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In a year like no other, we celebrate Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employers (SMEs) 2021, selected by Mediacorp Canada Inc., for their resilience in these challenging times.

With SMEs employing 90 per cent of Canada’s private sector labour force, these companies have not only shown persistence and agility, but also compassion. Most outstanding are the myriad of initiatives targeting the well-being of employees, from increased safety measures on site to additional physical and mental health benefits for all. For instance, ISAAC Instruments Inc. includes coverage for online Best Doctors telemedicine service as part of its new health plan, and Groundswell Cloud Solutions offers employees a flexible health spending account plus access to mental health practitioners, all as part of its benefits plan.

Staying connected has proved to be not only important for business, but also for a sense of camaraderie. Until staff can get together physically, companies have launched numerous online social activities to help keep employees in-touch while working from home. For example, Prophix Software Inc. holds virtual yoga classes twice a week, as well as e-games, an online book club and guided meditation, while R.F. Binnie & Associates keeps employees informed through the company’s “Bintranet” with peer-to-peer recognition and a newsreel of daily announcements.

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Giving back to the community is another hallmark of Canada’s Top SMEs. Notably, Rogers Insurance continued to support a number of charitable initiatives. Impressively, the firm donated approximately 6,000 volunteer hours on company time in the past year.

That’s a benchmark we can all be inspired by.

METHODOLOGY 2021

Mediacorp’s Top Small & Medium Employers is an editorial competition that recognizes exceptional small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Canada. The competition is limited to private-sector commercial organizations with less than 500 employees worldwide. Non-profit organizations are not eligible.

Employers are evaluated by the editors at Mediacorp using the same criteria as Mediacorp’s Top 100 Employers competition: (1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement.

Mediacorp’s editors compare employers to other organizations in their field to determine which ones offer the best workplaces and forward-thinking human resource policies. Whether an employer has positive employment growth is also a factor in determining the winners. As well, the unique initiatives of each employer are taken into account.

The Globe and Mail is not involved in the judging process.

Mediacorp’s Top Small & Medium Employers is an annual national competition, and all applicants must pay a fee to enter. Any employer with its head office or principal place of business in Canada may apply regardless of size, whether private or public sector.

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Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employers 2021, as selected by Mediacorp

AET Group Inc., Kitchener. Environmental consulting; 29 employees. Encourages employees to make an impact in their community with paid volunteer time off, along with an unlimited matching charitable donations program.

Altek Industrial Supply Inc., Edmonton. Industrial supplies; 53 employees. Helps employees save for the longer term through matching RSP contributions, up to five per cent of salary.

Aquatic Informatics Inc., Vancouver. Computer software; 74 employees. Offers maternity and parental leave top-up payments to employees who are new mothers or fathers, including adoptive parents.

Artis REIT, Winnipeg. Real estate investment trust; 179 employees. Encourages ongoing employee development with generous tuition subsidies for courses related and not directly related to their current position.

BAM Strategy, Montreal. Advertising; 55 employees. Invests in ongoing employee development through in-house and online training options, as well as tuition subsidies for job-related courses.

Beedie, Burnaby, B.C. Real estate development; 321 employees. Offers alternative work arrangements, including flexible hours, compressed work weeks and working from home options.

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Bellin Treasury Services Ltd., Vancouver. Custom software; 32 employees. Lets everyone share in the fruits of their labour through profit-sharing and a year-end bonus program.

Binary Stream Software Inc., Burnaby, B.C. Computer software; 57 employees. Hosted virtual yoga and meditation classes and weekly socials with games to help keep employees in-touch over the past year.

Bits In Glass Inc., Edmonton. Computer systems design; 81 employees. Encourages employees to volunteer with charitable and community initiatives with one half paid volunteer day and a matching charitable donation.

BluEarth Renewables Inc., Calgary. Renewable power generation; 106 employees. Starts most employees with three weeks of paid vacation plus additional time off between Christmas and New Year’s.

Broadsign Canada Co., Montreal. Computer systems design; 157 employees. Increased its wellness allowance by an additional $200 to help employees cover the cost of setting-up a comfortable home office.

Carebook Technologies Inc., Montreal. Specialized computer software; 37 employees. Hosted virtual “5 à 7” social events to help employees stay in-touch with each other over the past year.

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Cascadia Metals Ltd., Delta, B.C. Metal wholesale and distribution; 245 employees. Provides employees with a generous mental health practitioners benefit as part of their health benefits plan, to $2,500 annually.

CBCL Ltd., Halifax. Engineering; 322 employees. Helps employees save for the long term through a defined contribution pension plan and offers a phased-in retirement work option.

CHES Special Risk Inc., Toronto. Specialized insurance; 46 employees. Supports its new parents with maternity and parental leave top-up payments with the option to extend leave into an unpaid leave of absence.

