A record number of nominations and an ongoing pandemic made for a different Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Saturday night.
Nearly 300 people were spread out in six different restaurants in Sylvan Lake to honour and celebrate local business with the annual business awards.
The awards were pre-recorded and cast simultaneously to each business were finalists and others in the business community were gathered.
The hour-long presentation included a brief thank you speech from each winner, and the debut of the music video for “Every Day’s a Holiday [in Sylvan Lake]”.
“The Sylvan Lake Chamber is only as strong as our membership… By no means will recovery from COVID-19 be an easy one, it will require us to work together as a community and support one another,” said Dave Phillips, president of the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce.
“While the world may have changed, and the way we do business continues to change, what has not changed is the entrepreneurs, the doers, the dreamers, the forward thinkers and the planners, who consistently search for possibility.”
Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre says 2020 has everyone looking to do things differently and a little more creatively, and the local business community is no different.
McIntyre says the current time and climate of the world is not just unprecedented, but also historic.
“This time that we are living in right now will be looked back at by generations in the future. We are history today,” said McIntyre.
He recognizes many local businesses have suffered through the pandemic, and some were forced to close up shop permanently, and also recognizes “amazing successes and creativity” in the business community.
New businesses have opened during this time, and other businesses are diversifying and “reaching new heights in customer service.”
In 2020, new technology is being used and new services are emerging in Sylvan Lake to better cater to customers in an unusual time.
McIntyre says new ways of doing business are being developed her in Sylvan Lake.
“We have learned that not only is Sylvan Lake beautiful, but we are resilient.”
The annual business awards recognized 12 local businesses and entrepreneurs who are making a difference in Sylvan Lake.
The awards this year include two new categories which were created because of the pandemic: Business Philanthropy Award and Business Resilience Award.
The winners of the 2020 Sylvan Lake Business Awards are:
Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Sara Barnes, Central Alberta Security
Employee of the Year – Grace Woods, Good Earth Coffeehouse
Marketing Excellence Award – Fonda’s Plumbing
Environmental Stewardship Award – Good Earth Coffeehouse
Visitor Friendly Award – Wood Shed Axe Throwing
Business Philanthropy Award – Bukwildz
Business Woman of the Year – Pam Mitchell
Customer Service Excellence Award – Servus Credit Union
New Business of the Year – Ranch Gate Market
Business Resiliency Award – Snake Lake Brewing
Small Business of the Year – RoyAl Glass
Large Business of the Year – Servus Credit Union