BONNYVILLE – Resiliency runs deep in Bonnyville businesses and the local chamber is taking the time to recognize it.
Nominations for the Bonnyville and District Chamber of Commerce's first Our Resiliency Runs Deep Awards are now being accepted ahead of the May 27 virtual event.
“We know that there have been many challenges over the last year with COVID-19,” explained Serina Parsons, executive director of the Bonnyville chamber. “But, throughout all of this, there’s also a lot to celebrate, and we thought it was time that something positive came out of the struggles of the last year.”
The awards, which to are acknowledge local businesses working so hard to keep our community moving forward throughout the pandemic, are only open to Bonnyville businesses and members of the Bonnyville chamber.
Out of the eight categories, seven are aimed at local businesses, including internal leadership, adaptation award, social media presence, courage to come back, the giveback award, emerging entrepreneur, and pandemic perseverance.
The frontline hero award is accepting nominations for healthcare staff, truck drivers, and grocery clerks who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic.
“We can’t celebrate the successes of COVID-19 without celebrating the people that have kept things going,” she stressed. “It’s important to recognize them as well.”
For Parsons, the event is a "time to come together and promote the perseverance of our small businesses.”
“This is a way to recognize those that have been struggling. Businesses are going to get recognition, promotion, various sorts of advertising, and this is a great way to help them out," she added.
After picking a category, nominators have two spots where they get to explain why they chose the business they did. Parsons stressed the importance of answering these questions thoroughly so the chamber gets a full picture as to why they deserve the accolade.
“What are some of the successes that you’ve seen this business either accomplish or preserver through and that will help in the end?” she wondered.
Due to provincial regulations on large social gatherings, the chamber has had to cancel or postpone a number of events that typically allow entrepreneurs to network and celebrate. Parsons noted they had to get creative with their planning of the Our Resiliency Runs Deep Awards.
“Behind the scenes, we have been working so much on advocacy here and making suggested changes to government resources to make sure that our businesses have what they need to survive. That being said, we wanted to really host an event that’s going to celebrate and bring us together, even if it is virtually.”
After the chamber receives a nomination, they reach out to the business and ask if they want to proceed. The next step is gathering a bit more information about the nominee.
“Leading up to the event, we will be doing features on each of the businesses,” detailed Parsons. “Each business will be featured on our Facebook. We’ll be doing Facebook Live (videos) with all of them, and then you can watch the event to see who’s winning.”