The Fort Saskatchewan & Lamont Regional Chamber of Commerce is getting ready for the 2022 Business Awards.

Nominations for the awards are now open for those wanting to recognise the work of local businesses across the region. This is also the first time that nominations will be open to the Lamont area after the Fort Saskatchewan & District Chamber of Commerce merged with the Lamont Chamber of Commerce last July.

"This is an opportunity for the public to recognise the well-deserving business owners within the region," says Tamara Dabels, executive director for the Chamber.

"We are accepting nominations for all businesses, members or otherwise within our region, which includes Fort Saskatchewan, Gibbons, Josephburg, Lamont County, and all of the municipalities within the county."

There are 11 categories to choose from, which include the Chamber Board Awards. The categories are: 

Small Business of the Year Award 

  • The award is given to a business under 50 employees that best reflects the "outstanding spirit and success of the small business community." 

Inclusion and Diversity Award 

  • This is awarded to a privately owned business or organisation, ensuring diversity is recognised and appreciated and that all employees, clients, and customers are respected and valued. 

Industrial Heartland Award 

  • Open to a business, including smaller companies and independent contractors in the industry. This includes energy, construction, fabrication, resources, and manufacturing businesses that demonstrate 'outstanding leadership' in innovation, environment, safety, human resources and community engagement. 

Customer Service Award 

  • Awarded to a business that consistently offers exemplary customer service, often going over and above the typical expectations of their industry/sector. 

Home-Based Business of the Year Award 

  • The Home-Based Business of the Year Award will go to a business venture operating out of a home, demonstrating excellence in the quality of service and product provided. 

New Business of the Year Award 

  • Business ventures that are new, independently owned, and have shown positive growth in the past two years.

Marketing Award of Excellence Award 

  • Awarded to the organisation that develops and implements successful marketing strategies demonstrably impacting business/organisational outcomes.   

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 

  • Open to under 35s that have found success in the start-up and operation of a new or existing business. 

G.R.I.T. Award 

  • The GRIT award was created in 2020 and is awarded to an entrepreneur who has shown Growth, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity, who has established and grown a successful business through 'exceptional' adversity. 

Chamber of Commerce Award (two awards to be given):

Terry Douglas Award of Excellence 

  • This award was created in 2006 and named after Fort Saskatchewan & District Chamber of Commerce Past President Terry Douglas. Awardees of this prestigious award have made significant contributions to Fort Saskatchewan as a whole. 

Ken Hodgins Meritorious Service Award 

  • This award was created in 2010 and named after Fort Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce past Executive Director Ken Hodgins. In conjunction with the Business Awards Gala Committee, the President and Board of Directors may give this award yearly based on individual achievement.

"We're excited to be back in person celebrating those businesses together and discussing the challenges, but mostly celebrating the successes," Dabels continued. 

Three anonymous judges will judge each category; judges are pulled from Chamber Past Presidents, past winners of the category, elected officials, or chamber executives from other communities.   

Winners of some categories, including the Diversity and Inclusion Award, are automatically nominated by the Fort Saskatchewan Chamber for the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction, hosted by the Alberta Chamber of Commerce. 

The 2022 Business Awards nominations close on Aug. 2, and all the semi-finalists will be notified by Friday, August. 5. Tickets will be on sale on Sept. 6 through the chamber website. Winners will be announced at the Business Awards Gala on Oct. 21.

More details can be found here.