Months of hard work, community spirit and excellent customer service paid off for 10 local businesses honoured at the Fort Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce business awards gala.
Members of the public submitted a record 1500 nominations for the chamber's 34th annual awards ceremony, more than three times last year’s total. The list of nominees was narrowed down to 32 finalists, with the winners announced at a Friday night ceremony held in the Heartland Ford showroom.
Simply Stunning Hair and Makeup, a finalist in three categories, went home with Small Business of the Year honours. Owner Lisa Crawford said that the staff who joined her at the gala were “over the moon.”
“All of the finalists in that category totally deserved it also,” she added. “It was just really moving to see that the community is kind of responding to all of our efforts. And it's awesome. It's super humbling."
Legendary Barbershop won the Customer Service Award for 2018. Customer service was the only award of the night decided by online public vote  rather than a panel of judges. The win was an amazing moment according to shop owner Manni Al, who regularly hosts haircutting events to help local community groups raise money.  
"We do a lot of fundraisers. We donate a lot of haircuts,” he said. “And we like to help out a lot of people. Whoever asks me for help, I don't say no. If I can afford it, I'll do it.”
Samantha Taylor, operations manager at Lakeview Inn and Suites, wasn’t expecting to hear the local hotel announced as the winner of Franchise of the Year, especially given the stiff competition.
“But we came out victorious so I am pretty happy about that,” she said. "We try to work with the community as much as possible.”
Some new staff helped Superior Show Services come out on top in the Marketing Excellence category. Barb Sisson and her husband Chris, co-owners of the local company, have been focusing on their marketing strategies.
“We actually hired a full-time social media position. And between our graphic designer and our office manager and Alison, who does our social media, we've really been pumping that up,” Sisson said.
Find the full list of nominees and winners below.
Customer Service (People’s Choice Award):
Simply Stunning Hair and Makeup, 
Solo Liquor, Supplement King, the Retreat Hair Salon and Spa, Legendary Barbershop
Winner: Legendary Barbershop
Entrepreneurial Spirit:
Lisa Crawford (Simply Stunning Hair and Makeup), Dr. Sunny Leong (Fort Orthodontics), Sukhi Cheema (Solo Liquor)
Winner: Dr Sunny Leong (Fort Orthodontics)
Environmental Stewardship:
Queen of Clean, the City of Fort Saskatchewan, Freson Bros.
Winner: Queen of Clean
Franchise of the Year: 
Lakeview Inn and Suites, McDonald's, Original Joe's Restaurant and Bar
Winner: Lakeview Inn and Suites
Home Based Business:
Creative Hair Designs, Chocolates by Terry, A. Keen Photography
Winner: A. Keen Photography
Industry Excellence:
Nutrien, PSI Industrial - Mechanical, Sherritt International Corporation
Winner: Sherritt International Corporation
Marketing Excellence: 
Superior Show Service Inc., Titan Towing, Fort Saskatchewan Record
Winner: Superior Show Service
New Business of the Year:  
Fort Saskatchewan Acupuncture, Body Unique Fitness, Country Chic Custom Designs
Winner: Fort Saskatchewan Acupuncture
Professional Service:
Fort Orthodontics, Cameron Dental, Tom Lowe (Re/Max)
Winner: Cameron Dental
Small Business of the Year: 
Concrete Blonde and Barber, Simply Stunning Hair and Makeup, Legendary Barbershop
Winner: Simply Stunning Hair and Makeup

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