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The winners of the Meridian Small Business Big Impact Awards

The Meridian Small Business Big Impact Awards feature $300,000 in total prize money

A huge congratulations goes out to the winners of this year’s Small Business Big Impact Awards! We received over 4,000 nominations for businesses making a positive impact on their communities. Luckily, we were prepared to give out more prizes than ever before. We’re awarding a total of $300,000, including $50,000 for the winning business in each of our contest categories: community, environment, and innovation.

Thank you so much to everyone who nominated a business! After careful consideration, our panel of business experts chose 10 impressive finalists in each category and our judging panel reviewed additional materials and details to choose the winners. 

Meet the winners

Community impact


These businesses are making 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.

Three people smiling and laughing, wearing Community Builder apparel.

First place: Community Builders

Minesing

Community Builders in a leading not-for-profit construction company serving Simcoe County and Greater Sudbury. In addition to building a variety of residential housing projects, including modular housing, social impact projects, and renovations, they offer people facing barriers to employment paid, hands-on learning opportunities in construction. Their training program gives community members foundational knowledge that will support them as they start a meaningful career in the trades.

Awarded $50,000

Learn more about Community Builders

Environment impact


These businesses are 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.

Phil Winters, one of the owners of Goodlot Farm and Farmstead Brewing, smiling and wearing a Goodlot hat and sunglasses.

First place: GoodLot Farmstead Brewing Co.

Alton

GoodLot Farm and Farmstead Brewing company is an organic hop farm and solar-powered brewery in the Ontario Greenbelt. They are organic, regenerative carbon farmers, working to sequester more CO2 into their soil than they emit. They also brew in an eco-renovated converted barn, powered by solar energy.  Eventually, they plan to be “carbon-negative” (creating more clean energy than they consume annually, ensuring zero negative impact on the climate). Their environmental leadership has made them a key community gathering hub, hosting a steady stream of fundraising events for numerous local environmental and social issues.

Awarded $50,000

Learn more about GoodLot Farmstead Brewing Co.

Innovation impact


These businesses are 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.

Chelsee-Marie Pettit, founder and streetwear designer for Aaniin.

First place: Aaniin Retail

Toronto

Aaniin retail inc. is an innovative platform and brick-and-mortar storefront for dozens of Indigenous owned businesses, designers, and artisans. It is Canada’s first department store that is 100% Indigenous-owned, and between the storefront and online platform, includes some of Canada’s most recognized Indigenous brands, plus many up-and-comers. Items come with a QR code on the tag, which leads to a web page that explains the meaning and translation of the design. This helps promote education and creates meaningful conversations about language revitalization and cultural survival.

Awarded $50,000

Learn more about Aaniin Retail

Raw carrot employee wearing an apron and smiling in the soup kitchen. She is older, with short grey hair and glasses.
Award for the most nominations: The Raw Carrot

The Raw Carrot, in Paris ON, received more nominations than any other business, in any category! The Raw Carrot cooks and packages small batch, artisan products (like food items and gift boxes), while providing work opportunities to people who face barriers to employment. They currently have four locations, and plan to open a fifth in 2024.

Awarded $5,000

Mon Petit Chou
Award for the outstanding start-up: Mon Petit Chou

Out of all the start-up business nominated, our judges were most impressed by Mon Petit Chou. Located in Etobicoke, Mon Petit Chou specializes in crafting nutritious salad bouquets that combine health and beauty. Orders include reusable planters and in-house dressings using fresh in-house and local ingredients only. They’re committed to sustainability at every step of the process - we look forward to watching them grow!

Awarded $5,000

What a past winner is up to

Northern Village

Northern Village, our inaugural Small Business Big Impact Award winner, has used their winnings to finish Access2ID – a fantastic piece of software that allows agencies working with homeless people to help them recover their ID. Watch this video to hear more about the Northern Village story.

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