Photograph of a woman sitting at a table who is in conversation

Big brands may get the love, but if you think about it, small businesses make our lives better. From dentists and restaurants to convenience stores and auto shops, small businesses provide us with many of the services we need to live and work. They are our friends and, often, our employers. In fact, small and medium-sized companies drive the economy, employing 90 percent of Canadians!

This October, in honour of Small Business Month, Microsoft Canada conducted a series of activities and events, like the Business Self-Defense campaign, to help educate small businesses as we recognize their enormous contribution to the Canadian economy. We also asked all Microsoft Canada employees from coast to coast to nominate their favourite small businesses. In this post, we share their picks!

Thank you to the many entrepreneurs from coast to coast who met us with open arms. Due to space limitations, we include only a handful of photographs of winners in this post. Participants received a gift bag as a small token, recognizing the great experience they offer.

Here’s the complete list of nominated small businesses:

All 4 Paws (

Bruckmann Martial Arts (

Carisma Florists (

Cousin’s Foods (

Difenda (

Dimonoff (

Essence Salon + Spa (

Eye Spy Optometry (

Fratelli Village Pizzeria (

Hauser Furniture (


J.V. Clothing (

Loonie Times (

Lux Beauty (

Macaam Hardscapes (

Maverick Distillery (

Meemim (

Moksha Yoga Bloor Street (

Mosnik Painting (

Mozzaz (

NeoSystems Inc. (

Paradigm Medial (

Salus Fresh Foods (

The Second Wedge Brewing (

Thistleoaks Childcare Centre (

Snyder’s Family Farm (

Testfire Labs (

Twin Fish (

Vancouver Kids Books (

Walkrite Foot Clinic (


Here are some photographs of nominated small businesses!

Photograph Kelsey Johnston, founder of All 4 Paws, standing in front their van

Kelsey Johnston, founder of Bedford, Nova Scotia’s All 4 Paws Pet Grooming, runs a complete, mobile pet salon from her van.

A nominated SMB winner holding a Microsoft bag with giveaway items at his place of business (grocery store)

Gus from Cousin’s Market, a specialty grocer in Mississauga, Ontario, loved for making their customers feel heard and welcome.

Photograph of Dimoff founders at a trade show

Based in Quebec City, Dimonoff ranks among the pioneers of remote control and monitoring technologies for smart city management.

Photograph of Suzie and her team at Essence Salon + Spa Suzie and her team at Cambridge, Ontario’s Essence Salon and Spa, a family-run business servicing the community since 2004.

Photograph of CEO Juan Lau who leads ICON standing in the ICON studio

CEO Juan Lau (holding bag in photograph above) leads Markham, Ontario’s ICON—a multifaceted visual communication company.

Photograph of Fran and John standing in the J.V. Clothing store

Fran and John from Georgetown, Ontario’s J.V. Clothing, the men’s style and sportswear store that has served the community for almost 40 years!

Photograph of Meemim team members at a trade show

Meemim in Toronto develops visualization technology that allows construction teams to “see” buried infrastructure for faster, cheaper repairs.

Photograph of Sammy Wahab, one of Mozzaz

Based in Waterloo, Ontario, Mozzaz is a technology company developing innovative technology solutions for behavioural health services.

Photograph of Paradigm Medical team members standing together in their store

Paradigm Medical is medical product distribution company based in Toronto that’s owned and operated by women.


A photo of the gift bag with 3 boxes of salads

Toronto, Ontario’s Salus Fresh Foods makes fresh, delicious, and healthy food a convenient option.

Photograph of a member of the Second Wedge Brewing Company standing in their brewery

The Second Wedge Brewing Company, of Uxbridge, Ontario is a beautiful local brewery located right in downtown Uxbridge.

Photograph of Dave Damer, Founder and CEO of Testfire Labs, at a tradeshow

Dave Damer (on left) is the Founder and CEO of Edmonton, Alberta’s Testfire Labs, a tech company specializing in artificial intelligence technology.

On behalf of Microsoft, thanks again and keep up the great work, everyone!