COVID-19 may have put a damper on businesses across the Tri-Cities the last two years.
But that didn't stop them from moving the community forward, and influenced residents to support local during uncertain times.
The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce (TCCC) is set to recognize the businesses in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody that went above and beyond for their respective communities by welcoming back its business excellence awards gala.
In less than two weeks, the organization is set to re-host the 21st annual event in-person for the first time in two years — the theme is 'A Night Among The Stars.'
The 2020 edition took place in February, a month before the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, and the 2021 gala was held virtually in meeting the public health and safety protocols of the time.
"The Chamber's most anticipated event of the year is almost here and we can't wait to celebrate with the Tri-Cities business community," the gala's description reads on the TCCC's website.
There are 13 finalists for business of the year, which is split between three categories based on size.
You can view the full awards list below.
In total, there are 37 businesses and non-profits on the ballot for nine awards after nearly 100 were first nominated by local residents and shortlisted by a selection committee in November.
Mary Hill Body Boot Camp (Port Coquitlam) leads the way with three finalist nods, while Juris Notary (Coquitlam) and Squish Juicery (Port Coquitlam) each have two.
The gala is set for April 30, 6 p.m. inside The Show Theatre at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver.
It was originally scheduled for Jan. 29, but the spike in COVID-19 cases involving the Omicron variant forced organizers to reschedule.
For more information, a schedule and tickets to potentially attend, you can visit the TCCC's website.
Business of the Year
- One to 10 employees
- From:Us Gifting Company
- Labour Rights Law Office
- Mary Hill Fit Body Boot Camp
- Squish Juicery
(Last winner: Butter Studios)
- Eleven to 30 employees
- Bump Physio and Co.
- Ethical Waste Services Ltd.
- PlayWorks Physio
- Strive Health and Performance
- Westcoast SCI Physiotherapy Port Coquitlam
(Last winner: Ballistic Arts Media Studios)
- 30 or more employees
- Big Hearts Home Care
- Cat and Fiddle Sports Bar and Restaurant
- Dominion Lending Centre
- Metro Motors Ltd.
(Last winner: Rocky Point Ice Cream)
Business Leader of the Year
- Claire McLean - SHARE Family and Community Services Society
- Jessica Morrison - Squish Juicery
- Kyle O'Genski - Patina Brewing Co.
- Malik Malikzada - Jamila's Kitchen and Grill
- Moe Manavipour - Mary Hill Fit Body Boot Camp
(Last winner: Angela Calla - The Angela Calla Mortgage Team)
Business Resiliency Award
- Mary Hill Fit Body Boot Camp
- MPowerLives Company
- One Stop Party Rentals
- Safe Care Home Support
- The Fountainhead Network
(Last co-winners: Legend Haul Supply Co. and Novo Textiles)
Community Spirit Award
- Aultrust Financial Ltd.
- COBS Bread Bakery Suter Brook
- Juris Notary
- Kirmac Collison and Automotive Collision Systems
- Tri-Cities United
(Last winner: Malik Malikzada - Jamila's Kitchen and Grill)
Not-for-Profit of the Year
- Backpack Buddies
- Community Ventures Society
- Coquitlam Public Library
- The People's Pantry Food Recovery Society
- Tri-Cities Transitions Society
(Last winner: Immigrant Link Centre Society)
Young Professional of the Year
- Braidey Sturgeon - Estate Vision
- Dylan Wilson - Wilson Media
- Mariko Baerg - Bridgewell Real Estate Group
- Paul Choi - Juris Notary
- Tiaan Grimbeek - Top Notch Catering
(Last winner: Jessica Morrison - Squish Juicery)
Environmental Steward of the Year
- Live For Tomorrow (LFT) Group Brands Ltd.
- Tru Earth Environmental Products Inc.
(Last winner: Fulfill Shoppe)