In a year unlike any other, Small Business BC is celebrating the perseverance of small businesses by asking the public to nominate their favorite entrepreneurs for a Small Business BC Award.
This year, Small Business BC’s annual awards will honour entrepreneurs who were creative, determined and most of all, there for their communities when they needed them the most. Starting on January 18, 2021, all British Columbians can visit smallbusinessbc.ca/awardsto nominate a local small business they love for an award that recognizes their contributions.
“This past year has been unlike any other for small business owners, which makes this celebration all the more important,” says Small Business BC CEO, Tom Conway. “In the midst of the challenges we’re facing, we want to take a moment and acknowledge the hard work and dedication it takes to run a successful business, especially during a pandemic.”
New to the Small Business BC Awards is the Solopreneur Award, which recognizes outstanding individuals who started successful businesses and can demonstrate vision, resilience and passion in achieving their goals.
The Best Community Impact Award will recognize businesses that have given back to their community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While, the Best Innovation Award honours businesses that have pivoted and changed their business model to succeed in 2020.
This year the Small Business BC Awards are sponsored by First West Credit Union and its four locally known and trusted divisions: Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings and Enderby & District Financial.
Nominations are open to small businesses in every BC community, in the following six categories:
- Best Youth Entrepreneur – Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- Best Community Impact – Small Business BC
- Best Solopreneur – Small Business BC
- Best Innovation – Western Economic Diversification Canada
- Best Immigrant Entrepreneur – BDC
- Premier’s People’s Choice – Province of British Columbia
Businesses can be nominated by both the businesses themselves and by members of the public who wish to show their support for an entrepreneur in their community.
“Our small businesses play an essential role in the overall health and vibrancy of our communities and local economies, and we are proud of the resiliency they have shown in a year full of extraordinary challenges,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. “The hard work, talent and innovation of BC entrepreneurs deserves to be recognized now more than ever. I encourage everyone to take a moment to nominate your favourite local business and celebrate their accomplishments.”
“There has never been a more appropriate time to recognize and celebrate small businesses for their contribution to our communities,” says Ravi Kahlon, BC’s Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “These awards provide an opportunity to showcase the determination, innovation and hard work of small business owners throughout the province. I encourage British Columbians to nominate your favourite local business as a gesture of gratitude.”
As the leading entrepreneurial awards competition in British Columbia, the Small Business BC Awards not only recognize the outstanding achievements of local entrepreneurs, they also provide a powerful platform for future success.
Past Award Nominees from the Kootenays
Many Kootenay businesses have been finalists in the Small Business BC Awards, but no business has ever been honoured with an award. This could be the first year a Kootenay-based business receives a Small Business BC Award. These are some of the past finalists from the Kootenay region:
Popov Leather in Nelson, BC – Top Ten finalist for the Best Company Award.
Enercheez in Nelson, BC – Top Ten finalist for the Best Innovation Award.
Happy Gut in Castlegar, BC – Top Ten finalist for the Best Community Impact Award.
The Awards Process
Nominations open January 18, 2021 and close on March 8, 2021. Nominations can be submitted at smallbusinessbc.ca/awards. Once a small business is nominated, they must gain as many public votes as possible for their business, through whatever creative means possible. The votes will be collected on the Small Business BC website until March 8, 2021.
The businesses with the most votes in each category (after a normalization process to allow for regional populations) will be narrowed down to the top 20, then judged by an internal panel of business experts. These experts will assess the votes and examine the business applications to narrow it down to the top five in each category.
The top five will be required to make a presentation about their business to panel of judges, pitching why their business should win an award. The panel of independent business owners and professionals will then select the winners. The top five finalists will also be interviewed and filmed at their business location by a professional film crew, these videos will be broadcast at the Gala and will be available to finalists after the event.
A virtual gala will be hosted over the course of three days, to announce and honour the winners of the 18th Annual Small Business BC Awards. The winners will receive $1,500, a short video shot by a professional film crew of their business, and an all access pass to Small Business BC’s services.
For more information about the Small Business BC awards and to nominate a small business in your community, visit smallbusinessbc.ca/awards.
About the Small Business BC Awards
The Small Business BC Awards have been recognizing the outstanding achievements of BC’s entrepreneurs for 18 years. These awards are a celebration of the contributions small business owners make to their local communities and to the global economy. While the SBBC Awards are free to enter, the experience is priceless; all nominees receive valuable business education and support throughout the competition. It’s free to entre and open to all new and existing small businesses in BC.
About Small Business BC
Small Business BC provides entrepreneurs with the information and guidance necessary to build a solid foundation for their business. Through a wide range of products, services, education and resources there’s a piece that fits with every business. No matter what stage or what skill level, when an entrepreneur finds themselves asking “How do I…?” Small Business BC is the one to call. Funding for Small Business BC is provided by the Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, and by the Province of BC.
About Western Economic Diversification Canada
For more than 30 years, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) has been working to diversify the western economy while improving the quality of life of western Canadians. WD contributes to building a strong, competitive West by focusing on business development, innovation and community development.