Cloudworks Consulting Services Inc., Toronto. Cloud-based computing; 69 employees. Offers all employees the option to work from home with offices available for those who prefer to work onsite.

CoLab Software Inc., St. John’s. Software; 20 employees. Offers employees a no-limit vacation policy along with up to five paid additional days off between Christmas and New Year’s.

Connected, Toronto. Software developer; 148 employees. Moved employees to work from home early in the pandemic and is reviewing a work-from home hybrid model for future of work.

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Copperleaf Technologies Inc., Vancouver. Specialized computer software; 215 employees. Encourages employees to give back to the community with paid time off to volunteer (no set maximum) and matching charitable employee donations.

Croesus Finansoft, Laval, Que. Financial management software and services; 195 employees. Allows everyone share in the fruits of their labour through a year-end bonuses program that is open to all employees.

CrowdRiff Inc., Toronto. Software developer; 106 employees. Offers employees a no-limit vacation policy, along with paid personal days to help employees balance work and personal lives.

Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc., Toronto. Architecture; 301 employees. Starts new employees with three weeks paid vacation plus two paid personal days as well as summer and Christmas holiday shutdown days.

Distributel Communications Ltd., Etobicoke, Ont. Telecommunications; 500 employees. Provides access to a generous mental health practitioners benefit, up to $1,000 annually, through its employee benefits plan.

Drone Delivery Canada Corp., Woodbridge, Ont. Drone-based courier services; 50 employees. Considers previous work experience when setting vacation entitlements for new candidates.

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Duncan Craig LLP, Edmonton. Law firm; 92 employees. Helps employees plan for life after work through retirement planning assistance services.

East Side Games, Vancouver. Software publisher; 95 employees. Encourages employees to become recruiters for the firm with generous new employee referral bonuses, from $1,000 to $5,000.

eSentire Inc., Waterloo, Ont. Cybersecurity; 292 employees. Lets employees share in the company’s successes with a year-end bonus program that’s open to all employees.

ExperiencePoint Inc., Toronto. Human resources consulting; 55 employees. Encourages employees to lead healthy active lives with an employee-led Wellness Committee and a health benefits plan featuring a wellness spending account.

FBM Architecture | Interior Design, Halifax. Architecture; 36 employees. Features a dedicated mental health practitioner’s benefit, up to $500 annually, through its health benefits plan, plus a wellness spending account.

FinancialCAD Corp. / FINCAD, Surrey, B.C. Computer software; 94 employees. Starts new employees with four weeks of paid vacation with employees working to a maximum of six weeks over their careers.

First Capital REIT, Toronto. Real estate development and management; 371 employees. Allows employees to share in the company’s successes through a share purchase plan and a year-end bonus program open to all employees.

Flaman Sales Ltd., Saskatoon. Retail, farm machinery, equipment and home fitness; 391 employees. Supports ongoing employee development through in-house training along with tuition subsidies for courses related to their current position.

Fresche Solutions Inc., Montreal. Computer system design; 181 employees. Offers flexible hours, shortened work hours and working from home options.

FreshBooks, Toronto. Software publishers; 373 employees. Encourages employees to recruit their friends with generous new employee referral bonuses, up to $5,000, depending on the position.

Fuller Landau LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 125 employees. Hosted virtual yoga and fitness sessions on a weekly basis to encourage employees to keep active while working from home.

Fundserv Inc., Toronto. Financial transaction processing; 100 employees. Lets employees share in the company’s successes through a generous year-end bonus program.

Great Little Box Company Ltd., Richmond, B.C. Box manufacturing; 296 employees. Rewards employee suggestions and cost-savings ideas with cash awards, up to $2,000.

Groundswell Cloud Solutions Inc., Vancouver. Cloud-based software services; 57 employees. Hosts regular workshops on topics ranging from stress management to nutrition to meditation.

Humania Assurance Inc., Saint-Hyacinthe, Que. Insurance; 180 employees. Offers in-house and online training options along with tuition subsidies for courses related and not directly related to employees’ current position.

Illumiti Inc., Thornhill, Ont. Computer consulting; 179 employees. Coordinated virtual coffee breaks and lunches to help employees keep connected over the past year.

Integrated Sustainability, Calgary. Environmental consulting; 75 employees. Provides maternity leave top-up payments for new mothers and parental top-up for new fathers and adoptive parents.

InvestorCOM Inc., Brantford, Ont. Computer software; 80 employees. Encourages employees to save with matching RSP contributions and lets everyone share the company’s success through a profit-sharing plan.

ISAAC Instruments Inc., Saint-Bruno, Que. Commercial fleet tracking systems; 106 employees. Offers a new health plan including coverage for online Best Doctors telemedicine service and an in-house well-being program.

