Nominate a business for the Meridian Small Business Big Impact Awards
Help us reward small businesses that are making a big impact. Starting on October 3, 2023, you can nominate a business that you believe is making the world a better place (you can also nominate your own business)!
We’re awarding a total of $300,000 in prizes, including $50,000 for the winning business in each of our contest categories: community, environment, and innovation.
How the contest works
- Starting October 3, 2023, nominate a business you feel is making a big impact in one of our three categories: community, environment, or innovation.
- Submit your nomination by October 31, 2023.
- Include the business information and a short blurb about why they deserve to win.
- Any business based in Ontario is eligible. The business does not need to be a Meridian Member. We welcome all nominations.
How Meridian selects the winners
A panel of Meridian business experts will choose a group of finalists. We will reach out to these businesses for additional information, including what the prize money could help them achieve. Once we have all the information we need our judging panel will choose the winners!
What our past winners are up to
The Meridian Small Business Big Impact Awards contest (the “Contest”) is brought to you by Meridian Credit Union Limited (the “Sponsor” or “MCU”) and begins on October 3rd, 2023 at 8:00am and ends on October 31st, 2023 at 11:59pm (the “Contest Period”).
To be eligible to participate in the Contest as a nominator (The “Nominator”), individuals must be (a) legal residents of Canada, who have reached the age of majority in Ontario at the time of entry, and enter the Contest in one of the following ways set out in the Entry Requirements (b) owners, founders, employees, customers, partners, or vendors of the eligible nominated small business (The “SMB”) as set out in Grant Nominee Eligibility. A Nominator cannot be employees, representatives, agents, ofﬁcers or directors (and those with whom such persons are living, whether related or not) of the Sponsor, Administrator, their respective subsidiaries, associated and afﬁliated entities, prize suppliers, advertising/promotion agencies and any other individual(s), entity or entities involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulﬁllment of the Contest (an “Eligible Entrant”) (collectively with the Sponsor, the “Contest Parties”).
Grant Nominee Eligibility
To be eligible to participate in the Contest as a grant nominee (The “Grant Nominee”), a small business must be (a) based in Ontario and legally licensed or registered to operate in Ontario (b) in good financial standing (no petition in bankruptcy or insolvency) throughout the Contest period including grant winner announcement, and be nominated into the Contest in one of the following ways set out in the Entry Requirements. The Grant Nominee cannot have employees that are (c):(i) employees, directors, officers, representatives and agents of the Sponsor; (ii) any employee of the Sponsor’s advertising, promotion and fulfillment agencies involved in the development or execution of the Contest in any way; and (iii) any persons or entities involved in administering or judging the Contest; Also, the Grant Nominee cannot have owners, founders, or main investors of a small business that are (d): (i) employees, directors, officers, representatives and agents of the Sponsor; (ii) any employee of the Sponsor’s advertising, promotion and fulfillment agencies involved in the development or execution of the Contest (The “Contest Administrator”) in any way; and (iii) any persons or entities involved in administering or judging the Contest; and (e) all persons with whom those specified in (d) are domiciled or immediately related. For the purposes of these Terms, two people are “immediately related” if one is the husband, wife, spouse, common-law partner, son, stepson, son-in-law, daughter, stepdaughter, daughter-in-law, sister, stepsister, sister-in-law, brother, stepbrother, brother-in-law, mother, stepmother, mother-in-law, father, stepfather or father-in-law of the other.
A Nominator or Grant Nominee must meet the eligibility requirements set out in these Terms from the time of entry until winner confirmation (if he/she/they becomes a winner). Entrants are responsible for determining whether any policy prohibits them entering the Contest or receiving a Prize, or if any permissions are required from senior management of their business to enter or receive.
This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal laws and regulations.
AGREEMENT TO BE LEGALLY BOUND BY RULES:
By participating in this Contest, you are signifying your agreement that you have read and agree to be legally bound by these Ofﬁcial Rules and Regulations (the “Rules”).
The Nominator must select from the following three (3) categories when completing the application form:
Community Impact: This category recognizes businesses that make a positive impact for people facing barriers to equal access and opportunity due to discrimination. When businesses offer their support to equity-deserving groups they can make a huge impact of the overall well-being of their communities.
Environment Impact: This category recognizes businesses actively working to minimize the environmental impact of their operations and products, as well as businesses developing solutions that have a positive impact on the environment for others.
