What was your journey like with the Small Business BC Awards?
We first learned about the Awards when we read that a local business here, The Gibsons Butcher, had won a Small Business BC Award the previous year. It never entered our minds we could actually win!
I guess it all started when a dear friend of ours sent us the link to the awards. We assumed she wanted us to nominate a business but instead she wanted to nominate us. She did, and we soon got an email from SBBC to tell us we had been nominated and that’s where the fun started for us.
People in the community were excited to see we were nominated and wherever we would go people would tell us they had voted for us. Next thing we knew, we had made it to the Top 10. Knowing that we had our community behind us brought a recognition and awareness that we were helping our community and they were showing us their support in return.
Now, when we actually won the award it went to the next level. We got so much recognition from across the board and awareness of our work. The resources we’ve been able to lean on from Small Business BC have been really helpful for us in terms of adding to our knowledge base and filling in the blanks of understanding how to do business.
Getting to present our business to the judges was really exciting. This project is our passion and it remains our passion. The thing to keep in mind is we wanted to create a community hub, a happy place for our community to get together and do different things. We really wanted to nail that in our presentation, get that message across and if we didn’t, we’d regret it. Thankfully, the presentation went well and we were delighted with the reaction of the judges.
Do you think entering competitions like the SBBC Awards is worthwhile for business owners?
Of course! By participating you get to meet other businesses, past winners and industry professionals. Just the networking side of it is so worthwhile. The longer you stay in, the more you benefit. And, if you happen to win, it takes your business to a whole new level. For us, it was a truly enriching experience all round.
I also want to mention the added credibility. Now, when we send an email or speak to anyone professionally, we can mention that we are the winners of the Small Business BC Best Immigrant Entrepreneur Award. People know who SBBC are and they take it seriously. There’s a lot of added credibility attached to that and it has opened so many doors for us.
If a business owner was considering entering this year’s awards, what advice would you have for them?
Taking part in the Small Business BC Awards, the amount of exposure and networking opportunities you’ll receive are incomparable. It’s a platform that supports small businesses and it’s a platform where you can meet other business owners that you can learn from and build long lasting relationships with. I say just go for it, don’t think twice!