Jacob Bros Construction Inc., Surrey, B.C. Construction; 245 employees. Considers previous work experience when setting vacation entitlements for experienced candidates.

Johnston Group Inc., Winnipeg. Insurance and group benefits; 287 employees. Starts new employees with 3.2 weeks of paid vacation and offers additional paid personal days plus company-scheduled days off.

Keirton Inc., Surrey, B.C. Industrial equipment design and manufacturing; 47 employees. Supports ongoing employee development through in-house and online training courses as well as tuition subsidies for courses at outside academic institutions.

Keystone Environmental Ltd., Burnaby, B.C. Environmental consulting; 93 employees. Quickly moved many employees to work from home arrangements last year.

Lane Technologies Inc., Toronto. Computer software; 36 employees. Offers phased-in return-to-work options for new parents returning from parental leave.

Larochelle Groupe Conseil Inc., Montreal. Information technology consulting; 113 employees. Provides a health spending account of up to $600 as well as access to a dedicated $400 mental health practitioners benefit.

Litco Law, Calgary. Law firm; 91 employees. Offers a vacation and personal time-off policy built around an unlimited vacation policy for all employees.

Loopio Inc., Toronto. Software developer; 131 employees. Offers a phased-in return to work program for returning new parents along with a childcare subsidy of $2,000 per child for the first year.

McDougall Gauley LLP, Saskatoon. Law firm; 124 employees. Includes a health and wellness reimbursement of up to $500 as part of its health benefits plan.

MetOcean Telematics Ltd., Dartmouth, N.S. Communications technology; 88 employees. Offers up to nine paid personal days, which can be scheduled at employees’ discretion.

Nicola Wealth Management Ltd., Vancouver. Investment management; 197 employees. Offers employees nearing retirement the advantage of phased-in work options, to help ease their transition.

Noseworthy Chapman Chartered Professional Accountants, St. John’s. Accounting; 57 employees. Moved to an annual paid leave policy to combine vacation, sick and personal leave days.

Olympia Financial Group Inc., Calgary. Trust, fiduciary and custody activities and related IT services; 213 employees. Supports ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses related and not directly related to their current position.

Payworks Inc., Winnipeg. Payroll services; 319 employees. Offers a number of alternative work options, including flexible hours, shortened work weeks and working from home options.

Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP / s.r.l., Ottawa. Law; 110 employees. Helps employees save for life after work with contributions to a defined contribution pension plan.

Points, Toronto. Customer loyalty program software; 250 employees. Encourages employees to plan for life after work through a matching RSP contribution program.

PrairieCoast Equipment, Mission, B.C. Farm, garden machinery and equipment distribution; 275 employees. Allows employees to apply for unpaid and educational leaves of absence.

Prevue HR Systems Inc., Vancouver. Software; 23 employees. Offers one full year of maternity and parental leave top-up payments, to 100 per cent of salary, for new moms, dads and adoptive parents.

Priestly Demolition Inc., King, Ont. Remediation and demolition services; 352 employees. Helps employees save for the future through a defined contribution pension plan.

Promation, Oakville, Ont. Tooling, automation and robotic systems manufacturer; 73 employees. Supports ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies up to $10,000 along with apprenticeships, mentoring and in-house training programs.

Prophix Software Inc., Mississauga. Software developer; 228 employees. Hosted numerous online social activities to help keep employees in-touch while working from home including virtual yoga classes and guided meditation.

PSB Boisjoli LLP, Mont-Royal, Que. Accounting; 210 employees. Considers previous work experience when setting vacation entitlement experienced new candidates.

Ratehub Inc., Toronto. Financial services; 122 employees. Offers a generous year-end bonus program that is open to all employees.

Redbrick Technologies Inc., Victoria. Custom computer programming; 67 employees. Offers referral bonuses for employees who successfully refer a friend, up to $2,000.

Reid’s Heritage Homes Ltd., Cambridge, Ont. Housing construction; 167 employees. Organizes lunch and learns on various topics – such as healthy eating, cooking, wellness, organization and fitness – through its social and wellness committee.

Replicon Inc., Calgary. Software; 68 employees. Encourages employees to continue their education with tuition subsidies for courses related to their current position, with no annual maximum.

R.F. Binnie & Associates Ltd., Burnaby, B.C. Engineering; 245 employees. Helps employees save for the longer term with generous non-matching RSP contributions.

Righteous Gelato Ltd., Calgary. Gelato and sorbetto production and cafe; 34 employees. Moves full-time employees to an unlimited paid vacation after one of year of employment with the firm.

Rogers Insurance Ltd., Calgary. Insurance; 391 employees. Supports employees with college-aged kids through an academic scholarship program.