Innovation Impact: This category recognizes businesses working on new and innovative products and services for their sector. This could include a business that’s revitalizing their industry by implementing new initiatives or practices, or even a business offering something entirely new and original.
HOW AN ELIGIBLE ENTRANT MAY ENTER THE CONTEST:
To enter this Contest, Nominators must submit their information on a contest web page (“Contest Website”) together with their written contest submission which shall consist of the Nominators’ description of the Grant Nominee’s business in relation to the category description set out on the Contest Website (the “Submission(s)”) together comprising an entry (“Entry” or “Entries”).
To be eligible for the nomination prize, the Nominator must have submitted a complete and unique (as determined by the Sponsor or administrators) nomination Entry through one of the methods listed above, during the contest period.
To be eligible for the start-up prize, a SMB must have a complete and unique (as determined by the Sponsor or administrators) nomination Entry through one of methods listed above, during the contest period and have declared that the business was started in the past two years.
To be eligible for the most nominations prize, a SMB must have the most complete nomination Entries through one of methods listed above, during the contest period.
To be eligible for one of the three (3) Grant Prizes in one of the three (3) categories (Community, Environment and Innovation) as a Grant Nominee, a SMB must have a complete and unique (as determined by the Sponsor or administrators) nomination entry submitted by a Nominator through one of methods listed above, during the contest period.
LIMITS AND ADDITIONAL ENTRY RULES:
The Contest Parties and each of their respective ofﬁcers, directors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns (collectively, the “Released Parties”) are not responsible for, and accept no liability whatsoever in relation to, any late, lost, misdirected, delayed or incomplete Entries, Requests and/or other information (all of which is/are void).
There is a limit of five (5) Entries per Nominator.
If it is discovered by the Sponsor (using any evidence or other information made available to or otherwise discovered by the Sponsor) that any person has attempted to use multiple names, multiple identities, multiple email addresses and/or any automated, macro, script, robotic or other system(s) or program(s), and/or any other means not in keeping with the Sponsor’s interpretation of the letter and spirit of these Rules to enter or otherwise participate in or to disrupt this Contest (all as determined by Sponsor in its sole and absolute discretion); then he/she may be disqualiﬁed from the Contest in the sole and absolute discretion of the Sponsor. An Entry/Request may be rejected if (in the sole and absolute discretion of the Sponsor) it is not submitted and received in accordance with these Rules.
All Entries, Requests, Eligible Transactions, accounts and entrants are subject to veriﬁcation at any time and for any reason. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to require proof of identity and/or eligibility (in a form acceptable to the Sponsor – including, without limitation, government issued photo identiﬁcation): (i) for the purposes of verifying an individual’s eligibility to participate in this Contest; (ii) for the purposes of verifying the eligibility and/or legitimacy of any Entry, Request, Eligible Transaction, account and/or other information entered (or purportedly entered) for the purposes of this Contest; and/or (iii) for any other reason the Sponsor deems necessary, in its sole and absolute discretion, for the purposes of administering this Contest in accordance with the Sponsor’s interpretation of the letter and spirit of these Rules. Failure to provide such proof to the complete satisfaction of the Sponsor within the timeline speciﬁed by the Sponsor may result in disqualiﬁcation in the sole and absolute discretion of the Sponsor. The sole determinant of the time for the purposes of this Contest will be the ofﬁcial time-keeping device(s) used by the Sponsor. Proof of transmission (screenshots or captures etc.) or attempted transmission of an Entry or of an attempted Entry or of any communication, does not constitute proof of delivery or receipt by the Sponsor.
There will be three (3) individual nomination prize (“Nomination Prizes”) available to be won by eligible Nominators, consisting of one (1) $500 (inclusive of HST) Visa* gift card.
There will be nine (9) individual grant prizes (a “Grant Prize”) available to be won by eligible Grant Nominees through the Contest, three (3) in each category. The Grant Prizes consist of CAD $50,000.00 (inclusive of HST) for first place, CAD $25,000.00 for second place, and CAD $10,000.00 for third place in cash, awarded by cheque, money order or money transfer.
PRIZE LIMIT: There is a limit of one (1) Prize per person/household.
