by Christine Petkau
Every year the Summerland Chamber of Commerce has the privilege of recognizing and honouring our local businesses as well as those who have made a difference in our community. This year we are pleased to be hosting the 76th Annual Business and Community Awards Gala on Saturday, Feb. 22.
Our preeminent business award is the Business of the Year Award which recognizes an exceptional Summerland business whose commitment to overall best business practice, customer service, employee relations, superior marketing and social media strategies, and positive public image leads the way and sets an example within our business community.
A lot has happened over the decades so the board has made changes to reflect new societal values.
The Technology and Innovation Award is given to a business that has used technology to create a business concept that is new or unique, or has applied innovative improvements to existing processes, products, or services.
The Sustainability Leadership Award celebrates excellence in green practice, strategy and products, seeking out the most innovative, ambitious and effective initiatives by Summerland businesses for achieving environmental sustainability, and implementing smart business practice.
The Rising Star/New Business Award honours a trailblazer who has been operating for less than two years and has demonstrated strong potential via growth, innovation, and leadership during the first years of operation.
The first Young Entrepreneur Award will be given out this year to an outstanding business owner under 40 years of age. Additional awards for excellence are given in: Trades Services, Manufacturing/Industry, Tourism/Hospitality, Retailing, and Professional Services.
The Mayor’s Award of Excellence continues to be an important acknowledgement of community leadership. This award is given at the Mayor’s discretion to an organization that has made an outstanding contribution to Summerland.
Since 1938 an important award has been given to a worthy Summerland individual. This is a person who has demonstrated exemplary dedication to the people of Summerland and who inspires others by their volunteer commitment to the community. Formerly known as the Good Citizen Cup, the award is now known as the Citizen of the Year/Volunteer of the Year Award.
Nominations for awards can be made by businesses or the general public. A business may also nominate themselves for an award as we have many businesses in Summerland that are not visible to the general public yet play a vital role in our economy.
On-line nomination forms and complete details are available on our website at www.summerlandchamber.com. Forms are also available at the Visitor Centre, the Summerland Review and Municipal Hall.
Nominations will be open until Jan. 24 after which a committee will shortlist finalists. During the first two weeks of February, all Chamber of Commerce members will have the opportunity to vote electronically for the winners and the awards will be given out at the Gala on Feb. 22. Please take the time to nominate a business or volunteer who has made a difference in our community.
We always appreciate your feedback. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or our chamber president, Arlene Fenrich, at email@example.com.
=Christine Petkau is the Manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.