Do you know a small business that has gone above and beyond in the face of unprecedented challenges? Have your say by nominating them for one of the annual awards sponsored by Small Business BC.
We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on small businesses. In our region, the pandemic came after two other disastrous years (2017 and 2018), when fires, floods, mudslides, smoke, and highway closures forced many small business owners to adapt to forces beyond their control.
Many have kept going, adapting to change while continuing to provide services and support our communities. The Small Business BC Awards honour entrepreneurs who were creative, determined, and most of all there for their communities when they needed them the most. From now through March 8, 2021, all British Columbians can visit www.smallbusinessbc.ca/awards to nominate a local small business they love for an award that recognizes their contributions.
Nominations are open to small businesses in every B.C. community, in the following six categories: Best Youth Entrepreneur; Best Community Impact; Best Solopreneur; Best Innovation; Best Immigrant Entrepreneur; and Premier’s People’s Choice.
The Solopreneur Award is a new category, 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.
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.
“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.”
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.
“Winning a Small Business BC Award is one of our greatest successes to date,” says Lindsay Viscount, owner of Longevity Graphics in Coquitlam, B.C. and past winner of the Small Business BC Best Marketer Award. “Gaining recognition from across the province has been amazing. We are receiving new referrals and our referral partners are letting their clients know about our award. Our goal is to continue growing!”
Once a small business is nominated, they must gain as many public votes as possible for their business, through whatever creative means possible. 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 Awards Gala and will be available to finalists after the event.