Small businesses with a Web site registered to a dot-ca domain have a shot at winning $5,000 next May.
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) announced its Impact Awards at Toronto’s Mesh Marketing conference Nov. 17. Canada’s domain registration authority will give away a total of $20,000 – awarding a $5,000 prize to Web sites in four different categories. Aside from Small Business, awards will be given for E-Learning, Not-For-Profit, and Web Technology.
CIRA will start taking entries in January and close in March, says Jennifer Austin, senior manager of communications. The winner will be announced at Toronto-based Mesh conference.
“We would encourage anyone with a small business dot-ca Web site to apply,” Austin says. “That could go a long way for small businesses to help with their Web site and their Web presence.”
A panel of judges is soon to be assembled to better determine the criteria for the awards. CIRA hopes to nab notable judges in the Internet community and specific to the category areas. CIRA is looking for the winning small business Web site to be innovative, have a demonstrated impact on the growth of business, and generate a measurable return on investment.
“The Web site doesn’t have to change the world,” Austin says. “It does have to make an impact in the community that the business is operating in, whether that’s a vertical, or a physical location.”
Even small businesses who don’t claim the top prize could get some recognition for their entries. CIRA may profile some finalists as well, Austin says. “It’s still being worked out.”
The awards are an opportunity for CIRA to give back to Canada’s Internet community, she adds. The authority has a mandate to do more than just register domains, but also to engage with the community and recognize good work.