Ottawa’s small business success celebrated at inaugural summit, awards

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Sheba Schmidt (left), owner of West End Kids with Shopify's Rahul Kulkarni discussing the integration of e-commerce and main street retail at this week's Small Business Summit. Photo by Mark Holleron

While awards and headlines tend to celebrate Ottawa’s largest and fastest-growing companies, OBJ and the Ottawa Board of Trade took a day during Small Business Week to celebrate the little guys.

Ottawa’s inaugural Small Business Summit, held Wednesday at the Westin Ottawa, also featured the city’s first-ever Small Business Awards. These honours are reserved for companies in Ottawa with fewer than 10 employees and at least one full year of business under their belts. Recipients were split between Ottawa’s east and west ends, and were divided among professional services firms, retail stores and business services and manufacturing.

The 2019 Small Business Awards winners are:

  • Accountrain inc., a full-service accounting firm;

  • Bayview Windows, door and window replacement specialists;

  • Clariti, HR consultants;

  • Re4m Design and Fabrication, creating new spaces from upcycled materials;

  • Simple Story, a digital marketing firm; and

  • Stray Dog Brewing Co.

In addition to the awards presentation, the Small Business Summit featured a full-day of panels and discussions aimed at giving upstart companies a leg up in areas such as marketing, e-commerce and leadership. Among the speakers was Lt.-Col. Robert Teschner, a former F-22 U.S. fighter pilot, who brought air force-inspired lessons for business owners.