Two small businesses named top 10 in B.C.

Comox Valley businesses Manatee Holdings and Excel Career College have been named among the top 10 best small businesses in B.C.

Comox Valley businesses Manatee Holdings and Excel Career College have been named among the top 10 best small businesses in the province as part of the Small Business BC Awards, as voted by the public.

Manatee is a top 10 semi-finalist for the Best Green Business Award, which recognizes outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability through leadership and actions that influence green practices.

Manatee was a pioneer in the development of the food diving fisheries in the mid-’70s. The company then developed revolutionary open ocean ranching models that focus on sustainability practices and fitting into the natural ecology in beneficial ways.

Excel Career College is a top 10 semi-finalist for the Best Company Award and Best Workplace Award. The former recognizes leadership and a proven track record of growth and profitability. The latter recognizes leadership in encouraging mental and physical health in employees through education, incentives and activities.

In a small town with the fluctuation in economy and policies, Excel has shown leadership, sustainability, growth and resiliency in many ways over the past 23 years. Industry partners, government contracts and community support are a few areas where adaptability in changing economies has enabled Excel to grow during difficult times.

The companies had two months to gain as many votes as possible for their businesses using social media, e-communications and word of mouth. The businesses with the most votes in each award category have been named top 10 semi-finalists in the competition.

The awards recognize the contributions outstanding B.C. entrepreneurs make in the province. Businesses in industries as diverse as manufacturing, technology and hospitality were nominated from 55 cities.

“It’s fantastic to see so many small businesses being recognized, not only for their success, but also for the positive impact they’re having on their local communities and the contributions they’re making to the economy,” said George Hunter, CEO of Small Business BC. “With the high quality of nominees this year it’s going to be a tough job selecting the winners, but we’re very excited to see who comes out on top.”

The top 10 semi-finalists must complete an extended award application which will be used to narrow the competition to the top five finalists in each category. The top five will be announced Jan. 30.

Winners will be honoured Feb. 27 at ceremony at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver.

More information on the finalists and the Small Business BC Awards can be found at www.sbbcawards.ca.

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