Press Release

Top 10 Semi-Finalists Announced for 14th Annual Small Business BC Awards

December 12, 2016 – Vancouver: Small Business BC, the province’s premier resource for entrepreneurs, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada, asked British Columbians to nominate their favourite small businesses for the 14th Annual Small Business BC Awards between October 1 and November 30, 2016.

The Small Business BC Awards is the largest small business awards competition in the province. These awards recognize the outstanding achievements of British Columbia’s entrepreneurs and celebrate the contributions new and existing businesses registered in B.C., with fewer than 50 employees, make to their local communities and the global economy.

This year, 699 nominations were received from 72 communities across the province. These businesses were given two months to gain as many votes as possible. Those who activated their communities and received the most votes have been named the Top 10 Semi-Finalists in this year’s competition:

PREMIER’S PEOPLE’S CHOICE
Presented by the Province of British Columbia

Beachcomber Coffee Company Inc. – Gibsons
Bowen Island Massage Therapy – Bowen Island
Cowichan Energy Alternatives – Duncan
Kaslo Sourdough – Kaslo
Picnic Charcuterie – Tofino
Pivotstar Designs Inc. – North Vancouver
Roxann’s Hats – Fort Langley
Sea To Sky Air – Squamish
Vintage and Restoration Love – Dawson Creek
Wheelhouse Brewing Company – Prince Rupert

BEST APPRENTICE TRAINING
Presented by ITA and Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Benchmark Automotive – Prince George
Harbourview Autohaus Ltd. – Nanaimo
Heidout Restaurant and Brewhouse – Cranbrook
Ironside Design Manufacturing Inc. – Chilliwack
K&K Electric Ltd. – Port Hardy
Northern Electric – Prince George
Northern Legendary Construction – Charlie Lake
Rambow Mechanical Ltd. – Kelowna
Sprucehill Contracting Inc. – North Vancouver
Technicon Industries Ltd. – Terrace

BEST COMMUNITY IMPACT
Presented by Vancity

Brook Public Relations Firm – Cranbrook
Cowichan Energy Alternatives – Duncan
Fraser Lake Dollar Store and Corner Store – Fraser Lake
Good Times Games and Electronics – Prince Rupert
Greater Vancouver Lice Clinic – Maple Ridge
Lighthouse Labs – Vancouver
My Mountain Co-op – Terrace
Rainbow’s Roost – Kamloops
Sea Hiker Swimming Inc. – Bowen Island
Tla’amin Convenience Store – Powell River

BEST COMPANY
Presented by Sage

Dalex Auto Services – Fort Nelson
Elite Image – Nanaimo
Game Quest – Prince George
Northern Lights Estate Winery – Prince George
Nucleus Networks Inc. – Vancouver
Rocky Point Ice Cream Inc. – Port Moody
Vernon Teach and Learn Ltd – Vernon
Wheelhouse Brewing Company – Prince Rupert
Wholesale Furniture Brokers – Kamloops
Yeti Farm Creative – Kelowna

BEST CONCEPT
Presented by Small Business BC

Canada’s Best Apps – Whistler
Infuse I.T. | VinStream – Kelowna
Lil Worker Safety Gear – Comox
Mint Magazine – Kelowna
Next Generation Apparel – Victoria
Play Grounds Café – Prince George
Studio Robazzo – Victoria
The Great Fraser River Salmon BBQ Competition – Hope
Vertical Edge Window Cleaning – Kelowna
Wine Crush Market – Penticton

BEST EMPLOYER
Presented by TruShield Insurance

Aequilibrium Software Inc. – Vancouver
Blue Pearl Mortgage – Surrey
Central Kitchen – Bar – Kelowna
Friendly Giant Window & Gutters – Victoria
Longevity Graphics – Coquitlam
Motherload Transport Services Inc. – Nanaimo
Picture This Today 3D Inc. – Victoria
RDC Fine Homes Inc. – Whistler
Valley Acrylic Bath Ltd. – Mission
VictorEric – Vancouver

BEST IMMIGRANT ENTREPRENEUR
Presented by Small Business BC

County Chic Paint Ltd. – Duncan
Envisioning Labs – Vancouver
Fans of Vancouver Tours – Vancouver
FreshWorks Studio – Victoria
Lilian Cazacu Notary Corporation – Langley
Nirvana Foods Inc. – Richmond
Rosewood Photography Studio – North Vancouver
Trademark Factory – Vancouver
Vancouver ProStyle Contractors Ltd. – Langley
Way to Canada Immigration Services – Coquitlam

BEST INNOVATION
Presented by BC Innovation Council

Filaprint – Tumbler Ridge
IT Glue – Vancouver
Mazu – Kelowna
NZ Builders – North Saanich
Phoenix Molecular Designs – Richmond
Spark – Vancouver
StoryTap – Vancouver
Terramera – Vancouver
The Alinker – Richmond
Two Hat Security – Kelowna

BEST INTERNATIONAL TRADE
Presented by UPS Canada

Arriba Mexico Food Co. – Esquimalt
CanDig Mini Excavators Inc. – Kamloops
CPE Systems Inc. – Burnaby
Doi Chaang Coffee Co. – Vancouver
First Light Technologies – Victoria
Fusion Brand – Vancouver
Mountain Coffee Ltd. – Delta
Numpfer – Vancouver
Serengeti Northern BC-International & Specialty Grocery Store – Prince George
Wize Monkey – Vancouver

BEST MARKETER
Presented by Yellow Pages

JY Knows It Business Consulting – Surrey
K’pure Naturals – Mission
Lifeblood Marketing – Kelowna
Loulou Lollipop – Richmond
Prince George Airport Authority – Prince George
Rocket Web Labs – Vancouver
Sue Studio Marketing – Vancouver
The Argosy – Prince Rupert
The Henna Hut – Penticton
What’s Up? Hot Dog! – Vancouver

The Top 10 Semi-Finalists will be given one month to provide our expert panel of judges a detailed application outlining why they deserve to win the award. These applications will be used to decide the Top 5 Finalists, which will be announced on January 23, 2017.