None of the Released Parties makes any representation or offers any warranty, express or implied, as to the quality or ﬁtness of any Prize awarded in connection with the Contest. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, each conﬁrmed winner understands and acknowledges that he or she may not seek reimbursement or pursue any legal or equitable remedy from either the Sponsor or any of the other Released Parties should his/her Prize fail to be ﬁt for its purpose or is in any way unsatisfactory. For greater certainty and the avoidance of any doubt, by accepting a Prize, each conﬁrmed winner agrees to waive all recourse against the Sponsor and all of the other Released Parties if the Prize or a component thereof does not prove satisfactory, either in whole or in part.
ELIGIBLE PRIZE WINNER SELECTION PROCESS:
GRANT PRIZES: A judging panel will award the Grant Prize to three (9) Grant Prize winners based on the winning Submissions and supplementary materials as determined in accordance with the Criteria and the process described below and in accordance with these Terms (including the verification requirements) (the “Grant Winner Selection”). The Winner Selection will start from November 1st, 2023 from all eligible Contest entries received during the Contest Period. The Sponsor shall officially and publicly announce the Grant Prize Winners by email, any time starting after November 10th, 2023. The Competition will be judged in 3 phases, these phases will be repeated for each award category:
Phase 1: All nomination Submissions will be entered into a pre-screening process whereby all submissions will be evaluated by the Sponsor. The pre-screening process will evaluate submissions based on Phase 1 Criteria. A minimum of 10 entries will advance to Phase 2 of the adjudication process. In the event of ties, the pre-screening panel will re-evaluate the tied submissions to further narrow down the list to achieve the top Submissions.
Phase 1 Criteria: Submissions will be evaluated on the following criteria:
Quality of Content: 15%
Impact, Business Model & Values: 60%
Community Support: 25%
Entrants will be eliminated if the Submission is not complete, does not follow the requested theme, or does not have a positive brand tone, as determined by the Sponsor.
Phase 2: The Contest Administrator will contact the nominated SMBs of a minimum of 5 of the top scoring Submissions from Phase 1 to confirm their interest, participation, and advancement in the Contest. In the event that the Sponsor or the Contest Administrator is unable to contact the selected SMB after three (3) attempts within five (5) business days of the initial contact date, the Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify the selected SMB and will be deemed to have forfeited their candidacy for a Grant Prize.
Upon confirmation of participation, Phase 2 candidates (The “Candidate(s)”) will be required to submit supplementary material (“Supplementary Material”) in order to qualify for advancement in Phase 3 which may include:
More information about their small business including but not limited to the number of employees, current financial status information, and a declaration of eligibility
Short video or interview on topics related to, “What would you like the judges to know about your business” and “What would the grant funds would be used for”.
In the event that the Candidate is unable to provide Supplementary Materials in the timeframe allotted, the Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify the selected Candidate and will be deemed to have forfeited their candidacy for a Grant Prize.
Phase 2 Criteria: Submissions and Supplementary Materials for each Candidate will be evaluated by the Sponsor based on the following criteria:
Quality of Content: 15%
Impact, Business Model & Values: 60%
Community Support: 25%
Candidates will be eliminated if the Submission and Supplementary Materials are not complete, does not follow the requested theme, or does not have a positive brand tone, as determined by the Sponsor.
Phase 3: The Contest Administrator will consolidate evaluations which will be presented to the final judging panel comprised of executives at the Sponsor.
Phase 3 Criteria: Submissions and supplementary materials for each Candidate will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Quality of Content: 15%
Impact, Business Model & Values: 60%
Community Support: 25%
During the Phase 3 judging period from November 10 to November 17, 2023, all judges will score each of the submissions based on the Phase 3 criteria and the businesses with the top three overall scores in each category will be declared the Grant Prize Winners. The highest score in each category will receive the first place prize ($50,000 CAD), the second highest score in each category will receive the second place prize ($25,000 CAD) and the third highest score in each category will receive the third place prize ($10,000 CAD). If one the winning businesses cannot be contacted the business with the next highest score will replace them.
NOMINATION PRIZE: The Eligible Nominator who submitted the entrant for the winning Nominee in each category will receive the Nomination Prize. If multiple people nominate the winning business then the entry that scored the highest based on the evaluation criteria will be deemed the recipient[GC1] .
