Semi-finalists for 14th annual Small Business B.C. Awards announced

Nine Okanagan companies in the competition for cash and education prizes

The semi-finalists for the 14th annual Small Business B.C. Awards have been announced and nine local companies are in the running.

• Rambow Mechanical Ltd. – Best Apprentice Training

• Yeti Farm Creative (Bensay Innovative Inc.) – Best Company

• Infuse I.T. | VinStream – Best Concept

• Mint Magazine – Best Concept

• Vertical Edge Window Cleaning – Best Concept

• Central Kitchen – Bar – Best Employer

• Mazu – Best Innovation

• Two Hat Security – Best Innovation

• Lifeblood Marketing – Best Marketer

The awards, given out each year by Small Business BC, which bills itself as the province’s premier resource for entrepreneurs, and by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, recognize the top businesses in B.C. with fewer than 50 employees.

Nominated by British Columbians, the 10 semi-finalists in 10 categories came from a total of 699 nominees this year located in 72 communities.

The semi-finalists now have to convince a panel of judges why they deserve to be in the final five in each category come Jan. 23, when the winners will be announced in Vancouver.

Recipients of Small Business BC Awards get $1,500 in cash, a one-year, all-access pass to Small Business BC education, resources and experts and a one-on-one business mentorship with notable advisers from the award sponsors.

“Small businesses account for 98 per cent of all businesses in B.C. They drive the economy and create jobs for British Columbians,” said Coralee Oakes, the province’s small business minister.

“All the top 10 semi-finalists for the Small Business BC Awards should be proud that their communities voted them into the top spots.”