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Small Business Week celebrates virtually

By JAYMIE L. WHITE Special to the Appalachian

LONG RANGE MOUNTAINS – On Thursday evening, Oct. 22, the Long Range Small Business awards were presented by the Long Range Small Business Committee. The virtual ceremony opened with a welcome from Angela Brockway, Manager of Tourism and Community Development with Qalipu First Nation.

“This year it is especially important that we take time to recognize the resilience of our small business owners,” said Brockway. “After a global pandemic, I don’t think there is anything they can’t accomplish.”

Following that, two awards were presented. First was the Spotlight Award, which was presented to Lawn and Farm. Stefan Young with the Long Range Small Business Committee offered some background information about winner Tyrone McIsaac, who began his career in the business by working for Shur-Grain before they closed in 2011.

“During his time with Shur-Grain, Tyrone learned a lot about animal feed and knew, even though the business was closing, there was a market in the Bay St. George area for Canadian livestock and poultry feed,” said Young.

The next award was for Lifetime Achievement presented to Indian Head Consumers Co-Op. Neil Drew, general manager of the Indian Head Co-Op, accepted the award.

“I have to first off thank the hardworking staff of the Co-Op for all their loyalty, work, and dedication over the last few years,” said Drew. “Secondly, I have to thank the members of the Co-Op for their continuous support and dedication, and finally to thank the board of directors for their continued guidance in helping steer the Co-Op in the right direction.”

Next were 11 categories voted for by region. A survey was set up on Facebook where people could vote for the business of their choice, and over 6,000 votes came in.

Wendy’s Coastal Spa took home the award for Personal Service. Owner Wendy O’Quinn said it was an honour to be nominated, but to win it was extra special.

“So many people had never been down in our little community of Boswarlos before coming to my business,” said O’Quinn. “It provides a sense of accomplishment for individuals that are fulfilling a dream of starting a business of their own.”

Youth Business was won by Treasures by Jesse. The Construction and Contracting category, presented by Lenny Hann on behalf of the Leading Edge Credit Union, went to Burton’s Electrical.

Pizza Delight won the Franchisee award and owner Jason Chaffey said it feels great to get recognition from the community.

“We have strived to put our guests first, making them feel safe and welcome during the pandemic. Getting nominated alone makes us feel that the community recognizes how much we value them,” said Chaffey.

Professional Services was awarded to Ok Tire. The new business category was won by Sibley’s Sweets & Stuff from Ramea, NL, a business that began about two years ago.

The next category was Sustainability and Environment, awarded to Scotia Recyling. The Non-Profit Organization was awarded to the Southwest Coast SPCA. In the retail sales category the award was given to Beachside Store in Ramea.

Hospitality and Tourism was presented to Tea by the Sea. The last category that people voted on was Health Services which went to Vogue Optical.

The final two specialty awards were presented next. First, the Prix d’excellence award went to Island Studio Gallery. The last award of the night was Entrepreneur of the Year, which went to Janice Flynn, owner of Birding by Season. Flynn said she was humbled and excited.

“It was a welcomed surprise following a tough year, and it feels good to be recognized for Birding by Season’s commitment to the environment and resilience during the pandemic,” said Flynn. “Community support is key. Small businesses are born from a single idea and it’s the support from the community that helps nurture and grow those ideas and keeps small businesses moving forward.”

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