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World domination demands navigating the U.S.’s unusually difficult political environment

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“No matter who leads the country, we think (the U.S.) is going to continue to be a leader in innovating in the small-business space. There is this belief in supporting local, shopping local, and that’s very congruent with the customer base that we serve.”

Away from the election, perhaps the most surprising Canadian business news this week was word that General Motors Co. intends to restart vehicle assembly at its plant in Oshawa, Ont., next year. The company said it will invest more than $1 billion to prepare the facility to build pickup trucks, eventually employing some 2,000 people.

That’s great, but it’s companies such as Lightspeed that will dictate the strength of Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Employment in industries oriented around technology continued to climb above pre-pandemic levels in October, while hiring in most other sectors struggled to make up the lost ground, Statistics Canada reported on Nov. 6.

These tech-centric companies tend to be less U.S.-focused than traditional manufacturers, if only because distance is less of an issue when you are selling services and cloud-based software. Lightspeed’s first acquisitions were in Australia and Europe. Dasliva aspires to run a global company, not simply a North American one.

Still, world domination goes through the U.S., which means navigating an unusually difficult political environment. Dasilva thinks he can manage, but he knows it will be an issue.

“It’s something we’ll have to think about a little bit more now that we have large teams in the U.S.,” he said. “The dialogue will be more present in the company. I don’t think it changes our business strategy.”

Financial Post

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