YOU CHOOSE: Chamber Business Excellence Awards now online
Local consumers now have a chance to recognize their favourite Castlegar businesses, as the Chamber of Commerce rolls out their annual Business Excellence Awards … with a couple of exciting new twists this year. First of all, folks can now cast their votes online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/P9G9X5J between April 1 and 30, according to chamber executive director Pam McLeod. “We got far more votes last year than we anticipated – hundreds of people voted,” she said. “This year, we expect even more. The online survey makes it so much easier, so I’m hoping the number of votes will reflect that.” She said members of the general public can either vote online or by filling out the ballot in the Castlegar News and dropping it off at chamber offices …those votes will be tallied to determine the finalists, with the winners being chosen in a second, chamber-members-only ballot. The second new-millennium twist this year is the Green Award, for a business that, “displays environmental responsiveness through personal leadership and effort; demonstrates innovation in stewardship of the environment; displays commitment to exemplary environmental responsiveness, beyond governmental requirements; encourages others to be environmentally responsible.” The Green Award is one of seven categories, which also include Businessperson of the Year, Business of the Year, Retail Service of the Year, Food and Beverage Excellence Award, Tourism/Hospitality Award and Professional Business Award. Winners will be announced at a special gala event at the Fireside Inn June 11. “There’s a lot of prestige in winning one of these; as a business owner, when you put your blood, sweat and tears into something and you have the opportunity to be recognized by your community, it’s a big thing,” McLeod said. “The people voting are the same people who drive your business and keep your doors open.” She said the gala itself will be different this year, too – but wouldn’t extrapolate on the details. “Drex & Johnson will emcee again this year, while councilor and business manager Russ Hearne will present the awards,” she said. “Last year, we had a speaker in for entertainment, but this year …I think people will be pleasantly surprised.”
For more information, contact the Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce at 250-365-6313.