QDAR receives provincial Small Businesses, Big Hearts Award for efforts during pandemic



BELLEVILLE – In May, the Government of Ontario launched its Small Businesses, Big Hearts Initiative—a campaign designed to recognize the remarkable ways Ontario small businesses have stepped up and supported their local communities throughout COVID-19, even when they themselves were struggling with adapting to challenges caused by the pandemic. The small business community has risen to help the vulnerable and those stuck at home, with countless people generously giving their time and resources to make and deliver food, run errands, and check-in on those who are isolated and alone.

The Small Businesses, Big Hearts Award, launched by Premier Doug Ford and Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction Prabmeet Sarkaria, solicits stories of small businesses across the province who have shown true Ontario Spirit through their generosity, amidst the uncertainty and challenges brought on by COVID-19. Many of these businesses have altered their business models and paid it forward, providing inspiration and creating hope in their local communities.

"As I connect and host virtual roundtables with small businesses across the province, I'm also hearing about the tremendous generosity of our small businesses and the many ways they are giving back to their communities," said Minister Sarkaria. "In so many remarkable ways, these local heroes are demonstrating the Ontario spirit. Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® Inc. (QDAR) are one of the recipients and on behalf of the Premier and I, would like to congratulate them on the Small Businesses, Big Hearts award.”

QDAR serves over 415 licensed real estate practitioners in the Quinte & District area. QDAR donated an emergency grant of $4,200 to Gleaners Food Bank, through the Ontario REALTORS Care Foundation to help those facing food insecurity. They also requested the funds to be distributed throughout local food banks within communities.  They also recently completed a successful food drive for the Grace Inn Shelter.

“Many Ontarians are facing pressures in ways we’ve never seen before because of the global pandemic,” said Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith. “QDAR helped our local community by donating services, resources and time to help others so that the vulnerable can be in a better position to rebound from the economic challenges brought on by COVID-19. The Big Heart Small Business award celebrates of those made the remarkable small businesses, whose kindness help continue to build a strong and healthy Ontario during the COVID 19 pandemic.”

The government’s Small Business Big Hearts Initiative provides a platform to highlight small businesses that have helped their communities and made life a little easier for their fellow Ontarians. Many small businesses have shown true Ontario spirit during this period, strengthening the foundation of our communities and helping Ontarians through this recovery.

If you know of a small business that has stepped up and shown the Ontario Spirit in your community, send the story to [email protected]


  • The COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website enables businesses to submit details of any potential regulatory roadblocks as we navigate these uncharted economic conditions.
  • Ontario is also providing significant support to small businesses, including an investment of $150 million in rural broadband which will help businesses access a greater pool of customers as well as significantly expanding the Digital Main Street platform to help small businesses create and enhance their online presence, helping them to adapt and meet the challenges of today.
  • To take part in the Small Businesses, Big Hearts initiative and share a story, please reach out to the Office of the Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction at [email protected]
  • For information and resources for Ontario businesses, visit ontario.ca/supportforbusiness.