2017 AIR MILES Small Business Awards recognizes outstanding contributions of small businesses in Canada

Fourth annual awards ceremony celebrates the accomplishments and impact of small business

TORONTO, Feb. 9, 2017 /CNW/ - In recognition of the exceptional achievements of small businesses in Canada, the AIR MILES Reward Program announces the recipients of the fourth annual AIR MILES Small Business Achievement Awards, presented by American Express.  

Representing a diverse range of business verticals, this year's honorees demonstrate the unwavering ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit among small business owners in Canada. As leaders in their fields, these individuals continue to grow and strengthen Canada's business landscape with innovative concepts and dynamic thinking. From local start-ups to homegrown enterprises, these small businesses showcase the dedication and passion of Canadian small business owners over five categories including: Small Business of the Year, Start-Up of the Year, Innovation of the Year, Social Venture, and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

A crucial building block within our economy, small businesses represent 97.9 per cent of all companies in Canada and are instrumental in generating increased employment and economic growth1. AIR MILES is proud to support small business in Canada and recognizing and rewarding their outstanding accomplishments through the AIR MILES Small Business Awards.

This year's honourees will receive a personalized, one-on-one mentorship session from one of North America's top business leaders, as well as other professional perks, such as a profile in Macleans magazine, 10,000 AIR MILES Reward Miles, and a trip to Toronto to attend the winners' reception in early March.

"At AIR MILES, we believe it's important to not only recognize, but celebrate the contribution of the small businesses in this country and the entrepreneurs who lead them. This year's winners truly exemplify the spirit of entrepreneurship in Canada and showcase the breadth and degree of talent that defines our small business landscape," says Rachel MacQueen, Vice President, Marketing, AIR MILES Reward Program. "The AIR MILES Small Business Awards is only one of the ways we continue to provide access to resources and tools that benefit small business owners across Canada." she adds.

The honoured winners of the 2017 AIR MILES Small Business Achievement Awards, and their business mentors, are:

  • Small Business of the Year: Big Country RawSt. Anns, ON, Geraldine Brouwer, Co-owner, Rob Brouwer, Co-owner

    Big Country Raw is a true home-grown business, providing safe and healthy raw pet food to retailers and pet owners across the country. Headed by a husband and wife team, Big Country Raw uses only locally sourced suppliers and federally inspected human grade, hormone- and antibiotic-free products. The company prepares and packages the food in small batches to ensure customers receive the freshest food available and boasts a robust home delivery component. Big Country Raw is available direct to consumer and in 250 pet food retailers in Ontario, including AIR MILES Partner, Global Pet Foods, and is also expanding into Quebec.

    Mentor: Kristine Tsaosidis, Vice President, American Express Global Commercial Payments

  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Hybrid Power SolutionsMississauga, ON, Francois Renaud-Byrne, Project Director

    Hybrid Power Solutions Inc. was founded in 2015 in response to the need for better-performing portable electric systems. Hybrid Power Solutions produces high efficiency rectifiers and converters to provide effective power solutions for their clients. With a production strategy focused on simplicity and reliability, Hybrid Power Solutions works with customers to create the best solutions on the market with the highest possible return on investment.

    Mentor: Justin Creally, Co-founder North Strategic & Notch Video

  • Innovation of the Year: ViewTrakEdmonton, AB - Ted Power, President & CEO and Hubert Lau, Executive Vice President

    Viewtrak Technologies Inc. is the global leader in Livestock Information Technology Solutions. Established in 1999, Viewtrak is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with satellite offices in Ontario, Kentucky, South Dakota, New Mexico, Hong Kong and Sichuan, China. In response to the emerging global market demand for food management and traceability systems, ViewTrak's comprehensive hardware and software solutions are the most widely used tracing and trading tools in North America the company ownsthe #1 Pork Grading Tool in China. Creating customized solutions for customers, Viewtrak supports over 50 million head of livestock annually with innovative IT products.

    Mentor: Malcolm Fowler, Vice President Financial Institutions & Partner Management, Moneris

  • Social Venture: HoneyDo Lifestyle Assistant Inc.Ladner, B.C.Rhonda Doram, President

    HoneyDo Lifestyle Assistant Inc. offers a vast number of companion and homemaker services, giving clients the freedom to focus on their day without the stress of home management. A team of qualified Assistants are available to offer household services, including housecleaning, laundry, meal preparation, gardening and companionship services offerings, including reading, walking, bathing assistance and transportation.

    Mentor: Rachel Rich, Vice President, Senior Manager North American Digital Channel Marketing, Bank of Montreal

  • Start-Up of the Year: AnyQuipCalgary, AB, Steve Skiba, Co-founder & CEO, Clark Johannson, Co-founder & CTO, Jen Lussier, Co-founder & CEO

    AnyQuip is Canada's peer-to-peer equipment rental network. AnyQuip offers companies the ability to connect with each other to get underutilized heavy equipment to projects and jobsites that need them, across a range of industries. Owners can earn revenue on their idle equipment, and renters can find exactly the equipment they need for less.

    Mentor: Bryan Pearson, President & CEO, LoyaltyOne

For more details about the Awards, visit: http://www.amfbawards.com/.

AIR MILES for Business is a unique facet of the AIR MILES Reward Program especially for the 800,000+ Collectors who are small business owners, offering exclusive benefits and awards. To learn more about the benefits of AIR MILES® for Business, please visit: airmiles.ca/business

Join in the conversation on Twitter at @AIRMILES or on Facebook at AIR MILES Canada

About the AIR MILES Reward Program 
Launched in 1992, the AIR MILES Reward Program is one of the best ways to get rewards in Canada.  With more than 10 million active Collector accounts, approximately two-thirds of all Canadian households can turn everyday purchases like gas and groceries into movie tickets, kitchen gadgets, electronics, dream vacations and so much more.  Unlike other frequent shopper programs, Collectors can get Miles from hundreds of leading brand-name Partners, representing thousands of retail and service locations across Canada and leading global brands online. The AIR MILES Reward Program lets Collectors reward themselves their way – they can build their AIR MILES Cash balance to use toward in-store purchases or eVouchers online at participating Reward Partners, build their Dream balance to get vacations, electronics and more, or a combination of both.  Whatever rewards Collectors like most, they can get them quickly and easily with the AIR MILES Reward Program.

1 Economic Development Canada – SME Research and Statistics – June 2016


For further information: Rachael Montgomery, Rachael.montgomery@northstrategic.com, 416-803-8302


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