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Nominate indies for the first Smallbiz Awards of Ottawa—deadline May 21

By Apartment613 on May 18, 2021


On June 29, a number of local shops will take home the first-ever Smallbiz Awards of Ottawa. Hosted by veteran broadcaster and entrepreneur Mark Sutcliffe, the program will celebrate local businesses in a livesream broadcast (June 29 at 7pm).

“I really love this idea,” says Sutcliffe. “There are so many small businesses in Ottawa that are innovating and adapting right now and this is a great way to honour them. I know the community realizes the value of small business more than ever during the pandemic.”

There are cash and in-kind prizes for the recipients in nine categories from e-commerce to skill trades, food and beverages. Those categories include awards for Tech, B2B, E-commerce, Brick & Mortar Smallbiz of the Year, as well as special awards for New Smallbiz of the Year (opened in January 2020 or later) and the Made-in-Ottawa Product of the Year. See here for the complete list of categories and eligibility requirements.

“This is not a popularity contest.”

“This is not a popularity contest,” stresses Eric Saumure, Principal at Zenbooks, the local accounting firm that created the event. A panel of judges will rate the entries, rather than put the Smallbiz Awards to a popular vote (we’re looking at you, Faces Magazine). All applications have 10 questions for business managers and owners. Each answer will be rated out of 10, for a total of 100 points.

The highest-rated business in each award category will be its winner. The top overall will be declared the “Ottawa Smallbiz of the Year” and win a $10,000 grand prize ($5,000 cash plus $5,000 in Zenbooks services).

Local businesses can apply for the Smallbiz Awards until Friday, May 21 at midnight. Visit for more information on nominations and eligibility.