Secure Asset Storage & Logistics Solutions

No warehouse or storage facility for your business? No problem.

With no long-term contracts and the convenience of end-to-end service, Second Closet can help.

From restaurant patios to office furniture to files and marketing swag. Second Closet will pick up, securely store and move what you need, all for less than the competition.

Second Closet will also manage and maintain a digital catalogue of your assets, allowing them to securely store and efficiently move everything according to your needs.

Servicing Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa and offering savings of up to $750 for new customers.

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Peak Picks

No Strings Attached: American cities like Stockton, California are experimenting with guaranteed income policies. Now researchers are discovering the impact of no-strings attached cash transfers directly to residents.

Fusion Dreams: A new research paper has renewed optimism that fusion nuclear power could be generating electricity by next decade, representing a major step forward in clean power tech.

Elixir of Life: A new study finds drinking 1 to 4 cups of coffee per day may slow the progression of colorectal cancer, and "as coffee consumption increased, so did the benefits." To be clear: I didn't need this information to enjoy my four daily cups, but I welcome it.

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Leftovers

Shopify: The Canadian e-commerce platform is shuffling its executive leadership, with COO Harley Finkelstein moving to the President role and Chief Product Officer Craig Miller departing.
 
Google: The EU is poised to approve Google's $2.1bn takeover of Fitbit. The deal has attracted criticism and scrutiny over concerns about Google's use of Fibit's data.
 
TikTok: A U.S. judge found that the Federal government likely overstepped its authority in banning TikTok on national security grounds.
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Hospitality Woes

Canada's hospitality industry looked like it was beginning to bounce back, but a COVID resurgence is stopping the sector's recovery dead in its tracks. 

By the numbers:

  • From September 13 to 19, occupancy in Canadian hotels dropped 53% from last year.
  • From September 5 to 11, the number of domestic flights was 21% lower than the previous month.
  • In major cities, seatings at restaurants are down 55% to 70% from this time last year. 
What's next: With a second wave well underway, more economic restrictions are likely coming. Quebec has already ordered bars and restaurants shut down for most of October.

Zoom out: Emergency government relief kept businesses and workers afloat during the spring lockdowns. But the CERB and wage subsidy programs are winding down, meaning economic pain might be felt more acutely now than it was 6 months ago.

The jobs picture: As businesses rack up fixed costs with no way of bringing in revenue, layoffs are sure to follow. Disney is now a prime example of that: the company just announced it's laying of 28,000 theme park workers.

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Good Climate News (For Once)

This is a welcome story: good news about our prospects for fixing climate change!
 
A new study by the Institute for Sustainable Finance at Queen’s University says could meet its Paris Agreement targets with an investment of just $128bn. 
 
Why it matters: $128bn over 10 years is a surprisingly low number. To put it in context, the Federal government transfers almost $40bn every year for healthcare spending.
 
Dig deeper: The study maps out what needs to be done to reduce emissions by 789 million tonnes by 2030 and how much would have to be invested in each sector of the economy to achieve that target. 
  • Retrofitting buildings to make them more efficient is the "lowest-hanging fruit" and would require investment of $10.8bn.
  • The transportation sector would require the most resources: $52bn to bring emissions down enough.
  • Oil and gas — the most visible and politically contentious sector identified — could reduce emissions sufficiently with $26bn.
The big picture: This study, among others, suggests that climate change is a solvable problem with existing resources and technology. The missing ingredient to achieving that solution has, so far, been political will.
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The Death of the Office

It will surprise exactly no one that most offices are empty right now, and have been for months. And that means the commercial real estate sector is taking a beating

  • The vacancy rate in Toronto rose from 2.7% in Q2 to 4.7% in Q3.
  • Downtown Vancouver's sublease space has risen 30%.
  • Things are even worse in cooler markets: Calgary's downtown vacancy rate is nearly 30%.
The big question now: will offices ever recover?

  • The argument for: the pandemic is a temporary blip and things will more or less return to normal when it's over.
  • The argument against: the pandemic has permanently killed a large chunk of the office space market as companies will be unwilling to give up remote working.
  • How it looks from here: Several major companies (including Shopify) have already told employees they can work remotely permanently. Whether this becomes commonplace outside tech remains to be seen.
Why it matters: Office-dense downtown cores depend on the economic activity created by thousands of daily workers. Businesses in these areas will be hard-pressed to survive when the lion's share of their clientele work from home.

Missing your colleagues? Try VR. If you are missing out on the social interactions of office life, some suggest hopping on the Oculus Rift and holding meetings in 3D. Well, not actual 3D, but as close as you can get at the moment...

