BY KALISHA MENDONSA
Over the course of Small Business Week, municipalities around the nation celebrate the local businesses, both small and large, that build up individual communities.
The Town of Blackfalds is no exception to this celebration and this year they continued with the tradition of their 2016 Business Awards Gala.
This year’s Retail Business of the Year was awarded to The Floral Boutique and the Community Spirit Business of the Year was awarded to the Blackfalds Bottle Depot.
There were three businesses named the Service Business of the Year – Blackfalds Gas & Wash, Microtel Inn & Suites and Blackfalds Boston Pizza.
“The Chamber and the Town of Blackfalds economic development board, who jointly put on the business awards, have been making the event a little bit bigger and better each year,” said Economic Development Officer with the Town of Blackfalds Jennifer Hartigh.
“Some of the changes that took place this year included nominations being opened up in June, so there was a much longer time period for the community to get engaged and I think that helped to build up some excitement for the event.”
The Gala took place on Oct. 21st with hundreds of community attendees and dignitaries present.
Hartigh says the Business Awards are a great way for community businesses to network and recognize each other’s achievements in growing the Town.
“Businesses in the community are interested in working together in cross-promotion and things like that. Through recognition and networking events like this, people are more able to find new ways of identifying and addressing issues within our community. For the Chamber, one of their number one purposes is to provide a channel for businesses to work together and relate to one another,” Hartigh said.
The Retail Award category recognizes a business that carries products of a specific variety or quality of product available. The Service Business category recognizes exceptional service within the establishment. The Community Spirit Award recognizes businesses that contribute in community involvement projects or initiatives.
“I think from the perspectives of both the Chamber of Commerce and the Blackfalds Economic Development and Tourism Board, the small business gala is a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate the businesses in our community,” Hartigh said.
“I believe it raises awareness of the variety of businesses we have in the community, the types of services they offer and what they give back to the community.
“The awards event itself is a lot of fun and I think people really enjoy coming out to celebrate the local achievements of the year.”