Chilliwack venture in the running for small biz award

Michelle Hodson of Intuitive Independence Rehabilitation Services says they make a point of investing in their employees

Michelle Hodson's business

Michelle Hodson's business

Time is ticking down until the prestigious small business awards are handed out.

A Chilliwack business made the cut as a Top 5 finalist for a Small Business BC award in the Best Employer category.

Michelle Hodson of Intuitive Independence Rehabilitation Services, says it’s a matter of hours until the awards are handed out at a gala dinner on Feb. 26.

Hodson had to do a live presentation in front of Small Business BC judging panel earlier this month.

“That was the last step,” she said, about the Dragons’ Den style pitch made to the judges.

Chilliwack was actually well represented in the semi finals of the 2015 awards with two companies from Chilliwack that made the semi-finalist cut.

They included Omega & Associates Engineering Ltd. for Best Company, and Intuitive Independence Rehabilitation Services for Best Employer.

The Best Company award recognizes the small business that best demonstrates exceptional leadership and a proven track record of growth and profitability.

The Best Employer Award recognizes the business that “goes above and beyond” for their employees.

Top 5 Finalist, Intuitive Independence Rehab Services, offers assistance for patients in “recovery, rehabilitation, and health promotion” with walk-in service for registered massage therapy and physiotherapy. There are kinesiology based exercise and wellness programs for those injured in accidents or in sport-related incidents.

“Professionalism, best practice and competency are the foundation of our practice,” according to the company website.

But it’s also a great place to work for Chilliwack employees, and hiring local was a priority.

“We hired 25 local people, all from Chilliwack,  and two from Abbotsford,” Hodson said.

They make a point of offering employee incentives, like skills training and education funds.

“We invest in our employees to make sure they can give the best client service possible,” she said. “For those who like learning, there are unlimited education funds.”

Company cars and full benefits are also provided.

“We celebrate successes in the office, and I think we are really recognized for having a supportive environment.”

They believe in supporting and growing with their workforce.

“It’s a great place if you are someone who works toward continuous improvement and growth.”

B.C. residents were asked to nominate and vote for their favourite small businesses. This year was the biggest year yet for Small Business BC with over 460 nominations from about 70 communities across the province, including nine nominations from Chilliwack.

Nominated businesses that were successful in rallying the support of their community and gathered the most votes made it through to the Top 10, announced in December 2014.

Winners will be announced on February 26 at the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver, where 500 small business owners, government representatives and other key business influencers will enjoy an evening that recognizes the amazing entrepreneurs in the province.

More details at

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