Inventory Flood

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It had been a crazy, crazy summer, we were very busy.  Besides the store, and the kid who was on summer break, you can imagine we had our hands full.  As you can see, the boss never stopped buying *arrrrghhhh*  , we have so much inventory , you wouldn’t believe it, we had to rent a warehouse !  Yes, like I’ve always said for the past year now, we need a bigger store but I loved this store so much.  This store is nothing but good for us and I hate to move and kill the good karma/mojo here.  So what do one do?  Love this store but need a bigger space for more inventory ?  yes, a real headache.  What is the best solution for it?

The buildings that are suitable are way too expensive and the ones that are affordable needs a lot of renovation work and in this town to find a good contractor who is willing to finish what they started and do it right the first time , can be really hard to find.  There is no win-win situation here and we don’t want to settle , if you know what I mean.

The Day The Raccoon Came To Visit Downtown

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We all know that the raccoons are never in town with loads of traffic and people, sure we see them dead on the highway when they are trying to cross the road but never in my 15 years here did I ever see one in town.  Much less one that doesn’t wanna move after many hours.

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So perch on one of the buildings next to our store, he had been there for at least 5 hours now.  What could the raccoon in town means ?  I wonder – good sign or bad omen?  Well, I found nothing online , but the raccoon seems mild and wasn’t out to terrorize anyone , so that’s good.

What Happened To The Shoplifter?

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Not much yet – to be honest because it took us 30 mins to find the names of the shoplifter and her accomplices after it went viral but 3 weeks to get ahold of the cop who was in charge of our case.  So the ball is in their court right now and we are just waiting to hear back from them.  But we all had a good laugh when the video went viral and till last week when we were in the city, someone stopped and asked if we caught the shoplifter.  It was definitely worth it – getting the shoplifter on camera.

Story Of My Life At The Store

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Groupon 90 Minutes Visit To Town

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So I read yesterday about the Nova Star Cruises Groupon offer and after much reading on CBC news as well as Facebook, I have mixed feelings about the promotion.    To me , the marketing department of Nova Star Cruises or the person who went on Groupon to do this promo, didn’t word this promo too well.   If you read carefully, on the itinerary on the promotion, this is what it said and I quote :

On arrival in port, at 8 a.m., all passengers will be required to briefly disembark and go through Canadian customs, before immediately returning to the ship for a 9:30 a.m. departure and the 10-hour return voyage back to Portland.

I think this really doesn’t sit well on the people on our end, if you asked me.  Many concerned asked what can you do in 90 mins and what is the targeted visitors here?  And I’m fully aware of their concerns and where they are coming from.  I’m 50 yrs old and I know I won’t be spending $600 for a family of 3 to sit on the boat for this long , just for a 90 mins stopover.  That’s way too short for me and my family (but I’m talking about my family only).

 So lets just say they are targetting the older retired couples or single folks – would they really want to spend 20 hours to and fro from Maine to Yarmouth and spend another 90 minutes in Yarmouth and then go right back home?  I can’t speak for them , so I will ask some older – retired folks before I can tell you the answer.

Now what the town people are concerned about is , what would the 90 minutes in town benefit them and why do businesses want to be opened any earlier , except for those right by the ferry terminal.  There are just too many cons in this marketing strategy but of course that’s only my opinion and what do I know right? being a small business owner for only 16 yrs.

We have never done tourists business but I feel really bad for those who are waiting for the boat to come back and for them to bring in the tourists.  I feel for them .

Some Money We Don’t Wanna Earn

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Most people would take anyone’s money but not us.  Some customers are just not worth making any business with them.  It makes no sense when they’ve bought so many things from us and have had such a long relationship with us and yet can come back with the notebook and say things like it would electrocute them. Really?  mannn!!  I wanna smack that person, but I had a lot of customers at the store when the event takes place.  Of course, if you meddle with the wires, and tear off the tape that we used to keep you and anyone safe, you can get electrocuted if you are not careful and there was no need to be rude especially, if we had been so kind to him all the time.

You may be the customer, but no one should treat another human being this way.  So no we are not doing his business no more.  Thank you very much ! let someone else deal with his shit just not us.

Boat or No Boat

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So everyone in town and around is asking if we are getting the boat back this summer.  Hurry up , Nova Star !  we need you to start taking bookings that way the rumors will stop immediately.

Of course, I want the boat back!  we don’t see any tourists in our store but hey ! if it is good for the town, I’m all for it.  I’m happy that other businesses are doing well, it doesn’t have to be always about us or what benefit us only.  Why can’t the people see the big picture here.  So hurry up ! Nova Star !!!!  get your act together!

People Helping People Around Town

I see many people helping out others who are less fortunate around town and we too want to help out.  One particular group would pair people together, no cash exchange to help out families and that to me is quite admirable.  There were two ladies who were on Main Street handing out stuff to keep people warm for the winter and a car company collecting winter clothing for children.  All very admirable I have to say and then of course, you see those who don’t really  need anything coming into the forum taking things from people who really needed them but what do you do?  you can’t call them out or you will be discriminating them.

