BABY locations in Canada.

Last month, Bed Bath & Beyond Canada was granted bankruptcy protection by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The company told CBC News its Canadian stores are set to close sometime next month, but customer gift cards and Welcome Rewards points will expire next week — on March 9.

Ann Hull of Barrie, Ont., purchased an ice cream scooper and paper towel holder with her $50 Bed Bath & Beyond gift card before it expires. The retailer’s Canadian stores are set to close sometime next month, but customer gift cards and Welcome Rewards points will expire on March 9. (CBC)

Hull said she thinks the March 9 deadline is unfair.

“There’s going to be a lot of disappointed people,” she said. “I think they should be honouring the gift cards right until their doors close.”

Can gift cards expire?

Typically, gift cards can’t expire in Canada as mandated by provincial consumer protection regulations. But that rule no longer applies when a company seeks bankruptcy protection — leaving the courts to determine whether, and for how long, a retailer’s gift cards will be accepted.

“Generally, the judge will accept the company’s recommendation, but it is ultimately the judge who needs to approve it,” said insolvency lawyer Geoffrey Dabbs.

Bed Bath & Beyond did not answer questions about the March 9 deadline, except to say that it had been extended following an initial expiry date of Feb. 25.

A Bed Bath & Beyond gift card
Typically, gift cards can’t expire in Canada, but that rule no longer applies when a company seeks bankruptcy protection. (Bed Bath & Beyond )

Dabbs said gift cardholders are fortunate they have a window of opportunity to redeem their cards, as they join a long list of unsecured creditors owed money by Bed Bath & Beyond Canada.

“The unsecured creditors on the bottom typically get little or nothing,” said Dabbs, a partner with Gehlen Dabbs Cash LLP

Read more