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Guelph tech company wins provincial small business award

Northern Village says it will use the $15,000 prize to complete its Access2ID software which helps social service agencies recover ID for unhoused people
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Arni Mikelsons is the founder and CEO of Northern Village, a Guelph-based tech company that designs websites and software.

Guelph-based tech company Northern Village has placed first in a provincial contest for small businesses. 

Meridian Credit Unions says it received over 1,000 entries to its contest recognizing small businesses that "demonstrated resilience, innovation and community spirit" during the pandemic. 

While two Guelph companies — the Bookshelf and Northern Village — made the shortlist, Northern Village announced Thursday it came out on top, taking home the $15,000 grand prize. 

“We are thrilled and honoured by this recognition," Arni Mikelsons, Founder and CEO of Northern Village, said in a media release. "Because those qualities are at the heart of who we are and what we do.”

Founded in 2002 as a website company, Northern Village pivoted it's focus at the beginning of the pandemic when demand for websites suddenly declined.

Instead Mikelson and his team of five employees began working on custom software for 'social impact organizations.'

Northern Village developed software for the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington to manage its Adopt-a-Family program. The annual initiative helps over 1,400 local families during the holidays.

The company also created a tool for a Toronto-based organization to recover ID — particularly useful for unhoused people who don't have fixed addresses.  

Northern Village plans to use the $15,000 prize money to scale that project and make it available to more social service agencies under the name Access2ID.

“The community spirit part of the award is what motivates us every day,” Mikelsons said. “We love to work with organizations that are making a difference in the lives of the people they serve.”  


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