Small business owners across northern B.C. are invited to compete for $40,000 in prize money as SBBC celebrates the 20th anniversary of the province’s largest award contest for entrepreneurs, the Small Business BC Awards.
What started out as a simple business planning contest has evolved to become the largest and most recognized awards program dedicated to small businesses in Western Canada. Over 6,000 businesses, from every industry and every community in B.C., have competed to be named one of the top small businesses.
“Over the past 20 years, SBBC has been honoured to shine a spotlight on BC’s entrepreneurs, celebrating those who put everything on the line to pursue their dreams,” said SBBC’s CEO, Tom Conway. “To mark our 20th anniversary, we’re thrilled to be returning to an in-person gala where a $40,000 prize purse will be shared among four winning businesses. To help make this year the most inspirational awards ever, we’re asking the public to nominate a small business that has impacted your community.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and as a former business owner myself, I’m always overjoyed to hear about their success,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development & Innovation. “I hope British Columbians can join me in recognizing their local businesses by nominating them for the Small Business BC Awards. I look forward to celebrating the successful recipients in June.”
Past Winners from Northern BC
Jada Creations, winner of the 2021 Best Solopreneur Award, enriches the Terrace community through the sacred art of cedar weaving. “Being a part of the SBBC Awards has been incredible. It’s opened up a whole world of resources and support to me. I’m so grateful to be part of this small business community and thankful to have made so many friends along the way,” says Jaimie Davis, Jade Creations founder.
Other past SBBC Award finalists and winners from Northern BC include:
- Atlin Mountain Coffee Roasters (Atlin), finalist for the Business Impact Award 2022
- The Argosy (Prince Rupert), winner of the Best Marketer Award 2017
- Wheelhouse Brewing Company (Prince Rupert), finalist for the Premier’s People’s Choice Award 2017
Nominate a Business for the Small Business BC Awards
Every year, the Small Business BC Awards are held as an opportunity to bring attention to the small businesses having a positive impact in our province. To acknowledge and support their hard work, British Columbians are encouraged to nominate their own business or to put forward a local business that has had a strong impact on their community.
Each winner will be awarded with $10,000 in prize money, a top business title, and 1-year of free advisory support from SBBC. Award nominations are open from January 16 until March 10, 2023 and can be submitted at sbbc.co/nominate.
The 20th Anniversary of the Small Business BC Awards features four award categories. Businesses can enter a total of two categories – the Premier’s People’s Choice Award and one of three Business Pitch Categories (Business Impact, E-Commerce, and Youth). The Premier’s People’s Choice Award is decided exclusively by a public vote. In the three business pitch categories, Top 5 Finalists are selected based on public vote and written responses judged by internal business experts. Finalists then proceed to pitch their business to a panel of BC business leaders who decide the winner of each award category.
Premier’s People’s Choice Award
It takes a community to grow a small business. It also takes a community to win the Premier’s People’s Choice Award. This unique award category, sponsored by the Province of British Columbia, is presented to a BC-based small business that can demonstrate the unwavering and loyal support of their community.
Business Impact Award
The Business Impact Award is sponsored by BCAA and goes to the business owner(s) making a difference in their community. Alongside an aptitude in areas like sales, marketing, logistics, finances and operations, their business has taken positive action to invest in the community and views social responsibility as an integral part of their success.
E-Commerce Experience Award
As Canadians increasingly turn to online shopping, the E-Commerce Experience Award goes to a small business that presents a frictionless experience for their customers online. Whether it’s on mobile or desktop, this business converts visitors into purchasers through an easy-to-navigate store experience and clear, measurable digital marketing strategy.
Best Youth Entrepreneur
Across British Columbia, young entrepreneurs are creating new jobs and shaping our provincial economy with their energy and ingenuity. The Best Youth Entrepreneur Award is sponsored by the Kwantlen Polytechnic University and exists to reward this entrepreneurial spirit, saluting a business leader aged 35 and under who is succeeding.
The Awards Process
Award nominations are open from January 16, 2023 to March 10, 2023. Nominations can be submitted at sbbc.co/nominate. Once a small business is nominated, they must gain as many public votes as possible for their business, leveraging all creative channels. Voting is collected on the SBBC website until March 10, 2023.
The Premier’s People’s Choice Award is decided exclusively by a public vote, after a normalization process to allow for regional population. In the other three business pitch categories, Top 5 Finalists are selected based on public vote (after normalization) and written responses judged by internal business experts.
The Top Five businesses for the three Business Pitch categories will be invited to present to a panel of judges, pitching why their business should win the award. The panel of past Small Business Award winners, business professionals, and advisors will then select the winners.
In-person Awards Gala
In June an in-person Awards Gala will be held in Vancouver, BC to announce and honour the winners of the 20th Annual Small Business BC Awards. Tickets will go on sale in April.