Wednesday, December 22, 2010

List Time - Top Manitoba Business Stories

It is list time again. In 2010, there were a few Manitoba business stories of note and a few business people and families of note.

Here they are in order of what I thought were the top business items.

1. Canwest Global, the TV and newspaper comes to an end. Izzy Asper might have found a way to survive but the company he founded went bankrupt and was sold to Shaw and Postmedia.

2. The Richardson family continues to build their business and the current president Hartley Richardson is ranked at number 13 on wealthiest Canadians by Canadian Business. Expect the family to survive to the next generation as well. They have shown an ability to successfully manage the family operation for much of Winnipeg's history.

3. Exchange Income Corporation buys Bearskin Airlines. In a few short years this company has amassed an airline industry with its hub in Winnipeg. A business to watch for sure.

4. 4 Play Sports Bar opens on Portage Avenue. This is now the largest sports bar in western Canada and is a huge improvement on the night club that was only open a few nights a week. Over $2 million has been spent on the facility and it is a good attraction across from the MTS Centre.

5. The MTS Exhibition Hall. Another amazing Portage Avenue addition from the Chipman family. Not content to just own the Moose and the MTS Centre, the family is bringing attractions such as Bodies and Titanic to the city.

6. Hecla Island Resort collapses. A huge amount of private and public money are sunk in to the hotel again. The private owner has an idea to sink more money into making it viable but the province resists and the failure is epic.

7. The housing boom in Manitoba continues to chug along. The low mortgage rates, better economy and growing population contribute to new and existing house sales records. Renovations of existing houses abound in a way not seen in recent city history.

8. Tribal Councils Investment Group of Manitoba Ltd. continues to grow into a First Nations business empire from Asian restaurants to beverage companies to trucking companies. The biggest contribution this business can do is help to create working opportunities and profits for its shareholders.

9. Manitoba government cuts small business tax to zero. Business now eyes payroll tax and school tax.

10. Manitoba Hydro's massive mega projects. It isn't just the west side diversion of bipole III but a host of endeavours that will cost a lot of money. The decisions made now will be paid for years to come. The lack of transparency and political interference could make it very expensive.

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