By participating in the Contest, each Entrant and Candidate agrees to be bound by these Terms and by the interpretation of these Terms by the Sponsor, and further warrants and represents that his/her/their Submission or Supplementary Material:
i. is original to him/her/they and that the Entrant and Candidate has all necessary rights in and to the Submission (and all components thereof – e.g. music, images, etc.) to participate in the Contest;
ii.does not violate any law, statute, ordinance or regulation;
iii.does not contain any reference to or likeness of any identifiable third parties, unless consent has been obtained from all such individuals and their parent/legal guardian if they are under the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence;
iv.will not give rise to any claims of infringement, invasion of privacy or publicity, or infringe on any rights and/or interests of any third party, or give rise to any claims for payment whatsoever; and
v. not defamatory, trade libelous, pornographic or obscene, and further that it will not contain, depict, include, discuss or involve, without limitation, any of the following:
Consumption or promotion of illegal drugs;
Explicit or graphic sexual activity, or sexual innuendo;
Crude, vulgar or offensive language and/or symbols;
Derogatory characterizations of any ethnic, racial, sexual or religious groups;
Content that endorses, condones and/or discusses any illegal, inappropriate or risky behaviour or conduct;
Personal information of individuals; including, without limitation, telephone numbers and addresses (physical or electronic);
Negative comparisons or solicitations for products or services of Nominees and Sponsors
Any identifiable third party products, trade-marks, brands and/or logos, other than those of Sponsor; And only those of Nominee with permission or consent of Nominee. For example, any clothing worn and/or products appearing in your Video must not contain any visible logos, trade-marks or other third party materials (note: all identifiable third party products, trade-marks, brands and/or logos must be blurred out so as to be unrecognizable) unless there is consent of the owner of the intellectual property;
Conduct or other activities in violation of these Terms; and/or
Any other content that is or could be considered inappropriate, unsuitable or offensive, all as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion.
The Sponsor (the “Reviewer(s)”) may initially screen each Submission. Any submission that the Reviewer deems, in its sole discretion, to violate the terms and conditions set forth in these Terms will not be posted or submitted for entry into the Winner Selection Process.
By entering the Contest and submitting an Entry or Supplementary Material, each Entrant or Candidate: (i) grants to the Sponsor, in perpetuity, a non-exclusive license to publish, display, reproduce, modify, edit or otherwise use his/her/their submission, in whole or in part, for advertising or promoting the Contest or for any other reason; (ii) waives all moral rights in and to his/her/their submission in favour of the Sponsor; and (iii) agrees to release and hold harmless the Sponsor, the Contest Administrator and each of their respective agents, employees, directors, successors, and assigns (collectively, the “Releasees”) from and against any and all claims based on publicity rights, defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, trade-mark infringement or any other intellectual property related cause of action (iv) agrees to receive email communications about the Contest from the Sponsor or Contest Administrator.
ELIGIBLE WINNER NOTIFICATION PROCESS:
The Sponsor or its designated representative will make a minimum of three (3) attempts to contact each eligible winner (using the information available to the Sponsor) within ﬁve (5) business days of selection as an eligible winner. If an eligible winner cannot be contacted as outlined above, or if there is a return of any notiﬁcation as undeliverable and/or if any correspondence is not responded to; then he/she may, in the sole and absolute discretion of the Sponsor, be disqualiﬁed (and, if disqualiﬁed, will forfeit all rights to the applicable Prize) and the Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion and time permitting, to select an alternate eligible winner in accordance with the procedures outlined above (in which case the foregoing provisions of this section shall apply to such newly selected eligible winner).
