Nominations for the annual Sylvan Lake Business Awards are now open, and the number of nominations have already exceeded those in years past.
The nominations for this year’s awards are up 62 per cent over last year, with a week left to nominate local businesses.
Denise Williams, executive director of the Sylvan Lake Chamber of commerce believes the increase is due in part to locals wishing to recognize businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To reflect the work local business have put in during the pandemic, two new categories have been added to this year’s business awards.
The Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce added the Business Resiliency Award and the Business Philanthropy Award to the already robust list of awards.
“So many local businesses have changed and adapted during this whole thing, and that what the Business Resiliency award is for,” Williams said. “We want to hear stories of how businesses have been innovative during the pandemic.”
Williams continued, saying the Business Resiliency Award is really an award for this year, and it is possible it will not be a category in the years following.
The second award added to the roster for the 2020 Business Awards is one the Chamber had never thought to bring forward, but is a perfect category for the local businesses awards.
The Business Philanthropy recognizes businesses in Sylvan Lake that regularly give back to its community.
“A board member suggested this award and immediately everyone said yes this was a great award to have,” said Williams.
“I hope these awards help residents really take the time and think about their nominations and what our local businesses do for the community every day.”
With nominations being up over last year, the number of individual businesses nominated have also grown.
At publishing there are between 80 and 100 different businesses that have been nominated for this year’s awards.
“There are so many more businesses in Sylvan Lake than just the typical stone and mortar locations. We have home businesses and online businesses… We have businesses being nominated that I’ve never even heard of,” said Williams.
The awards this year will be done virtually, and the annual Mermaid Ball will not be held.
Williams said the choice to cancel the Mermaid Ball was not taken lightly, as it is the Chamber’s major fundraiser for the year. However, it was deemed the safest option.
“We are not cancelling the awards. This year is not the year to cancel the business awards, in fact we think the business awards are more important this year than ever before.”
Nominations for the 2020 Sylvan Lake Business Awards can be made through the Chamber’s app, Town App. Nominations are open until July 10. After which a committee will judge each nomination and score them to come up with the shortlist and winners for each category.
Shortlisted nominees will be announced later this summer, with the awards being held virtually in October.