Chamber hands out hardware

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award winners announced

The best in business have been recognized.

Ten businesses were honoured during the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Gala at the Best Western Plus Vernon Lodge Saturday.

“It signifies that we have a vibrant business community and there’s a lot of support for our local businesses,” said George Duffy, chamber general manager, of the award winners and the 140 nominees.

“A lot of the nominations came from residents and clients.”

This year’s winners are:

Business of the year: Tolko Industries

Small business of the year: Vernon Teach and Learn

New business of the year: A&D Asphalt Solutions

Marketer of the year: Okanagan Spirits

Employer of the year: Westwood

Green business of the year: Nature’s Fare Markets

Exporter of the year: Tolko Industries

Professional service award: We Care Home Health Services

Community supporter of the year: Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy

Young entrepreneur of the year: Downtown Internet Lounge

Service award of the year: Cottons Chocolates

Duffy wasn’t surprised that Tolko and its lumber operations were the recipient of two awards.

“They are such an excellent company,” he said.

“They are great with their forest practises and they have been able to diversify their markets. They also employ a lot of people in the Vernon area.”

The winners were selected by a group of judges independent of the chamber.

“It’s a very difficult process and the difference between number one and number two or three is only one or two points. It’s very close,” said Duffy of the quality of nominees considered.

About 300 people attended Saturday’s gala event.