1&1 Canada’s My Business Heroes contest, for which I’m a judge, wraps up today. This is the first time the company has launched the contest, where Canadians can nominate businesses they feel have had a positive impact on their community.

“For the 1&1 My Business Heroes Contest, we are looking for an act of kindness that truly shows compassion for certain people or individuals; a business or entrepreneur that found a unique way to help those in need that also inspired others to do the same,” according to the contest organizers. “We feel that the most important factor in any philanthropic activity is the impact the work will have on those it directly affects. We consider that to include any amount of time and money shared which shows consideration of others, so anything local businesses do to work towards a positive end goal is a great way to give back to their community.”

I couldn’t agree more. Small businesses typically are limited in resources and time and I think that’s what makes their contributions all the more significant. For SMBs, the small things matter. Lending your physical space out to community organizations or putting time into volunteering with local schools or groups can have just as much of an impact as the major corporations that run huge charity events and I think this contest is a good reminder of that.

The grand prize business hero will win a Web site makeover and free hosting for life. Nine other runners-up will get a year of free hosting for their Web sites. This has a lot of potential for small businesses, many of whom don’t even have Web sites up and running but could hugely benefit from being online or at least cutting down on hosting costs. True, not every mom and pop shop needs to have a beautifully designed interactive site with social media presence, but simple contact information and branding online can be hugely useful to a business.

I look forward to reading about the nominees this month and helping a few lucky businesses strengthen their online presence.

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  • This is an awesome idea for a contest.

    Companies that are short or resources or budget constrained (as many SMBs are) and yet find the time to help others, deserve special recognition.