The search for B.C.’s best small businesses is on, and three Shuswap contenders are looking for public support.
Often, local business award recipients are based on public nominations and the number of votes cast, but these combined are only one part of the process of winning in the 2021 Small Business BC Awards.
After the voting period ends at noon on March 7, the top five finalists will be requested to make a 10-minute pitch to judges over Zoom.
At least three of the Shuswap entrepreneurs nominated for awards had an opportunity to hone their pitches through the Okanagan College Salmon Arm campus Launch-A-Preneur program: Cilla Watkins and Janice Ishizaka of the Canadian Barley Tea Company, nominated for Best Innovation, and Missy MacKintosh, founder of MisMack Clean Cosmetics, nominated for Best Community Impact, Best Innovation, Best Solopreneur and Best Youth Entrepreneur.
In addition to their success in Launch-A-Preneur, Watkins and Ishizaka also had a successful pitch with CBC’s Dragon’s Den, earning them a deal. MacKintosh is applying for a chance to face the Dragons.
Also nominated for Best Community Impact, as well as Premier’s People’s Choice, is U Grow Girl. Run by Crystal Wood, sister-in-law Leha Ward-Marshall and their families, U Grow Girl is a sells flowers and other items produced on their farm in Grandview Bench, with proceeds going towards the goal of establishing a retreat for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Each of the three businesses have pages under the awards section at smallbusinessbc.ca, where people can cast a vote for them in any of the categories under which they’ve been nominated. Awards winners will be celebrated via a virtual ceremony in May.