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Tri-Cities Chamber postpones business excellence awards amid COVID-19 Omicron variant

The TCCC cites the "steep rise in cases" led to the decision to wait until April to hand out the hardware.
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce CEO Leslie Courchesne speaking at the Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club in Coquitlam.

The highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19 has led to spikes in infections across the Tri-Cities in the last few weeks.

This includes 2,055 between Dec. 26 and 31, 2021, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control's (BCCDC) latest Geographic Distribution of COVID-19 by Local Health Area of Case Residence report.

As a result, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce (TCCC) has postponed its 2021 business excellence awards gala to the end of April from Jan. 29.

The organization says the decision to wait on hosting its premier event by three months was based on "the steep rise in cases associated with the Omicron variant."

"The public health and safety of the community are of utmost importance to the Tri-Cities Chamber, and rescheduling this event will enable us to safely provide the exceptional experience that our members and guests deserve," the TCCC explains in a statement.

B.C. has banned indoor organized gatherings of any size amid the latest wave of COVID-19 which includes "sponsored or ticketed parties."

As well, indoor events at venues can only have up to 50 per cent capacity regardless of its facility's limit.

The orders are in effect until Jan. 18 at 11:59 p.m.

The 37 finalists for the TCCC's annual celebration of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody businesses were unveiled in early November as nominated by local residents and shortlisted by a selection committee.

The winners are now set to be announced at the gala on April 30, 2022, 6 p.m. at The Show Theatre at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver.

For more information, you can visit the TCCC's website.

The finalists for the 2021 business excellence awards, along with last year's winners, are as follows:

Business of the Year

  • One to 10 employees
    • From:Us Gifting Company 
    • Labour Rights Law Office
    • Mary Hill Fit Body Boot Camp
    • Squish Juicery

(2020 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

(2020 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.

(2020 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

(2020 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

(2020 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 

(2020 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

(2020 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

(2020 winner: Jessica Morrison - Squish Juicery)


Environmental Steward of the Year

  • Live For Tomorrow (LFT) Group Brands Ltd.
  • Tru Earth Environmental Products Inc.
  • Wesbild

(2020 winner: Fulfill Shoppe)