The finalists of the 2021 Fernie Business Excellence Awards have been announced, after an independent panel sorted through almost 500 nominations.
“This is by far our favourite event of the year,” said executive director of the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, Brad Parsell.
“Despite the pandemic, chronic labour shortages and other challenges thrown at us this past year – our business community continues to find innovative and creative ways to serve their customers.”
Fernie locals nominated 491 business people, businesses and community groups for ten categories (out of a total of 12), of which three finalists were selected for each. The finalists can be found on the Fernie Chamber of Commerce website.
Under the selection process, while locals do the nominating, it’s the nominees themselves that make the pitch explaining why they deserve to win in that category. Under the Chamber of Commerce process, nominees receive a nomination package where they’re asked to sell either themselves or their business or group to an independent panel.
The unenviable task of selecting the top three nominees is given to a panel made up of people in the industry in B.C. - like folks in other chambers of commerce or in business development. None of them can be from the valley, and it’s likely none of them are familiar with local businesses, meaning that the judging process is done based on submissions from the nominees.
Of the twelve categories, nominations are received for ten of them. Nine categories are judged by the independent panel, while the People’s Choice Award is by popular vote (nominees for 2021 are Eldho’s Your Independent Grocer, Fernie Distillers and Stick & Stone Cannabis Co.), and the last two - the Chamber Legacy and Citizen of the Year Awards - are selected by the Fernie chamber board.
The winners of the 2021 Business Excellence Awards will be announced on Friday October 29 at an invite-only event which will be live streamed of the Fernie Chamber Facebook page.