ELIGIBLE WINNER CONFIRMATION PROCESS:
NO ONE IS A WINNER UNLESS AND UNTIL THE SPONSOR OFFICIALLY CONFIRMS HIM/HER AS A WINNER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THESE RULES, EVEN IF SUCH PERSON IS ANNOUNCED AS THE WINNER OR AN ELIGIBLE WINNER. BEFORE BEING DECLARED AS A CONFIRMED PRIZE WINNER,
By participating in the Contest and accepting a Prize, each eligible winner hereby: (i) conﬁrms compliance with these Rules; (ii) acknowledges acceptance of the applicable Prize (as awarded); (iii) releases the Released Parties from any and all liability in connection with this Contest, his/her participation therein and/or the awarding and use/ misuse of the applicable Prize or any portion thereof; (iv) agrees to the publication, reproduction and/ or other use of his/her name, address, voice, statements about the Contest and/or photograph or other likeness without further notice or compensation, in any publicity or advertisement carried out by or on behalf of the Sponsor in any manner or medium whatsoever, including print, broadcast or the internet; and (v) authorizes the Sponsor to modify the submission for the purposes of the Promotions; and assigns all copyright in the Submission to the Sponsor and its affiliates, and waives any moral rights the Entrant may have in the Submission or Candidate may have with Supplementary Materials
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Sponsor may, in its sole and absolute discretion, require an eligible winner to sign and return the Sponsor’s form of declaration and release prior to conﬁrming the eligible winner as a conﬁrmed winner in accordance with these Rules. If an eligible winner: (a) fails to properly execute and return any required Contest documents within the speciﬁed time; (b) cannot accept (or is unwilling to accept) the applicable Prize (as awarded) for any reason; and/or (c) is determined to be in violation of these Rules (all as determined by the Sponsor in its sole and absolute discretion); then he/she will be disqualiﬁed (and will forfeit all rights to the applicable Prize) and the Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion and time permitting, to select an alternate eligible winner in accordance with the procedures outlined in Rule 9 (in which case the foregoing provisions of this section shall apply to such newly selected eligible winner).
This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws. The decisions of the Sponsor with respect to all aspects of this Contest are ﬁnal and binding on all entrants without right of appeal or review, judicial or otherwise.
ANYONE DEEMED BY THE SPONSOR TO BE IN VIOLATION OF THE SPONSOR’S INTERPRETATION OF THE LETTER AND/OR SPIRIT OF THESE RULES FOR ANY REASON IS SUBJECT TO DISQUALIFICATION IN THE SOLE AND ABSOLUTE DISCRETION OF THE SPONSOR AT ANY TIME. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to disqualify any individual that it deems to be in violation of these Rules. The Sponsor reserves the right to refuse an Entry from any person whose eligibility is in question or who has been disqualiﬁed or is otherwise ineligible to enter. In its sole and absolute determination, the Sponsor may disqualify any person who acts in any manner to threaten or abuse or harass any person and to void all such person’s Entries.
The Released Parties will not be liable for: (i) any failure – including, but not limited to, the failure of any website or any platform during or after the Contest; (ii) any technical malfunction or other problems of any nature whatsoever, including, without limitation, those relating to the telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment or software; (iii) the failure of any information or materials (including, but not limited to, Entries, Eligible Transactions and/or Requests) to be received, captured, recorded or function properly for any reason whatsoever, including, but not limited to, technical problems or trafﬁc congestion on the internet or at any website; (iv) any injury or damage to an entrant’s or any other person’s computer or other device related to or resulting from participating in the Contest; (v) anyone being incorrectly and/or mistakenly identiﬁed as a winner or eligible winner; and/or (vi) any combination of the above.
Any attempt to undermine the legitimate operation of this Contest in any way (as determined by Sponsor in its sole and absolute discretion) may be a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek remedies and damages to the fullest extent permitted by law. Without limiting the generality of the forgoing, the Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to administer an alternate test of skill as it deems appropriate based on the circumstances and/ or to comply with applicable law.
By entering this Contest, each entrant permits the Sponsor, its agents, promotional agencies and/or representatives to collect the information submitted with your Entry, Client Card Number and/or Request and to use it to administer the Contest. If you have also consented to the use of your personal information for marketing and promotional purposes, you agree that the Sponsor may send you offers, promotions and information about its products and services. The Sponsor may communicate with you through various channels, including email, telephone, social media or mail, using the contact information you have provided. We will respect your preferences otherwise recorded with us. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between the terms and conditions of these Rules and disclosures or other statements contained in any Contest-related materials, including, but not limited to, any website(s), platform(s), point of sale, television, print or online advertising and/or any instructions or interpretations of these Rules given by any representative of the Sponsor, the terms and conditions of these rules shall prevail, govern and control to the fullest extent permitted by law.
The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Rules shall otherwise remain in effect and shall be construed in accordance with the terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained herein.
To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Rules or the rights and obligations of participants, Sponsor or any of the other the Released Parties in connection with the Contest will be governed by and construed in accordance with the domestic laws of the Province of Ontario and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein, without giving effect to any choice of law or conﬂict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of any other jurisdiction’s laws. The parties hereby consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts located in Ontario in any action to enforce (or otherwise relating to) these Rules or relating to this Contest.