Congratulations to the WINNERS of the 2020 Business Awards!

A huge thank you to all of the community members who submitted thoughtful and uplifting nominations, we had over 60 in total!  Make sure to follow this Chamber Facebook page as we will be sharing more about all of the nominated businesses over the coming weeks.

Here are your top businesses for 2020!!!

Business of the Year – Woodfire Restaurant
NEW Business of the Year – GIFT: Gulf Island Food Transport
U40 Entrepreneur – Ground Up
Business Response – Gabriola Fitness Centre

Thanks to all who attended the live presentation of awards at our AGM, it was great to have a virtual crowd to celebrate with!
We are so lucky to have such an incredible business community on Gabriola Island.

Woodfire has consistently been a high-quality establishment for some time on Gabriola. Through the pandemic they have been a step ahead of every provincial safety protocol and have worked tirelessly, creatively and flexibly through the pandemic to keep the business going, support staff members, provide a safe place to work and eat good food. The team presents themselves professionally and the food is outstanding quality and fairly priced. This is an attraction for visitors and enhances our community. Strong leadership is seen through the owners, Sharon and Chris. Congratulations!

Dan saw an opportunity in food delivery, developed this business and launched before COVID! GIFT has provided a service that was well needed, but ended up being even more essential that we could have anticipated. Dan has extended his reach, building local partnerships with the Agricultural Co-op and more, which means more local goods in the hands of Gabriolans. As GIFT grows, the business will create job opportunities for other Gabriolans as they hire employees. Many have found his service affordable and useful, while also helping to reduce vehicle emissions and congestion on our ferry, both are things lauded by our community. Congratulations!

Jen, Becky, Bram, and Alex have a strong vision for their future on Gabriola. Ground Up provides amazing food to Gabriola, they are resourceful, independent, and they source their food from local food producers wherever possible. They collaborate well with other Gabriola businesses, producers, and organizations and saved the Spirit Feast this year by cooking for the event. They represent young people who have taken the best of Gabriola, where two of them were born and raised and now look to a future of supporting local. With an eye on keeping commercial development local, they’ve invested in the community through a commercial property. We can’t wait to see what’s next! Congratulations!

The Gabriola Fitness Centre went over and above in adapting to the fast changing requirements in order to keep open and operate safely for their clients and staff including; renting out fitness equipment, offering online classes and recorded classes in addition to in-person classes and then moving classes completely online, installing panels and taped off areas to assist patrons in maintaining correct distance from each other, providing clear instruction on requirements, increasing cleaning frequency, installing air exchangers with approved filters etc., and homeschooling their kids for this year in order to limit the family’s potential exposure. Figuring out the online portion was huge and required learning new technology and then assisting patrons through it. Having a place to get physical activity and to see other people (even with limited interaction) was a huge benefit during COVID, especially for those feeling anxious about the health risks or isolation, not seeing family members. The online classes also offered opportunities for interaction with other participants via chatting through the online platform (zoom). Congratulations!