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  • Celebrating small businesses

    Engaging and supporting small businesses in community

    Celebrating small businesses in Chestermere photo 2
    Catherine Proulx, and John Kittler visit during the Small Business Chestermere Awards Black and White Gala on Oct. 19. Photo submitted
    Celebrating small businesses in Chestermere photo3

    Michelle Eldjarnson took home the award for Business Leader of the Year for the REPs Group (RE/MAX) Frist on Oct. 19. Thilo Kaufmann from Qualico Communities, and Vice-President of the Chestermere Chamber of Commerce Zane Southgate presented her with the award. Photo submitted

    Small Business Week Chestermere ended with the third annual Small Business Awards Black and White Gala on Oct. 19, at the Lakeside Golf Club.

    “It was fantastic,” said Chestermere Chamber of Commerce President Michelle Eldjarnson.

    “We had great attendance, great buzz, great ambience, the room was beautiful,” Eldjarnson said.

    The week-long workshops and seminars created buzz around Small Business Week Chestermere which resulted in a sold-out event, with 80 tickets purchased compared to the 40 tickets purchased the year prior.

    “Our goal was to celebrate everybody in our town who works so hard to keep our business community going and working together.

    “Not just certain individuals but whole groups were there, and it was really nice,” Eldjarnson said.

    Local businesses had to be nominated by a community member in order to have the opportunity to win one of the seven small business awards, said Executive Assistant of the Chestermere Chamber of Commerce Darlene Tuck.

    The businesses which are nominated receive a questionnaire and are required to explain to the Chestermere Chamber of Commerce how they are involved in the community, and why the business deserves to receive the award.

    A committee of resident volunteers then sits down and choses which business gets an award.

    Tuck added, in order for a business to meet the Small Business Award Chestermere Awards criteria the business must be nominated by someone in the community and own a business license.

    “This was great, I’ve always wanted to hold a small business week,” Tuck said.

    City of Chestermere Manager of Economic Development Catherine Proulx said, “There was a lot of momentum this year, the business community was more engaged, and much more wanting to support fellow businesses and the chamber.”

    Proulx added, “There was a lot of commotion. People were really appreciating the opportunity to network with other small business owners within the community, to have an opportunity to talk about common challenges, and to connect with likeminded people.”

    The Chestermere Chamber of Commerce began to market for Small Business Week Chestermere in September, and two weeks before the event began was when the Chestermere Chamber of Commerce members started to invite anyone they knew and go door to door to personally invite residents.

    The week before the week-long event there was 12 people registered for the Small Business Week Chestermere Awards Black and White Gala, and three sessions with nobody registered.

    “I just about had heart failure,” Proulx said.

    She added, “Within the week we sold over 300 tickets. We really pushed it out, but there was also continued momentum during the week.”

    The Small Business Week Chestermere Awards winners include E.C.I. Learning Academy, Chestermere Heating and Cooling, Corianne’s Custom Cookies, The Canadian Brewhouse, COBS Bread Chestermere, Michelle Eldjarnson, The REPs Group (RE/MAX First), and No Frills Chestermere.

    The nominees include, but not limited to Chestermere Landing, Chestermere Taxi, Mind Body Connection, Crazy Pasta, Masala Twist, Suck It Up Furnace Cleaning, Peak Cycle Barre Hot Yoga Inc., and Spartan Hockey Development.

    The Small Business Week Chestermere Awards Black and White Gala wouldn’t have been possible without the support from Qualico Communities, and Anthem United, Proulx said.

    For a full list of the Small Business Week Chestermere awards nominees, or for more information about the Chestermere Chamber of Commerce please visit the Website at https://www.chestermerechamber.com/2018-chamber-business-awards.html.