R.V. Anderson Associates Ltd., Toronto. Engineering consulting; 321 employees. Offers a variety of flexible work arrangements for new mothers when they are ready to return to work.

Security Compass Ltd., Toronto. Cyber security software; 194 employees. Manages a year-end bonus program that lets everyone share in the company’s successes.

Silvacom Ltd., Edmonton. Custom computer software and consulting; 67 employees. Allows employees to earn extra time off during the summer months through a formal earned days off program

SilverChef Rentals Inc., Vancouver. Commercial equipment merchant wholesalers; 47 employees. Provides a helpful health and lifestyle spending account that can be used for a variety of expenses, including ski passes and pet care.

Sionna Investment Managers Inc., Toronto. Investment management; 23 employees. Offers the option for new parents to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence.

Sourced Group Inc., Toronto. Consulting; 62 employees. Moved employees to work from home early in the pandemic and ensured they were equipped to set-up comfortable home offices.

Startec, Calgary. Commercial refrigeration systems; 186 employees. Encourages employees to plan ahead with retirement planning assistance services and matching RSP contributions.

Superior Glove Works Ltd., Acton, Ont. Apparel manufacturing; 355 employees. Encourages ongoing employee development through apprenticeships, mentorships, in-house and online training programs, and tuition subsidies for courses related to their current position.

SysGen Solutions Group Ltd., Calgary. Information technology consulting; 80 employees. Encourages employees to give back with up to three paid days off to volunteer and matching employee donations up to $5,000 per year.

System1 Canada ULC, Guelph, Ont. Marketing; 66 employees. Created a dedicated employee relief fund in response to the pandemic to help employees who might be in need of additional financial support.

Talk Shop Media Inc. / TSM, Vancouver. Public relations; 43 employees. Offers a variety of flexible work options including compressed work weeks, telecommuting and reduced summer hours.

Theratechnologies Inc., Montreal. Biopharmaceutical research and development; 42 employees. Encourages employees to continue their education with generous tuition subsidies for courses related and not directly related to their current position.

theScore, Toronto. Digital media; 229 employees. Encourages employees to become owners through a share purchase program, available to all employees.

Thinkific Labs Inc., Vancouver. Online learning software; 109 employees. Offers an unlimited vacation policy for employees plus a holiday shutdown period between Christmas and New Year’s.

TrackTik Software Inc., Montreal. Computer software; 157 employees. Encourages employees to become recruiters for the firm with generous new employee referral bonuses, from $2,000 to $5,000 depending on the position.

Translational Research In Oncology, Edmonton. Clinical research; 76 employees. Offers matching RSP contributions and phased-in retirement work options to help employees make the transition into retirement.

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Co., Toronto. Insurance; 132 employees. Offers employees the option to purchase one additional week of vacation every year with the option to spread payroll deductions over the entire year.

Uberflip, Toronto. Cloud-based marketing software; 137 employees. Supports its new moms and dads with maternity and parental leave top-up payments.

Uken Inc., Toronto. Game developer; 90 employees. Offers a generous mental health practitioner’s benefit, up to $1,000 annually, as part of its health benefits plan.

VERB Interactive Inc., Halifax. Marketing and advertising; 173 employees. Provides an IVF subsidy as part of its health benefits plan for new moms to be, if needed.

Vidyard, Kitchener, Ont. Software developer; 197 employees. Offers a no-limit vacation policy along with the option to apply for an unpaid leave of absence, determined on a case-by-case basis.

Visier Solutions Inc., Vancouver. Software developer; 322 employees. Supports ongoing employee development with tuitions subsidies for courses related to their current position, along with in-house and online training programs.

Voonyx Inc., Quebec, Que. Computer software; 56 employees. Offers four weeks of starting vacation allowance and an additional five paid days off during the winter holiday.

WalterFedy, Kitchener, Ont. Architectural and engineering services; 171 employees. Helps employees prepare for the future with retirement planning assistance services along with matching RSP contributions.

Wesgroup Equipment LP, Surrey, B.C. Industrial machinery and equipment distribution; 175 employees. Supports ongoing employee development through apprenticeships, in-house and online training, and tuition subsidies for job-related courses.

Working Group Inc., The, Toronto. Custom computer programming; 145 employees. Extends parental leave top-up to new dads and adoptive parents along with the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence.

ZE PowerGroup Inc., Richmond, B.C. Computer systems design; 222 employees. Offers salary increases for the completion of certain programs and attainment of professional accreditations, to five per cent of salary.

Zymeworks Inc., Vancouver. Biopharmaceutical research and development; 173 employees. Encourages employees to get involved and support community initiatives through paid volunteer days off, up to five days annually.

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