Top 5 finalists

Announcing Your Top 5 Finalists for the 15th Annual Small Business BC Awards

The big day is almost here and excitement is building!

We’ve spent the last week locked in deliberations, and our judges have emerged with their picks for the Top 5 in each award category. These businesses will now attend a Dragons’ Den style pitch to a panel of business experts who are tasked with deciding the best of BC’s small business community.

Our competition began in the fall, with over 600 small businesses receiving nominations. Nominees span the breadth of our beautiful province, and this year’s finalists have once again raised the bar for British Columbia’s largest small business awards. They’ve demonstrated the impact they make on their communities every day, and the valuable contributions they make to the local economy.

“British Columbia has a vibrant small business community and the Small Business BC Awards are testament to the entrepreneurship happening throughout the province,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “We are proud to support creative leadership in the small business sector and this year’s nominees demonstrate that B.C. continues to be a place of remarkable innovation, where people benefit from good jobs and a strong, sustainable economy.”

The Small Business BC Awards is the largest  competition of its kind in the province and we are proud to celebrate its 15th Anniversary in partnership with Canada Post.

“We are very proud of all the nominees and would like to sincerely congratulate the Top 5 Finalists,” said Canada Post’s General Manager of Consumer and Small Business Marketing Lise Cote.  “Canada Post is honoured to be a part of the Small Business BC Awards, recognizing and celebrating all the hard work and accomplishments made by these businesses.”

Without further ado, here are your Top 5 Finalists for the 15th Annual Small Business BC Awards:

Premier’s People’s Choice

Presented by the Province of British Columbia 

Duffy Baker Construction Corp, Penticton

Okanagan Rawsome Natural Foods Inc., Grindrod

Rising Knead Bakery, Whistler

The Gibsons Butcher, Gibsons

ULAT Dryer Balls, Parksville

Best Apprentice Training

Presented by ITA 

Capilano Builders, North Vancouver

Mountain Pacific Mechanical, Chilliwack

Northern Legendary Construction Ltd., Fort St John

Shoesmith Construction, Fernie

Technicon Industries, Terrace

Best Community Impact

Presented by Vancity

Debra Lynn Creations, Surrey

Hot Mama Health & Fitness Franchising Ltd., Victoria

Keela, Vancouver

Recycling Alternative, Vancouver

Zero Ceiling Society of Canada, Whistler

Best Company

Presented by Sage

BikeHike Adventures, Vancouver

Csek Creative, Kelowna

eVision Media, Abbotsford

Innergy Corporate Yoga, Chilliwack

Wicks Electric Inc., Vancouver

Best Concept

Sponsored by Rogers

Barnacle Systems, Victoria

Coast Protein, Vancouver

Sea to Sky Removal, Squamish

Studiostone Creative, Vancouver

Tubify, Vancouver

Best Employer

Presented by TruShield

Aequilibrium, Vancouver

Imperial Custom Wood Furnishing Ltd, Abbotsford

Island Lake Lodge, Fernie

Pathfinder Endeavours Ltd., Prince George

The Directorship, Vancouver

Best Immigrant Entrepreneur

Presented by Small Business BC

Envisioning Labs, Vancouver

FreshWorks Studio, Victoria

Little Hut Curry, Powell River

Miku Vancouver, Vancouver

Ophtalight Digital Solutions, Vancouver

Best Innovation

Presented by Western Economic Diversification Canada

Algabloom International Ltd., Richmond

AVA Technologies Inc., Vancouver

Certn, Victoria

Nada, Vancouver

Winecrush, Penticton

Best International Trade

Presented by UPS

Domestic Objects, Vancouver

Furever Clean Dog Wash, Victoria

Ironside Design Manufacturing, Chilliwack

Search & Rescue Denim, Vancouver

Vitalis Extraction Technology Inc., Kelowna

Best Marketer

Presented by KPU 

Domestic Objects, Vancouver

Island Lake Lodge, Fernie

Nettle’s Tale Swimwear, Vancouver

Twirling Umbrellas, Kelowna

Two Wheel Gear, Vancouver

The Next Phase

As a Top 5 finalist, nominees will be requested to present a 10 minute pitch to a judging panel at the Small Business BC office in Vancouver (or via Skype or video conference if outside the Lower Mainland). Pitches will take place early February, 2018, and details on the presentation format will be provided to the top 5 finalists. Pitches will be followed by a short Q & A session from the judging panel.

Winners Announced Friday, 23 February, 2018

The winners will be announced at the Small Business BC Awards Gala and will receive the Premier’s Prize in the amount of $1,500 cash, a one-year All-Access Pass to Small Business BC education and experts, and the honour of being named one of B.C.’s top businesses.

The Small Business BC Awards Gala brings together over 600 small business owners, supporters, providers and government officials to network at a glittering reception and enjoy a three-course dinner, as we announce this year’s winners. Join us, on our 15th anniversary, as we raise a toast in honour of the small businesses, on their night to shine on the podium.

A Word From Our Sponsors

“Congratulations to all of the hardworking entrepreneurs and small business owners who have been nominated for the Small Business BC Awards. These awards are a fantastic way to honour entrepreneurs from across British Columbia who have invested so much time and energy into building their businesses and to driving innovation across the province. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They are defining parts of our communities, large and small, from coast to coast to coast. And through their work to create new ideas and technologies for the market, these nominees reflect British Columbia’s strong spirit of innovation and collaboration. Their hard work and dedication will be so important to driving growth, and to creating the good, middle class jobs of tomorrow.” – The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons .

“We’d like to thank everyone for nominating their local top employer for the Best Apprentice Training award and extend well-deserved congratulations to the Top 5 nominees. Model employers, such as our nominees, are passing down their knowledge to their apprentices, empowering them to continue to strengthen the trades in our province. We’re excited to meet all the champion employers on February 23rd and hope their successes with apprentice training inspire others to do the same.” – Gary Herman, CEO of Industry Training Authority (ITA).

“Once again, Vancity is very pleased to sponsor the community impact award category. We are excited by the caliber and diversity of the top nominees!” – Catherine Ludgate, Manager of Community Investment at Vancity

“We are incredibly excited to see the caliber of small businesses that have made the Top 5 Finalist list for all Small Business BC award categories this year. On behalf of Sage, I’d like to offer my most heartfelt congratulations to these businesses for their fantastic accomplishments in the community, and for earning their rightful place amongst other exemplary SBBC award finalists. As a long-time advocate for business builders in the region, Sage is thrilled for this opportunity to celebrate the important contributions small businesses make to the local economy. We look forward to meeting everyone at the upcoming SBBC awards ceremony and learning more about their inspirational business journeys.” – Paul Struthers, Executive Vice President and Managing Director at Sage Canada.

“Small businesses have the business ideas, unique products and services and determination to grow beyond our borders. UPS Canada is proud to be a part of the 15th Annual Small Business BC Awards and continue our support for Canadian small business growth in international markets. Congratulations to Top 5 Finalists in the Best International Trade category.” – Paul Gaspar, Director of Small Business at UPS Canada.

“TruShield Insurance knows that providing a supportive, productive workplace is key to the success of any small business. We are proud to work with Small Business BC and participate in the awards which celebrate BC’s brilliant entrepreneurs. We congratulate all of the nominees!” – Mike Gaba, Manager of Business Development in Western Canada at TruShield Insurance.

“The finalists in this year’s Small Business BC Awards exemplify the key to getting results. They demonstrate that effective marketing is a conversation that leads to a mutually beneficial relationship. Each one has found uniquely creative ways to engage their customers. Congratulations to all.” – Wayne Tebb, Dean of KPU School of Business.

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