By Marilyn Zink
Four Nanaimo businesses have made it into the top 10 semi-finalists in this year’s Small Business B.C. Awards.
They are Pye Designs Premier People’s Choice Category), Hey Beautiful Salon (Best Apprentice Training and Best Marketplace), Coco Café (Best Community Impact) and Roar Representation (Best Concept).
Small Business BC, the province’s premier resource centre for entrepreneurs, asked British Columbians to nominate their favourite small businesses for the 13th Annual Small Business BC Awards between October 1 and November 30, 2015.
The nominees expressed gratitude and excitement for getting this far in the awards.
Melanie Cadden, manager of Coco Café, says they encouraged customers of the Cedar café to vote for them on their facebook page and by including little business cards for voting in each catering order.
“It was pretty exciting. We found out about the awards and got in the running a little late. Everyone voted for us.”
Adds Amy Pye of Pye Designs, “ I’ve won awards for design work but never anything on this scale. It really means a lot to be a semi-finalist for this award because it was a result of votes from my friends, clients and peers. The support that Nanaimo showed me was very humbling.”
Ashley Thomas, co-owner of Hey Beautiful Salon, says getting in the top 10 was a big surprise. “We’ve been in business for three years. We just got an award from Island Savings for best salon. We’re humbled and excited.”
The Small Business BC Awards are the most visible awards program in BC for small business owners and entrepreneurs. A key part of the awards’ mission is to celebrate the contributions new and existing businesses registered in BC, with fewer than 50 employees, make to their local communities and the global economy.
“Words cannot describe how much excitement and gratitude I have for this,” said Leah Silver of Roar Representation.
This year, 535 small businesses were nominated from 71 communities across British Columbia. 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 the competition.
Businesses in the Top 10 will now move forward to face a panel of judges, who will review their applications, and based on the award criteria, narrow down the competition to the Top 5 finalists in each category. The winners of each category will be announced at the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony on February 25, 2016 at the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel. Recipients of Small Business BC Awards will be recognized with the Premier’s Prize in the amount of $1,500 cash. The winners will also be offered a one-year All-Access pass to Small Business BC education resources and experts, and one-on-one business mentorship opportunities with notable advisors from award sponsors.