BC's best small businesses of 2014-15 announced at 12th Annual Small Business BC Awards

VANCOUVER, Feb. 27, 2015 /CNW/ - The best small businesses in British Columbia and winners of the 12th Annual Small Business BC Awards were announced last night during the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony at the Pan Pacific Vancouver.

This year's Small Business BC Awards were a tremendous success with record-breaking participation. The winners, in 10 categories, proved their excellence by competing against over 460 nominees from 70 communities across the province during this rigorous five-month contest.

"The competition between small businesses across British Columbia was especially tough this year. Congratulations to those who came out on top and to all competitors on their continued efforts to better our province," said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western & Pacific, IBC. "IBC is a proud sponsor of the Small Business BC Awards that celebrates the hard-working entrepreneurs who help drive both the provincial and national economies."

In order for the winners to establish that they are truly among the best in BC, each had to gain votes from the public to be shortlisted to the Top 10, then submit an extended application detailing why they deserved to be named one of BC's best businesses. Once selected as a Top 5 finalist, they went on to face a Dragons' Den-style panel of judges, pitching why they should be awarded as a winner.

The winners of this year's Small Business BC Awards are as follows:

Premier's People's Choice

Julie's Edible Bouquets – Quesnel

Best Community Impact

Mealshare – Vancouver

Best Company

Nonna Pia's Gourmet Sauces – Whistler

Best Concept

Soil Mate – Kelowna

Best Emerging Entrepreneur

Float Space – Kelowna

Best Employer

Origin Gluten-Free Bakery – Victoria

Best Immigrant Entrepreneur

Infinity Enterprises Group – Whistler

Best International Trade

Target Marine Hatcheries – Sechelt

Best Online Marketer

Vonbon Children's Apparel – Vancouver

Best Workplace

Mel's Mainstreet Pizza & Pasta – Enderby

 

This year, the first-ever Best Emerging Entrepreneur Award and Best Immigrant Entrepreneur Award were handed out to recognize a young individual who contributes to the social, cultural and economic well-being of their communities, as well as an outstanding new Canadian who has started a successful business in BC.

"The Small Business BC Awards are all about celebrating hardworking entrepreneurs, the people who make small towns and big cities thrive," said Premier Christy Clark, who with support of the Province of British Columbia sponsored the Premier's Prize of $1,500 cash to the winners of all 10 award categories.

Winning a Small Business BC Award can serve as a launching point for many small businesses, offering recognition, raising awareness and creating opportunities for exposure.

"We are extremely proud to help showcase the diverse talent and tremendous determination that exists amongst BC's entrepreneurs. We congratulate the winners of the Small Business BC Awards and hope to see even more businesses recognized for their success next year," said George Hunter, CEO of Small Business BC.

The Small Business BC Awards Contest is hosted annually by Small Business BC to celebrate the top small businesses from across British Columbia. More information on this year's winners can be found at www.sbbcawards.ca. Nominations for the Small Business BC Awards open on October 1, 2015; all businesses in BC are encouraged to participate.

Quick Facts

  • Premier Christy Clark gave a special video message to over 500 entrepreneurs, government representatives and small business influencers at this year's Small Business BC Awards Ceremony.
  • The winner of the first-ever Best Emerging Entrepreneur Award was announced at this year's ceremony by the Hon. Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business.
  • The winner of the first-ever Best Immigrant Entrepreneur Award was announced by the Hon. Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation.
  • Over 3,000 entrepreneurs have participated in the SBBC Awards competition since its inception.

Other Quotes

  • "I would like to congratulate Julie's Edible Bouquets for winning the Premier's People's Choice Award this year. Small businesses such as yours are the heart and soul of communities and help BC's economy continue to thrive." - Hon. Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business
  • "The Province is committed to supporting and encouraging social innovation and social entrepreneurship in British Columbia. This year, the Province partnered with Futurpreneur to sponsor the new Best Emerging Entrepreneur Award. All the nominees were remarkable. It is encouraging to see entrepreneurs that pursue not only profit, but also contribute so much to their communities and our province." - Hon. Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation.

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 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2-ASK-IBC.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: Media Contact: Mark Blendheim, Communications Manager, Small Business BC, Direct: 604-775-5607, Cell: 604-339-4759, blendheim.mark@smallbusinessbc.ca

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