Manatee cracks top 10

Manatee Holdings of Courtenay is a semi-finalist for Best International Trade, a category in the Small Business BC Awards.

Manatee Holdings of Courtenay is a semi-finalist for Best International Trade, a category in the Small Business BC Awards.

The top 10 semi-finalists have been selected for the 12th annual awards, which acknowledge the contribution that more than 400,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs make to their communities and the global economy.

From Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, British Columbians were asked to nominate and vote for their favourite small businesses. This year was the biggest year yet for the competition with more than 460 nominations from upwards of 70 communities.

Nominated companies were given two months to gain as many votes as possible through word-of-mouth, social media, e-communications and other creative means. Those who activated their communities and received the most votes have been named semi-finalists.

The businesses move forward to face a panel of judges who, based on the award criteria, will narrow down the competition to the top five finalists in each category.

Finalists will be announced Jan. 30, and invited to give a Dragons’ Den-style pitch in front of the judges as to why they should be named the best in B.C.

Winners will be honored and celebrated on Feb. 26 at the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony in Vancouver. The night will include messages from Premier Christy Clark, among others.

Winners will also receive the Premier’s Prize of $1,500 cash.

www.sbbcawards.ca.