SUNDRE — Winners of this year’s business awards will not only receive accolades with a framed certificate, but also a complimentary promotional boost.
“The chamber decided that the best form of recognition was advertising for the winning businesses,” Heather Hicks, Sundre & District Chamber of Commerce executive director, said in response to questions about the 2021 Sundre Small Business Awards.
That will include shout outs on social media as well as advertising on the rooftop programmable scrolling display at the traffic lights on the northwest corner of the Highway 27-Main Avenue and Centre Street intersection, said Hicks.
In recognition of their commitment and effort, all businesses and employees who were recognized will also receive a framed certificate, she said.
“Everyone loves a shout out for their hard work," she said.
Participation in the annual business awards, which is entirely driven by local engagement with residents who submit nominations and then vote on their favourites, was on par with previous years, “if not slightly higher,” she said.
Jonathan Allan, Sundre’s economic development officer, developed an online survey with a link, which the chamber then posted on the organization’s website and social media pages.
Additionally, paper copies were also made available in numerous places around town, with some help from Freson Bros. to distribute information cards as well, she said.
“The majority of our nominations were through the Survey Monkey link while a handful were paper copies," she said.
Although the chamber would ideally have preferred to see even more nominations put forward, Hicks said organizers were nevertheless pleased by the reach provided by posts on social media.
“The posts were seen over 3,000 times,” she said. “That tells us the information was being viewed and shared successfully.”
Without divulging additional details, Hicks said that she already has in mind a couple of ideas to tweak the event with the goal of enticing more participation next year in light of some recently received feedback combined with some conversations with community and chamber members.
“Sundre is so fortunate to have the amazing businesses that we do,” she said. “I wish we could have recognized each business nominated – there were so many great ones mentioned!”
Business of the year (10 employees or less): Backwoods Bakery and Cafe
Business of the year (11 employees or more): Sundre Home Hardware Building Centre
Rookie Business of the Year: The Farmhouse Market
Legacy Award (presented to a business that has been in the community for at least 15 years): Sundre Home Hardware Building Centre
Employer of the year: Candre Cannabis Inc.
Employee of the year: Chris Aingworth, Sundre Community Drug Mart
Young Entrepreneur Award: Olly’s Ice Cream
Customer Service Award: Backwoods Bakery and Cafe
Sundre Shines Award, for helping Sundre Shine: Whispering Willows
Spirit of Sundre Award, presented to businesses for giving back to the community: three-way tie between Backwoods Bakery & Cafe, Sundre Home Hardware Building Centre, and Candre Cannabis