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Deficit Data Dump

The Parliamentary Budget Officer has released new projections for the Federal deficit and debt in the years to come.

Here's what you need to know: 

  • The deficit for the year is expected to be $328.5bn, down from earlier projections of $343.2bn.
  • The federal debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to reach 48.3% by 2022-23, up from 31.3%.
  • Economic growth is expected to be higher than previously projected. 
Go deeper:

  • A key measure of financial sustainability is the debt-to-GDP ratio: how much debt is owed as a share of the country's GDP.
  • Canada's debt-to-GDP ratio is still well below its peak of 66% in 1995-96.
  • The economic climate is very different now too: interest rates are low, which means the cost of sustaining the Federal debt is as low as its been in decades.
What's next: 

  • For now, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has said the Federal goverment's finances are sustainable, but "barely."
  • A higher debt-to-GDP ratio makes the Fed's finances more vulnerable to economic shocks like a worse-than-expected second wave or a rise in interest rates. 
  • But reducing spending and paring back emergency support programs during COVID may be even more painful.
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Amazon Bets on Canada

Amazon is placing its bets on Canadian talent, announcing plans to hire 3,500 tech and corporate roles in Vancouver and Toronto. The lions share, 3,000 jobs, will be in Vancouver bringing the city's total Amazonians to 8,000 by 2024. The 500 Toronto employees will bring that city's corporate headcount to 1,600.

Spin Outs and Side Effects
  • There are approximately 75,000 tech jobs in Vancouver with the average wage of $84,000. The addition of even more high paying jobs will intensify the battle for talent and attract more migration and immigration to the area.
  • $1.05 billion of venture capital was invested in Vancouver based companies last year. It's not uncommon for big tech employees to leave to start start-ups of their own. The growth of companies like Amazon and others in the city should help the startup and venture scene.

Real Estate Repercussions
The pandemic has led to a big shift towards work from home, a culture many tech companies plan to keep in place even post-covid. Amazon intends to continue to allow the "flexibility" of work from home, but adds that their employees "really value being able to be together."  Last November they leased 1.1 million square feet in The Post, a new complex being built in downtown Vancouver to make room for employee growth on top of their existing downtown offices. New Toronto employees will be housed on five floors of 18 York st.

Bottom Line: Amazon employs 21,000 full and part time employees across Canada, with plans to hire many more in corporate, tech and fulfillment roles. The e-commerce behemoth impacts our lives on a daily basis, and while we're optimistic about the jobs being created, let's keep an eye on some their less than savory labour practices.
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MEC Melee

Members of Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Canada's largest cooperative, are stepping up their fight against the sale of the beloved Canadian outdoor store to California private equity firm Kingswood Capital. The latest affront to members is the hiring of Jay Taylor to be the company's new President and COO once the deal is done.

Jay Who? Taylor is currently the CEO of LALO Tactical, which stands for Light Assault Lo-Vis Operator, a maker of military style boots. LALO's marketing is positioned heavily towards military and police with aggressive pro-gun slogans. He has also posted on social media with the hashtags #alllivesmatter and #bluelivesmatter, which are controversial in their contrast to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

MEC Members are not happy with the hiring, calling Jay Taylor "a totally wrong fit," among other less kind descriptions. The group Save MEC has raised over $100,000 to fight the sale and has collected thousands of signatures of members in support.

MEC-MENTUM
Kingswood looks to be standing by their man, referring to him as an "accomplished executive in the outdoor industry." With a court hearing this week to close the deal, there's not much upset members can do.
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Grabby Google

Google is giving the middle finger to app developers who rely on the Google Play store to reach millions of customers by demanding their 30% cut of in app sales. The tech giant is currently facing down a lawsuit, alongside Apple, over this very issue.

Epic Lawsuit
Epic Games took Apple and Google to court last month after getting booted from the Apple App Store for trying to skirt the payment rules. Epic's suit claims the cut is in violation of anti-trust law. The maker of Fortnite also took Apple to task with a PR campaign that is now subject to a counter suit.

Google Doubles Down
Google's latest provocation comes in the form of a blog post which says they'll no longer allow some apps to get around these rules. The rule breaking apps, which include Netflix and Spotify, will have until September 30, 2021 to comply.

What's The Deal?
All signs are pointing to Google battening down the hatches, preparing for a long fight to keep their fees. Closing the loop holes and treating all apps equally is likely designed to help their case. They certainly aren't backing down.
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