Salina Derish of PickEco Refills, the Fraser Valley’s first zero-waste grocery store, in her downtown Chilliwack store, which is nominated for an innovation award. (file)

Three Chilliwack entrepreneurs finalists for Small Business BC Awards

Woodside Enterprises, Pick Eco Refills and Culture Co. could win in different categories

Three Chilliwack businesses are in the running in different categories for the 17th annual Small Business BC Awards.

Woodside Enterprises is up for best employer, Pick Eco Refills for best innovation, and Culture Co. for best marketer.

The awards are presented by Small Business BC and Canada Post, which asked the public to nominate their favourite small businesses across the province.

More than 611 nominations were received, with each nominated business tasked with gaining as many votes as possible before the deadline. The 10 businesses from each category who received the most votes have now moved forward as semi-finalists.

“It’s fantastic to see small businesses nominated and recognized from every corner of B.C., not only for their success but also for the positive impact they are making in their local communities and the global economy,” Small Business BC CEO Tom Conway said in a press release.

Woodside Enterprises is owned by Jamie and Tiffany Francis. They are a local exterior siding company “that provides a one-stop-shop experience for homeowners and contractors alike in Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley.”

A finalist for best employer, they say they take pride providing team members with jobs but also providing a positive community experience.

“Each team member is treated like a family member,” according to their blurb on the awards page. “We take pride in offering competitive wages, benefits, team building events throughout the year and support to each person that makes up our company.”

Pick Eco Refills is located on Mill Street downtown and is owned by Salina Derish who left her job working with the federal government to try to make an environmental difference as an entrepreneur.

“I’ve always been passionate about the environment,” Derish said. “I started a recycling program when I was six years old, and became a vegetarian at 12.”

Pick Eco Refills is a finalist in the best innovation category.

• READ MORE: Government worker to grocery: one woman’s journey to life satisfaction

• READ MORE: ‘Zero waste’ is the target for innovative Chilliwack grocery

Culture Co. is a Chilliwack-based marketing company that is a finalist in the best marketer category.

“We will win this award because #wedoitdifferent,” the company’s award blurb states.

“We feel our success is measured by the people we encourage to live their purpose and create a sustainable business through all aspects, including their branding.”

The next steps for finalists is that they have less than a month to provide an expert panel of judges a detailed application outlining why they deserve to win the award they’ve been nominated for.

These applications will be used to decide the Top 5 Finalists, who will be officially announced on Jan. 20.

The winners of each category will be announced at the Small Business BC Awards Gala on Feb. 21.

Small Business BC Award winners receive a $1,500 cash prize and a one-year all-access pass to Small Business BC education and experts.

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