I also saw a lady needing oil but the fuel bank wouldn’t do anything for her but thanks to some very generous people, the last I read, she had more than $400 worth of oil.  Hallelujah!  I don’t know who the lady is but I’m sure that would help her out for abit.

 Which comes down to the real reason why I wrote.  The organiser had called out the Mayor as well as the MLA for they had reply that they weren’t able to help.  On one hand I understand why they said no but on the other, $50 wouldn’t break them either.  But what is the protocol here for people who are calling out for help from the people who manages this town?  Do they have extra funds to help the people who are really in need?  or do they just have to turn a deaf ear or a blind eyes when help is really needed or worst dig into their own pocket to fund those in need?

It sure doesn’t seems a lot fair does it if they had to do that for everyone?  so what is the protocol?  one shouldn’t really blame the mayor or councilors if they are not that upbeat about digging into their own pockets because there are far too many people who are in need in this town.  But having said that, I have seen many people stepped up and help others.  Usually, I’ve noticed that these help comes from the less income folks but the elite, I haven’t seen lifted a finger to help.  Oh well, to each his own I guess.  Did we help?  yes, but we only did it anonymously.  We don’t need the credit , we just want to stay as low key as possible.

$2000 A PoP???!!??

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Really?  $2000 a pop?  for candy canes on downtown streets?  I sometimes wonder where they get their quotes from?  I checked with a supplier of ours in Canada and the highest end candy cane for this kind of project is like $500 – I was quoted.  The town seems to get the highest bids in everything they want to bring into town.  I wonder if they have checked with our local gift stores to get them to use their connections for stuff like that.  The people in charge really need to get in touch with the right people to get the right prices or learn to negotiate.

White Collar Crime

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I’ve been in Canada for more than 10 yrs now and I’m about to believe that there must be no White collar crime division in Canada or none in this small town?  therefore, the judges around here don’t know how to sentence these white collar criminals?  since there were no precedents to go refer to?

Thus far, I’ve seen 2 cases in which both are let off so easily but if it were ordinary people who’ve committed these crimes, will they have the same outcome?  Could it really be that they have good lawyers or they have “connections” ?  Both had so clearly cheated the tax payer tons of money but their excuses were?  I shouldn’t have done it ????!!!!???  WOW!!!!  truly amazing the excuse !!!

The sentence is to be 1000 hours of community service ???!!!???  wow!! no jail time ?????  and no criminal record as well???  WOW!!!!

All I have to say is – it’s pretty awesome to be a white collar criminal in Canada eh?  the consequences are so minimal , I have to learn to be a crook too but have to be a white collar one with connections I guess.

Ferry Tapped Out

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So I’ve been reading a lot about how the ferry is tapped out now because they’ve used the last of the $21 million in what the Nova Scotia government had planned to give them in support of the run from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth.  But wait a minute !  the $21 million was to be spread out for 7 years and 2 months into service, they’ve already finished using the money ?  Now , no matter which way you look at it, it doesn’t look right.

I don’t know how Nova Star used the money but as a taxpayer myself, I just don’t feel right at all.  If the government was giving this money to something that isn’t going to work at all, wouldn’t it be wiser to use it for something else more fruitful.  So was Dexter correct all along about the ferry?  very confusing and I for one wants the ferry to work without costing our taxpayer so much money.

If Nova Star or the Economic Development minster knew that they would need more money and years to make it work, why wasn’t this out in the open in the first place?  I totally, CONFUSED!  and I’m pretty sure a lot of people ain’t too happy about it. And for myself, I’m a lot confused more than anything.

Hurricane Arthur

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Hurricane Arthur hit us harder than we had expected.  For those who’ve lost power, I hope that power will come back soon for you.  And for all our customers and friends out there, I hope Arthur didn’t damage too much of your property.

We lost half the shingles on our roof at the cottage and on home front, just a few shingles, nothing that we are too worried about.  But we did lose power for 36 hours at home and the cottage was longer.

I guess, Hurricane usually misses us but this time, when we think that we are not going to have it as hard as any other places, it hit us like there was no tomorrow.  Alot of damages around town as you can see here.  My heart goes out to a lot of the people in the town.  Stay safe folks.

Hosting Another Hockey Event

They are not kidding when they say that Canadian loves their Hockey games and this town loves it even more.  We are once again hosting another event here in town.  It’s wonderful !  I loved seeing all these players in town and having them stay in town and eat in town can only be good to the local businesses.  Now if only they also have them come downtown and try the chinese restaurant, the old bakery or even the red shed down on the water front, that would be wonderful too!  But I know their schedule are quite tight and they need certain kinda food.

We don’t usually see a lot of business from these events but any kinda event hosted here to generate money to any businesses is good – I’m all for it.

Win – Win Election

So the Election came and went – after a month of exciting debates and anticipation.  I of course, didn’t want the NDP to win this election at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not into politics but mannn ! this NDP is sure hurting this town and no one likes it and being an owner by association to the spouse’s business, I’m of course not for them.

So the Liberals won big time and I’m really  happy because our MLA is from the Liberal party, now that would mean that we will not have as much trouble as we did for the last 4 years with the NDP party.  Here’s to better times for the town and its people.

