Online-Powered Voting Champions the Best of the South Kootenay

Matt Titheridge of Moustache Metalworks has been hard at work fabricating unique metal trophies for his peers nominated in this year’s Business Excellence Awards; as you read this, the local entrepreneur is engraving the category winners’ names on the green-accented steel designs.

Through the annual awards, the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) celebrates the success of many South Kootenay business professionals who #ShowGrit and have displayed perseverance through an especially challenging year. The 2020 Business Excellence Awards nomination and voting process, powered online by Black Press, provided a platform for the community to weigh in and recognize those who have gone above and beyond in 12 different categories.

“Achievement is a driver for small business owners, and achieving excellence in your category is something that most business owners look forward to. Plus, a lighthearted competition is always welcome amongst friends in business,” says Erika Krest, Executive Director.

This year’s response was impressive, with approximately 7,500 votes submitted by over 1,000 participants. The prestigious Business of the Year and Business Person of the Year awards always stand out, but this year also welcomes a new Not-for-Profit category.

“Our not-for-profit organizations are an important piece of our business landscape, and we wanted to recognize their efforts in making our community a better place while also stimulating our economy,” explains Krest, noting that the Go Green category, although not new, generated increased interest this year, which she attributes to a growth in environmentally-conscious consumers.

With COVID-19 cancelling the usual gala event at which the awards are doled out, the Chamber instead has been intermittently releasing top contenders and winning results on social media. A list of the nominee finalists and category winners is also available on the Chamber website.

Small-and-medium-sized businesses have continued to shift their focus and adapt their operations during a tumultuous time. Whether it’s holding online contests when a Halloween event wasn’t in the forecast, or upgrading to comfortable reclining theatre chairs before reopening, the local community is innovating delivery of goods and services through creative ways that deserve to be celebrated.

While we all find new ways to connect during this socially-distanced time, the Business Excellence Awards remind us that together we thrive. Be it in Zoom meetings or new safety-enhanced environments, diverse professionals with varied specialties continue to unite. The Chamber enthusiastically congratulates the entire business community on their 2020 wins!