A Richmond business is a finalist for a Small Business BC Award.
Purpose Smoothie Co., located in Steveston, is competing with four other businesses for the Best Youth Entrepreneur Award.
According to the business’ website, founder Braden Ralla opened the store to educate the community on the importance of healthy eating and to inspire others to prioritize their health and happiness at the same time.
Ralla said for his business to have been nominated and selected as a top five in his award category is a special and amazing opportunity.
“I think it’s important to continue to celebrate and support all small businesses that have battled to keep their doors open,” said Ralla, adding that the community and his family’s support is what has kept Purpose up and running.
“Through the ups and down and all of the challenges this past year has brought, to still be here for our community is an amazing opportunity and I don’t take a day of this for granted.”
This year, the Small Business BC Awards received a record number of nominations, a sign of support for local entrepreneurs who endured challenges this past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small Business BC received a total of 937 nominations, representing 558 small businesses in 88 communities across the province.
Businesses were nominated for the categories: Best Youth Entrepreneur, Best Community Impact, Best Solopreneur, Best Innovation, Best Immigrant Entrepreneur and the Premier’s People’s Choice Awards.
“I think it’s clear from the overwhelming number of nominations and the more than 50,000 public votes, that the spirit of support for small business runs strong in our province,” said Tom Conway, CEO of Small Business BC.
“This has been the most difficult year for small business owners and now their communities are standing behind them, recognizing what they’ve been through and celebrating their success.”
Each nominated business had until March 8 to gain as many votes from the public. The votes were collected by Small Business BC and the businesses with the most votes in each category were narrowed down to the top 20.
The top five finalists were then selected by an internal panel of business experts.
Each finalist in their respective categories will now be required to make a presentation about their businesses to a panel of judges.
Winners of the Small Business BC Awards will be announced in a three-day virtual gala from May 4 to 6 with each winner to receive $1,500, a short video shot by a professional film crew and an all-access pass to Small business BC’s services.
Every year, the Small Business BC Awards is part of the organization’s search for the best small business owners in the province.