Five Businesses That Prosper During a Recession



Not every business is losing money during the recession Alberta (and other parts of the country) are having.  I’m betting these businesses are doing okay for themselves:

  1. Shoe repair places – People who are economizing will opt to get shoes, handbags, belts, etc. repaired rather than replaced with pricey new alternatives.
  2. In a similar vein, those who alter clothing for a living may see an uptick in their business as consumers choose to have clothing “re-imagined” rather than buy their new expensive counterparts. If the consumer has lost a great deal of weight, having their existing clothing taken in is cheaper than purchasing new. [I can attest to this from personal experience having lost almost 50 lbs. My husband’s lost about 30 lbs.  Getting our clothes altered vs. buying new has saved us a bundle.  My husband’s Tommy Hilfiger t-shirts, for example, would be easily $50 each CAD to re-buy new. Alterations came to just $20.00/shirt.]
  3. Dollar stores, thrift and second hand retailers and discount food emporiums – As consumers search for the best deals possible for the necessities of life, as well as clothing and furniture, retailers in this category likely see an increase their profits.
  4. Campgrounds – vacationers select camping as the low-cost alternative to pricey fly/hotel –based getaways.
  5. Home renovation stores – homeowners opt to do their own repairs and renovations rather than higher expensive contractors to do the same (know your limits – some jobs are best left to the professionals such as plumbing, gasfitting and electrical). For example we had to re-do our deck this year – the wood was so rotted out, it had become a safety issue. The cost of doing it ourselves, even with hiring my husband’s nephew to help, was around $3,000.00.  A professional would have likely cost between $5,000 and $10,000.00.

Sadly there are also businesses such as gold buyers, and pawn shops, who profit off the misery of others.

I’m no economist so I may be off in these predictions, but this makes sense to me.

RIP Terry Prachett


The very quotable Terry Prachett, author of over 70 books, has died at the age of 66. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007, he was  a champion for greater awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and did a documentary for the BBC chronicling his condition. Herewith some of my favorite Terry Prachett quotes:

I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.

Give a man a fire and he’s warm for the day. But set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life.

Age and wisdom don’t necessarily go together. Some people just become stupid with more authority.

In his experience, many of the world’s greatest discoveries were made by men who would be considered mad by conventional standards. Insanity depended on your point of view, he always said, and if it was the view through your own underpants then everything looked fine.

You can’t remember the plot of the Dr Who movie because it didn’t have one, just a lot of plot holes strung together. It did have a lot of flashing lights, though.

Mind you, the Elizabethans had so many words for the female genitals that it is quite hard to speak a sentence of modern English without inadvertently mentioning at least three of them.

Tiptoeing and Whispering through Taber



An outrageous new bylaw has recently been passed in the town of Taber, Alberta. Taber Law

This law prohibits spitting (and other bodily fluid disposal) in public areas. If caught, it’s $75 a spit; other bodily fluids are more costly. Yelling  and, dammit, swearing are also prohibited; even whispering a ‘swear’ can net you up to a $250 fine. Further, this bylaw states that no more than three people may assemble together at any one time (guess that cancels their annual corn festival; may lead to rabble-rousing). There’s also provision for noise with no noise allowed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.. This noise bylaw includes the operation of a motor vehicle and, from my reading of that section, offers no noise exemption for emergency vehicles;if you live in Taber, better hope your house doesn’t start on fire in the middle of the night; the fire truck won’t be able to deploy their emergency sirens to get to your house.   Of course, with this new bylaw, streets will be empty at night, and no siren will be necessary.

Welcome to Taber, the new  Bomont, Georgia (the fictitious town in the movie “Footloose” ). In this town, however, unlike Bomont, not even Kevin Bacon can save you.

Quit While You’re Ahead

Obtained under creative commons licence attribution: "Television" by Vande Walle Ewoud
Obtained under creative commons licence attribution: “Television” by Vande Walle Ewoud

Here’s a story of a man named John Q. Public.

John Q. Public drops cable/satellite tv because of ridiculous costs, and joins Netflix, subscribes to Apple TV and/or finds other ingenious ways to get content into his home.

At first, the Canadian networks offer their content online for free, until big telecom buys them (Bell owns CTV , Shaw owns Global TV, and Rogers owns City TV. The Canadian government owns CBC network, but since no one watches it anyways, likely there’s little threat to revenues!)

After Big Telecom buys the networks, and indeed purchases most of the cable channels such as HGTV, John Q. can only watch their content online if you have a cable account. (CTV is one exception – according to their website content is online for seven days after first being posted. However, to watch archived content online, you must log in with your subscriber account).

Costs to have cable and/or satellite TV continue to skyrocket.

John Q. Public sighs, figures out a way to get American Netflix from Canada –believing the internet should be borderless—blocks his IP address and streams and downloads more. (If the CRTC is going to block content at the border, why not block violent pron? Just saying…)

More loss of cable subscribers ensue. (I can only surmise Telus Optik TV was a dismal failure, perhaps because if you had it, you changed to a dynamic IP address and thus lost the ability to stream due to no static IP address).

John Q. Public rolls his eyes, makes popcorn, and now nearly all John Q’s content is now streamed and downloaded. He buys a digital antenna to watch the local news.

One of Big Telecomm (Telus, but can Shaw be far behind?) latest moves is to charge for excessive data use, as if trying to get account holders coming and going.

John Q. rolls his eyes once again and ditches Big Telecomm and switches providers, perhaps to a company like this.

The takeaway? John Q. will find a way to get their content as cheaply as possible and, for every roadblock Big Telecomm tries to put up, some industrious entrepreneur will find a work around.

Big Telecomm should quit while they are ahead.