Canadian small businesses have always been synonymous with community. Whether it be their impact on job creation, innovation and growth, or their contributions to the local economy, small businesses build connections and relationships, making our communities and Canada stronger.
Since 2021, Purolator’s True North Small Business Grant Contest has been supporting small businesses across Canada and the people they serve in various communities (check out our 2021 and 2022 winners ) with over $330,000 in cash and prizes. New this year, Purolator opened votes to Canadians to select which of the four winners would receive $5,000 to pay it forward to a registered Canadian food bank through its Community’s Choice Award. For every vote received, Purolator donated $1 toward Canadian food banks through Purolator Tackle Hunger, resulting in an additional $10,000 donation.
Purolator is pleased to announce that Canadians selected First Indigenous Biomass Future Inc (FIND Biomass) as the 2023 True North Small Business winner of the Community’s Choice Award.
Supporting Indigenous communities
FIND Biomass is a majority Indigenous owned and operated business supporting afforestation and biomass contributions for sustainable energy solutions to assist Canada’s net-zero greenhouse gas proposal by 2050. Their mission extends to holistic community solutions that integrate Indigenous stewardship practices, minimizing environmental impact while supplying Indigenous employment and training to the local First Nations and Metis population for continued generational benefit.
FIND Biomass’ impact includes:
- Afforestation Initiative – FIND Biomass is committed to supplying, planting, and monitoring 40 million fast-growing hybrid poplars across Alberta, which reduce 10 times more carbon dioxide in the air than natural forests, minimizing the impact of global climate change.
- Hybrid Poplar Propagation Field – FIND Biomass’ nursery is home to over 11 species of hybrid poplars, which support afforestation and reforestation projects, as well as alternative energy supply initiatives. The nursery also provides valuable employment and training for the local Indigenous population.
- Landfill Diversion and Biomass – In partnership with Municipal Solid Waste producers, FIND Biomass is a supplier of biomass for alternative energy solutions. This initiative also diverts woody material and municipal solid waste products from landfills to further carbon neutrality.
Funding and support from Purolator’s True North Small Business Grant Contest has enabled FIND Biomass to make a significant impact on their community, furthering their focus on sustainability for the Indigenous population. They will be paying $5,000 forward to the High Prairie & District Food Bank Society in High Prairie, Alberta. They have selected this food bank to support their local Indigenous communities, which includes the three Métis Settlements – East Prairie Metis Settlement, Gift Lake Metis Settlement and Peavine Metis Settlement, five First Nations – Sucker Creek First Nation, Driftpile Cree Nation, Whitefish First Nation and Kapaweno First Nation, and the Swan River First Nation, which is FIND Biomass CEO Melissa Minks’s band.
FIND Biomass supports High Prairie Food Bank in tackling hunger and poverty exacerbated by the rising cost of living, particularly impacting families in Canada’s northern regions. Malnutrition is one of the top issues facing Indigenous communities, which is another reason why donating to the High Prairie & District Food Bank Society is important to the team.
Melissa MinksFIND Biomass, CEO
“The entire FIND Biomass team is honoured to win the vote. We are happy to have received so much support for our company and our mission to offset CO2 emissions with afforestation and planting trees. We all worked hard to spread the news about the contest and asked everyone we knew to vote for FIND Biomass so that we could help support a food bank that focuses on our local Indigenous communities, and we’re glad our work will help many families”, said ” Melissa Minks, FIND Biomass, CEO. FIND Biomass would like to thank all who supported the contest and took the time to vote and listen to the stories of all the finalists.”
Rallying in support of Canadian food banks
The Purolator team and community congratulate FIND Biomass on their Community’s Choice Award win and thanks Canadians for their votes.
Stacey CummingsDirector of Marketing
“For the past 20 years, Purolator’s employees, customers and the communities we serve have been working together to support Canadian food banks and to make a difference in the lives of those facing food insecurity. Purolator is proud to contribute to First Indigenous Biomass Future Inc.’s pay-it-forward donation to High Prairie & District Food Bank Society, which will go a long way to help those in need in High Prairie, Alberta”
- Hello Leena – Canada’s first and largest BIPOC-focused mental health platform
- Schoolhouse Gluten-Free Gourmet Ltd. – Suppliers of 100% gluten-free baked goods
- Elate – Producers of sustainably packaged, vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics
In addition to their ongoing contributions to the betterment of their community, these small businesses helped drive Canadian votes, in support of food banks across the nation through Purolator Tackle Hunger.
Voters in the contest also had the opportunity to win one of three $250 gift cards. Supporting food banks was also important to the contest participants, as noted by one of the voting prize winners, Heidi Bliedung of Dawson City, Yukon.
Heidi BliedungDawson City, Yukon
“Supporting Canadian food banks, especially in the north, is crucial for addressing food sustainability. In northern regions, factors like harsh climates, limited agricultural opportunities, and high living costs make access to affordable and nutritious food challenging. Supporting food banks helps ensure that vulnerable communities have access to essential resources, promoting health and well-being. Thank you so much for this prize and opportunity to share my view on the importance of Canadian food banks.”