It was all business at the 100 Mile House Community Hall on March 22, where a number of local businesses, organizations and individuals were honoured as part of the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce’s 20th Annual Business Excellence Awards and Citizen of the Year Celebration.
Chamber president Jennifer Appleby said master of ceremonies Sean Watson did a great job and the evening went quite well.
“I think everybody enjoyed themselves. I think it was fun watching [One Another A Coffee House owners] Keith [Jackson] and Laura [Baerg] over and over on the stage. And it was nice the [100 Mile & District] Women’s Centre got donations from a couple of places.”
“We had fun. We hope everybody else did.”
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett presented the Citizen of the Year Award and spoke to the close to 150 people attendance about the economy in the Cariboo.
“We will always have a forest industry, but five or 10 years from now we’re not sure what it’s going to look like. For the past few years, we’ve been trying to get prepared to bring new industries to our communities. It is tough in small, rural B.C. communities to generate new industries.”
The private sector is what drives local economies, she added.
“It is up to us – in provincial government, federal government, local government – to create the atmosphere and the policies [to attract] the private sector to our communities and generate the jobs.
“Without a healthy economy, you will never have a healthy environment. You will never have the social programs we’re all used to providing for those in need, and providing for a good education and health care we all expect.”
Al Richmond spoke on behalf of the Cariboo Regional District. The CRD chair encouraged people to participate in upcoming public hearings on medical marijuana production.
“Some people feel it’s a source of jobs. We have, probably in the South Cariboo alone, at least 10 applications.
“Now, there’s probably not going to be 10 [production] facilities, but we’ve decided to try and consider locating those on industrial properties. We need you to come out and speak up.”
Mayor Mitch Campsall addressed the room on behalf of the District of 100 Mile House.
“One of the best things that will happen this year for us will be the Birch Street revitalization,” he said regarding upcoming capital projects.
“The District has made it its mission to create an environment where business can flourish.”
Family Friendly Business: Cariboo Regional District Library (100 Mile House Branch)
Greatest Improvement in 2013: 108 Mile Supermarket
Rising Star: Sean Watson (Safeway) and Keith Jackson (One Another A Coffee House)
Tourism/Recreation Award: Hot July Nights
Best Marketing & Promotion: 100 Mile House Wranglers
Community Inclusion Awards: 100 Mile House Wranglers
Best Home-Based Business: Rainer’s Health House
Best New Business: One Another A Coffee House
Non-Profit Organization: 100 Mile & District Women’s Centre Society
Community Based Business Excellence Award: Mount Timothy Ski Area
Resource Based Excellence Award: Pincott Ranches and McNeil and Sons Logging
Customer Service Award: One Another A Coffee House
People’s Choice Award: One Another A Coffee House
Citizens of the Year: Tom Bachynski and Lorette Penn