On Blackberry In Bedford

So I heard on the CBC news this morning that Blackberry that had an office in Bedford will be closing its door soon even though the NDP government had promised them a lean for at least $10 million in the next 5 years?  The closing of this customer support office would mean that about 350 people would be losing their high paying jobs in Bedford – Halifax.  Now what gives right?

As far as I understand, the government have had been giving out money to big companies like Blackberry for the longest time, in hope that they will churn out jobs.  But for $10 million, wouldn’t it be a lot more feasible to support a small business from Canada to expand or to hire more people or to go internationally? Doesn’t make sense this government at all – the big guys are affected but moreso the little guys like us right?

Busy Summer For The Town

Yup!  it had been a busy summer for this town even though the ferry is not bad in service yet but it is looking hopeful as of today because they are in the final stages of negotiation and it looks like the Nova Star is the ferry that has won the contract to service the route from Maine, Bar Harbour to Yarmouth.  One can only hope that the deal will be signed soon and then the town can really be relief and not be kept guessing of its outcome.

A new Japanese restaurant just opened its door and of course the new food wagon also in town, all the good food in town and I’ve heard rumors that burger king isn’t far away from opening now.  What about us?  we have been so busy – it’s crazy!!  I’m trying very hard to stay at the store more because of how busy it is and although our help had been good, there are some stuff we have to take care of it ourselves.

More Empty Shop Fronts

Yes, a lot more empty shop front in the works, a neighbor down the road is applying to move his business to his home because he said it makes no sense to stay on Main since we’ve not only lost the ferry but also people in this county.  Yes, the amount of people that had move away from this town is quite scary and still the provincial government don’t think that the ferry had affected the economy in this town really makes me very worried.

Because of the latest development, I’m kinda weary as to whether we should invest in a business property here, I’m quite scared too if our money is going to go down the drain.  I mean we are doing well now but what if people keeps moving away from this town, who will be left with buying consoles and games and computers?

I know we need a bigger store but do we really wanna put so much money down?  the town hasn’t convinced me enough to want to do that truth be told.  I wanna be able to up and move if things don’t turn around for the town because eventually, it will affect us right?

End Of The Year Sales

So the end of the year is near – and like every business owners – we want to know how our neighbors are doing too – just out of curiosity and not for bragging rights. So it looks like the merchants downtown are doing alright – in fact  alot of them are announcing at par to last year’s sales and profit margin about the same.  Well, I’m darn happy to hear that to be honest – you really don’t want to see any other merchants downtown doing bad at all – because that just isn’t good for the economy downtown at all.

I wished i can buy all my christmas presents for everyone after Christmas from big chain stores like Walmart – because basically they are the same stuff but 50% less.  Maybe, I should make plans to do that – like announced it to friends and family about it – because that would definitely be the smarter way to shop – don’t you think?  but nah!  i doubt if my kid would appreciate it or any kids.  Well, maybe I can get the kids stuff before Christmas and after Christmas I can get gifts for my friends at the 50% discount – muahahha!

Anyhow, yes ! i’m trying to be an el cheapo and it doesn’t mean that if our store is doing good – I have to waste my money when I can actually get it at 50% off a few days later right?  And yes, we did better than last year and yes we are pleased with it but I’m still not running out to get myself a Gucci handbag to reward myself – no way!  Whenever I see how some of our customers spend their money – I worry for them – because I can never spend that kinda money just because – I need to be able to justify why I’m spending so much money.

Hope For A Ferry In Town

I was quite sure that Dexter wouldn’t say anything good with the report but I was wrong but not entirely wrong – since his announcement if you read properly has too many clauses – the “IFs” and “BUTs” into it.  There is going to be a lot of red tape before we will eventually see the money working towards getting a ferry into this town.  But of course, there is hope for the town and hopefully, all will come true.  And if it was a election move on Dexter part, I guess he isn’t wrong either right?  to each his own – he had to look out for his own best interest first.  One can only hope, one can only keep our fingers crossed.

CBDC

I’ve just learned something rather disturbing about the CBDC – and cannot quite fathom why they didn’t help our business some 10 years ago but helped another over and over again at 10 times more  than we had asked to borrow to expand our business.  The CBDC is an organization that is supposed to help small businesses in their expansion and modernization of their business by providing money and advice to young entrepreneur.   Had they helped us out 10 years ago, we would have been a lot more successful quicker than we are now.  Because they wouldn’t loan us a $25K expansion money – their reason was we are bankable – but it’s not true because no bank would help us some 10 years ago.

So in the end – the boss did it his own way but not a way we would advice other young entrepreneurs to take because it would means a lot of wasted money and time when one can do better with a loan from CBDC at a lower interest rate.  It’s CBDC lost – because the interest and principal were all paid up within the 5 years that we had planned and now our business is doing so good, we don’t even owe our suppliers any money.  Everything in the store belongs to us – but it’s still disturbing to learn that CBDC loan $150K to another business over and over again.  I also know that they’ve loaned another business that went under within 6 months.  Boo ! to CBDC in this town – good thing we didn’t need anyone’s help after that.