The winners of each category will be announced at the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony on February 23, 2017 at the Pan Pacific Vancouver.

Recipients of Small Business BC Awards are recognized with the Premier’s Prize in the amount of $1,500 cash, a one-year all-access pass to Small Business BC education, resources and experts, and one-on-one business mentorship with notable advisors from the award sponsors.

More details on the Small Business BC Awards can be found at www.sbbcawards.ca.

Quotes

“Small businesses are the backbone of Canada’s leading economy, responsible for creating over a million jobs in B.C. That’s why we worked hard to become the most small business-friendly jurisdiction in North America. Congratulations all the Top 10 Semi-Finalists for being recognized as innovative, responsible pillars in their community.” – Premier Christy Clark

“Small businesses account for 98% of all businesses in B.C. – they drive the economy and create jobs for British Columbians. All the Top 10 Sem-Finalists for the Small Business BC Awards should be proud that their communities voted them into the top spots! Congratulations to all the Top 10 Semi-Finalists in the Small Business BC Awards.” – Hon. Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Liquor Distribution, Province of British Columbia

“This year, we saw an incredible level of participation in the Small Business BC Awards with 699 nominations from 72 communities across the province. Their efforts to build a vibrant economy in B.C. deserve the respect of all British Columbians and the Small Business BC Awards are the best way to celebrate and acknowledge their success and contribution.” – George Hunter, CEO, Small Business BC

“IBC is proud to support small businesses in British Columbia and across Canada. Insurers and consumers know that when small businesses succeed it promotes job creation and economic growth. That is why Canada’s insurance industry is committed to working with small business owners to make sure they have the protection and coverage they need to help them grow and prosper.” – Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC

“At the BC Innovation Council we are lucky to work as an Innovation Exchange™ as we get to witness the broad reach that technology has on all industries in the province. Every day, we are able to witness the benefits our province’s innovators are able to provide to B.C. Businesses. We see first-hand that tech IS everywhere and we are proud to sponsor an award that recognizes this.” – Carl Anderson, President and CEO, BC Innovation Council

“We’re looking forward to meeting all the nominated employers for the Best Apprentice Training Award this year. Small businesses make up a large portion of B.C.’s economy and this community plays an important role in ensuring that skilled trades apprentices are getting the right hands-on experience on their apprenticeship journey. We’re excited to partner with Kwantlen Polytechnic University to recognize an employer that is doing their part to training B.C.’s trades industry.” – Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority

“I would like to congratulate the semi-finalists for the Best Apprenticeship Training Award. Small businesses are highly-valued partners across KPU’s various programs, including Trades and Horticulture. Their support of our students and the real-world mentoring is vital to their success as apprentices. We recognize the essential contribution of small business to the ecology of B.C. and Canada’s economy and are honoured to have the opportunity to celebrate this significant contribution from small businesses across the province.” – Salvador Ferreras, Ph.D., Provost and Vice-President Academic, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

“We are thrilled to see such strong levels of participation and engagement in the Small Business BC Awards this year. As avid supporters of the small business community, we offer our heartfelt congratulations to the outstanding businesses that have emerged as Top 10 Semi-Finalists for each of the award categories.” – Paul Struthers, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Sage Canada

“TruShield Insurance is proud to partner with an innovative organization like Small Business BC and help support the hard-working entrepreneurs of British Columbia. We’re amazed to see such impressive growth in the participation for the 14th Annual Small Business BC Awards, and we look forward to honouring both the success of these finalists and their contributions to our communities. Congratulations to each of you!” – Mike Gaba, Manager, Business Development, TruShield Insurance

“UPS Canada is proud to collaborate with Small Business BC to offer the Best International Trade Award to entrepreneurs in British Columbia. We would like to acknowledge those who were nominated, and congratulate those who are now Top 10 Semi-Finalists in the 14th Annual Small Business BC Awards.” – Paul Gaspar, Director of Small Business, UPS Canada

“Small businesses are the drivers of the local economy, they innovate to create new products and services, generate jobs and help our communities thrive. We congratulate the Top 10 organizations along with those who were also nominated for the impact they are making in the communities where we live and work.” – Catherine Ludgate, Manager, Community Investment, Vancity

“On behalf of Yellow Pages Group, I would like to express my sincere congratulations to this year’s Top 10 Semi-Finalists. B.C. has some phenomenally successful entrepreneurs who have made huge contributions to local communities, and it gives me great pleasure to see the successes and achievements of those making a difference being acknowledged and recognized.” – Sonny Magon, Senior Sales Manager, Yellow Pages

Media Contact:
Mark Blendheim
Communications Manager, Small Business BC
Direct: 604-775-5607
blendheim.mark@smallbusinessbc.ca

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.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties. P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.