Business and service awards presented

The 2014 Business Excellence Awards and Community Service Awards were presented at the Grand Forks Curling Rink.

Presenting the winners of the year’s Business Excellence and Community Service Awards: Jake Raven (Whispers of Hope)

Get back to the basics—Reenergize your business, was the theme of Small Business 2014 last week and entrepreneurial talent from across the Boundary packed the Grand Forks Curling Rink last Thursday to celebrate with those chosen to receive 2014 Business Excellence Awards and Community Service Awards.

“Small business is significant in B.C.,” said Wendy McCullough, manager of Community Futures Boundary (CFB) and economic development officer for the Boundary region. B.C., with 83.4 per 1,000 population, has more small businesses per capita than elsewhere in the country, she said. “Small business provides 59 per cent of the private sector jobs, employing over 1 million people. Almost half of all the value of products exported from the province is generated by small business. Small business is responsible for 31 per cent of B.C.’s gross domestic product.”

McCullough shared news that the City of Grand Forks was awarded the Chamber of Commerce Open for Business award, which came with $10,000. The presentation took place at the Union of BC Municipalities convention last month.

She also noted that CBF was awarded the Provincial Community Futures Association Award for excellence in innovation for their work in support of the regional chamber of commerce; and that the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce (BCRCC) was awarded the Communications Award by the BC Chamber Executives for chambers under 200 members.

CFB, BCRCC and the City of Grand Forks sponsored the evening of awards and networking.

“Small Business Week is the time that we recognize the fact that in all of the province’s 98 per cent of all businesses are small businesses,” said MLA Linda Larson. “You are here to recognize and honour the businesses of your community and to give them a pat on the back. They are the lifeblood of all of our communities; certainly in the Boundary-Similkameen we don’t have a community with more than 4,000-something population so we rely very heavily on small businesses.

“You are all winners. I think anybody who runs a small business in a small community is a winner to me.”

The awards were announced by CFB Resource Worker Jay Alblas.

The Business Service Excellence Award recognizes a business that provides superior products and/or services; sponsored by the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce. This year’s winner is Jazzercise Grand Forks.

The Manufacturing/Industrial Excellence Award is presented to a business that has strengthened the economic base of the Boundary area through development, manufacturing or fabrication of a product, while demonstrating innovation, growth and sustainability; sponsored by the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce. The 2014 winner is Roxul Inc.

The Retail Excellence Award recognizes a retailer who has been proactive to changing market trends, embraced new technology or ideas and has combined skilled marketing with good selling practices; sponsored by Black Press (the Grand Forks Gazette and Boundary Creek Times). The 2014 winner: Neighbours Computers.

The Trade Services Excellence Award recognizes a tradesperson in the community who has provided superior trades services to a client or customer. This person or business has exceeded the expectations of their clients; sponsored by Black Press (the Grand Forks Gazette and ). The 2014 winner: Dandy Plumbing & Gas Fitting.

The Family Friendly Business Award recognizes efforts to create businesses and workplaces that are supportive to families; sponsored by Phoenix Foundation of the Boundary Communities. The 2014 winner is gallery 2.

The Green Business Award recognizes a business or organization that operates in an environmentally responsible manner and/or produces a product that reduces natural resource consumption, supports local community and local economy; sponsored by the Boundary Sentinel. The 2014 winner – Gaia Green Products Ltd.

The Community Impact Award recognizes community impact by a non-profit organization that has had positive and meaningful effect on the broader community; sponsored by Grand Forks Credit Union. 2014 winner: Whispers of Hope Benevolence Association.

The Individual Service Excellence Award recognizes an individual who has provided superior services to a client or customer; exceeding the expectations of their clients/customers; sponsored by Community Futures Boundary. 2014 winner: Greg Starchuk.

The Business of the Year Award recognizes an exceptional Boundary region business whose commitment to overall best practice, customer service, employee relations, and positive public image leads the way and sets an example within our business community; sponsored by Community Futures Boundary. The 2014 winner is The Wooden Spoon Bistro & Bake Shop.

The Community Futures Volunteer Award was won by Jim Holmes. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated dedication and commitment to various community organizations and committees; making a significant contribution to the Boundary region through volunteer service.

Susan Green, CFB business analyst/loans manager/micro loan coordinator, was awarded the 2014 Community Futures Award of Excellence.

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