About the Awards

Formerly known as the “Successful You Awards,” our Awards are celebrating their 18th year in 2021. Once a simple business planning contest, our awards have evolved over the years to a large-scale provincial competition with a reputation for prestige and excellence among the BC small business community.

Since its inception in 2003, over 5,000 small businesses have participated in this province-wide awards competition, covering every industry in our province. This year, small businesses are invited to nominate themselves in one of our six categories:





How it works

Once nominated, businesses engage with their community to gather as many votes as possible before our deadline on March 8, 2021. The top 5 businesses in each category with the most votes and best applications will move on to the next stage of the contest, where they’ll pitch their business to a panel of business experts.

In a typical year, our event would climax with a gala award ceremony where we toast the success of our small business community. As we continue to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, our award ceremony will be held virtually in 2021 over several days. We’ll have more information to share on how it will work in the coming weeks.

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Key dates for the
2021 Small Business BC Awards



SBBC Awards Launch: Nomination and Voting Begins


Nomination and Voting Ends


Top 5 Finalists Announced





Virtual Pitches and Judging





Virtual Gala and Winners Announced

Frequently Asked Questions

How will judges assess my nomination?

When completing your nomination, the answers you provide will be examined as part of our judging process, along with your votes, to determine the top 5 finalists in each category. Don’t be shy in sharing your successes!

What kind of prizes do finalists receive?


  • $1,500 cash prize from Province of BC
  • All access pass to SBBC Education and TTAE services for 1 year
  • Professional media shareables
  • 1 interview & article featured on the SBBC website
  • Social Media spotlight throughout the winning year

Top 5 Finalists:

  • All access pass to SBBC Education and TTAE services for 1 year
  • Professional media shareables

My business is not located in BC, but we conduct business in BC. Can I still nominate myself?

No. You must be a registered BC based business to be nominated.

I live in a small town. How can I compete with businesses in bigger cities with bigger networks? Won’t they have an advantage?

We understand that all BC communities are different sizes and that different businesses have different sized networks. To level the playing field, votes will be normalized against British Columbia Regional District Population Figures. Please see contest rules and regulations for more information, or contact us for more information.

Will the number of votes be published on the site or made available to nominees?

No. Vote tallies will not be made public on the Small Business BC website, or made available to nominees. Because a normalization calculation (see the next question) is applied to the votes to determine the Top 5 finalists, pure vote numbers are not indicative of performance in the competition.

Once I submit my nomination, can I go back and edit it?

If you made a mistake or typo in your nomination form and realize after submission, you can edit your submission by logging into your account.

Once my business is nominated, how do I get people to vote for me?

Once your business is nominated you’ll be given a dedicated page on this site where you can send your supporters to vote for you. Brag about your business through social media, e-mail and on-site promotions. Let your customers, employees and colleagues know about your nomination through whatever ways you can think of. Shout it out from the rooftops!

Remember, deadline for votes is March 8th, 2021.

If I nominate a business, is my name kept confidential?

If you think a business owner is amazing enough to be nominated for an award, then we believe they should know who was amazing enough to nominate them. When we get in touch with the business you nominated we will let them know who they can thank for putting their business up for an award.

How do I know if my business has been nominated by someone else?

If someone else has nominated your business for an award, first of all, congratulations! Small Business BC will email you the form needed to confirm your nomination.

I won an award category last year, can I re-enter the same category this year?

Past Small Business BC Awards finalists (Top 10 or Top 5) and nominees may re-enter into the same or alternate categories the following year. Past Small Business BC Awards winners are prohibited from entering the category in which they won, but are eligible to enter alternate categories should they meet the eligibility criteria.

How do I get nominated for an award?

You can get nominated for an award if someone else submits a nomination for your business or if you nominate your own business. First-party and third-party nominations are accepted and filling out the form only takes a few minutes!

Can I vote for multiple businesses?

You can vote for one business per awards category. You can vote for different businesses in different categories.

Can I vote for my favourite business more than once?

Only one vote per person is allowed, per nominee, per category: you can vote once for your favorite business in every category they’re nominated in.

How many businesses can I nominate?

We want to ensure as many businesses as possible are recognized for their achievements. Individuals can nominate as many businesses as they wish for a Small Business BC Award.

What is a small business?

Although there are a number of different ways a small business can be defined, the most commonly used definition focuses on the number of employees. In British Columbia, small business is defined as one with either fewer than 50 employees, or a business operated by a person who is self-employed without paid help.

What’s in it for me? Why would I enter my business?

This isn’t your average awards competition! While the SBBC Awards are free to enter, the experience is priceless. All nominees receive valuable business education and support. And the further you get in the competition, the more your business benefits!

Nominations are a great way to expose your business to valuable new marketing and PR opportunities. If your business is shortlisted or wins a category, the potential for media coverage is huge. Past finalists have been featured on Global News, The Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail and Forbes Magazine, to name just a few!

And if you win, you’ll be recognized with a cash prize in the amount of $1,500 and receive an All Access Pass to Small Business BC seminars, a written profile on the Small Business BC website, and “Talk to an Expert” services for one year.

When does the contest end?

The deadline for nominations and voting is March 8th, 2021. Finalists will be announced March 22, 2021 and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony May 4th – 6th, 2021.

How will the winners be chosen?

To win the contest, you must be the top performer in the following stages of the contest:

Nomination Application and Voting: The Top 5 companies in each category will be decided on based on a combination of the number of votes received as well as the content of their application. This is why it’s important to get your network involved right away!

Top 5 Finalists: You’ll be required to make a ten minute pitch to a panel of business experts, explaining why your business trumps the other finalists in your category. If you can convince the judges that your business really is the best, then you’ll be selected as the winner.

People reach out to us now because of the award, and having this recognition helps people build trust with us in a unique way.

Geoff Manton

Best Company
Award Winner, 2019

Previous Winners

Our Partners

The Small Business BC Awards are delivered in partnership with our title sponsors First West Credit Union. We’d also like to express our gratitude to our Award sponsors KPU, BDC, Immigrant Employment Council of BC, Western Economic Diversification Canada, and the Province of British Columbia.

If you’d like to sponsor any aspect of this year’s awards, discover the remaining Sponsorship Opportunities.

Media Requests

For comment, interviews, or information on the SBBC Awards, journalists and broadcasters should contact our Content Coordinator, Darren Dunne, at dunne.darren@smallbusinessbc.ca

Contact Us

Get in touch with a member of the Small Business BC team.

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