Mississauga likes to bill itself as the home of 63 Fortune 500 companies, ranging from a variety of businesses from life sciences, financial, retail and information technology. While most of those big companies are situated in the business parks that Mississauga established north of Highway 401 due to the proximity to Pearson International Airport, that is not to say that Mississauga is also a home to a variety of small to medium sized businesses as well.

According to the city’s own 2016 Employment Profile, there are a total of 86,170 registered businesses in Mississauga, with about 20,585 operating in dedicated brick and mortar locations such as offices or factories, but with 65,585 being home based businesses. While you can set up your own business online and by definition make your home the location of your business, as you drive around Mississauga you may notice a number of private homes that have signage out front indicating that the home also serves as a place of business. Some common examples include chiropractors, traditional medicine practitioners, and smaller law/tax offices.

One of the areas in Canada’s sixth largest city is in south Mississauga. Neighbourhoods such as Port Credit and Clarkson have maintained active business improvement areas and are home to a number of small businesses and independent restaurants; many of which have been featured in the Insauga Top 5 restaurant lists, as well as stand alone articles about establishments such as Capra’s Kitchen in Clarkson or the various new eating spots that have opened in Port Credit.

As such, the local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Charles Sousa, who also serves as Ontario’s Minister of Finance, is hosting The Stars of Mississauga South Small Business Awards showcase. Anyone who knows of an exceptional small business in the Mississauga South provincial riding is encouraged to submit a nomination by using this form.

A winner from each category will be selected by an independent judging panel and will also be recognized at the awards ceremony. The awards’ criteria are broken down into the following categories:

Retail Service Excellence

  • This award will be presented to a business in the retail sector who demonstrates a high level of dedication and leadership to customer service and satisfaction. They practice a work and service environment that is respectful, supportive and approachable. This business should be known for their customer service and reliability through efficiency, engaging the customer, and problem solving; providing more than what is expected of them.

Professional Service Excellence

  • This award is to recognize a business in the professional sector that shows excellence in service and support to their customers. Professional service excellence is demonstrated through consistently delivering the highest level of service and a desire to improve service by continuously expanding their knowledge and skill. This business should exhibit high levels of standards in professional integrity. They should go above and beyond the standard level of service. This business is a role model within communities in the provision of excellent services.

Rising “Star”

  • This award will be presented to a business that has been operating longer than one year but less than 5 years. The business has demonstrated strong potential via growth, innovation and leadership. The business has demonstrated a culture of risk-taking and trail blazing and his positioned itself to achieve similar successes in the future. Nominees must not be an expansion of an existing business, name change or new location of an existing organization.

Home Based Business Excellence

  • This award will be given to the home-based business who best demonstrates good customer relations and commitment to providing a good quality product or service. This business shows a high level of community involvement and demonstrates innovative marketing strategies that works toward growing the business.

Community Impact Excellence

  • This award will be given to a business who best demonstrates a positive impact in the community in which they operate and has taken positive action to invest in that community via community relations, volunteer involvement and/or financial support of community based activities or groups. A nominee should display extraordinary social responsibility and enthusiasm by its total benefit to the community, amount of time, effort and or any other form of leadership given in the community.

Hospitality Excellence

  • This award will be given to the restaurant that provides cuisine of an excellent standard, with a well thought out menu and is dedicated to using of local vendors. This business should also create a welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere through a high standard of management.

Networking Excellence

  • This award will be given to a business professional who shows a great amount of participation at various businesses and networking events. They demonstrate the ability to link individuals through networking aid in creating opportunities and foster awareness of the Mississauga business community through local involvement to networking organizations and professional groups.

So if you know any businesses in the southern end of Mississauga that deserves some recognition for their business and the work they do in the community, you can nominate them to get some recognition. The businesses that receive a valid nomination will be recognized at an awards ceremony on October 11.

For more additional information, you can contact the MPP’s constituency office.

Photo from website of Ontario Convenience Stores Association