Two small Osoyoos business owners excited about being nominated for provincial awards

By on November 25, 2015
Chris Johnson, the proud owner of Kobau Plumbing and Gas Fitting Ltd. in Osoyoos, has been nominated for a Small Business BC Award, as has local chartered accountant Jane Long. Local residents can vote for either business online. (Richard McGuire photo)

Craig Johnson, the proud owner of Kobau Plumbing and Gas Fitting Ltd. in Osoyoos, has been nominated for a Small Business BC Award, as has local chartered accountant Jane Long. Local residents can vote for either business online. (Richard McGuire photo)

The owners of two small businesses in Osoyoos are thrilled to have been nominated for a prestigious provincial award.

It was announced last week that Jane Long, Chartered Professional Accountant, and Craig Johnson, the owner of Kobau Plumbing and Gas Fitting Ltd., were both nominated as part of the 13th Annual Small Business BC Awards.

This is the second-consecutive year Long has been nominated in the Best Community Impact category.

Johnson has been nominated in the Premier’s People’s Choice category.

Long said she believes she was nominated after announcing her commitment of donating a minimum of five per cent of profits back into the community.

She estimates that so far in 2015, she has donated $700 in cash and $4,750 in service donations for a total of $5,450, which is an increase over last year.

“We also partake in Random Acts of Kindness Day and run food and toy drives and try to help out where ever we can,” said Long. “It’s really important to give back to those you support or give to you and this is our way of saying thank you.

“It’s great to know the community recognizes our efforts to make a difference by nominated us again for one of these awards.”

Johnson said he was pleasantly surprised and honoured to be nominated for the provincial award.

“It’s a really nice feeling to be nominated because I’m a young guy who just started up on his own two years ago,” he said. “I’m excited to be nominated and hopefully my customers in Osoyoos and Oliver will jump on board and vote for me.”

Johnson launched Kobau Plumbing and Gas Fitting out of his Osoyoos home almost two years ago and is thrilled with the response.

“I’ve been working very long days, but I’m not complaining because that means business has been good,” he said. “It’s an uphill battle starting up your own business, but I’ve managed to keep getting busier with each passing month, so I have no complaints at all.

“When I started up two years ago on my own, I didn’t know if there would be enough work to make it locally, but I haven’t had to go outside of Oliver and Osoyoos and I’ve been busy every single day, so it has been great.

“I love my job and love my customers and it has been a really cool experience for me and getting this nomination is just a very pleasant surprise that is very much appreciated.”

The Small Business BC Awards are the most visible awards program in British Columbia for small business owners and entrepreneurs. A key part of the awards’ mission is to celebrate the contributions new and existing businesses registered across the province, with fewer than 50 employees, make to their local communities and global economy.

“Small Business BC takes great pride in celebrating entrepreneurs and helping them to become more successful,” said George Hunter, CEO at Small Business BC. “While individually small, these businesses have a big reputation across Canada and around the world.

“I am delighted to see Osoyoos’ vibrant business community entering the Small Business BC Awards to be recognized for their achievements both locally and globally.”

Sponsored by the provincial government, the Premier’s People’s Choice Award celebrates B.C.’s amazing entrepreneurs by recognizing a small business that is the heart of their community, said Hunter.

The Best Community Impact award, sponsored by Vancity, goes to the company that’s truly making a difference in their community, he said.

Recipients of Small Business BC Awards will be recognized with the Premier’s Prize in the amount of $1,500 cash. The winners will also be offered a one-year, all-access pass to Small Business BC education resources and experts and one-on-one business mentorship opportunities with notable advisors from award sponsors.

The contest is now open for nominations until end of business on Nov. 30. The public is invited to nominate their favourite small business for a Small Business BC Award.

Nominated business owners will be tasked with gaining as many votes as possible through social media, word of mouth, email or any other means possible.

The businesses with the highest number of votes in each award category will be announced as the Top 10 on Dec. 11. These nominees will then submit a detailed application that judges will use to determine the Top 5 finalists in each award category.

The top 5 winners will be announced on Jan. 29, 2016.

The Top 5 finalists will then be invited to present a 10-minute Dragons’ Den-style pitch to the judges to prove themselves as one of B.C.’s best small businesses.

The winners in each category will be announced at the annual Small Business BC Awards ceremony on Feb. 25 at the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel.

Clark said it’s very important to recognize and support small business owners, who are the largest employer in the province.

“Small businesses are the backbone of communities across the province. The Premier’s People’s Choice Award is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate a small business that goes the extra mile for its neighbours,” said Clark.

Since its inception, more than 3,500 entrepreneurs have participated in the Small Business BC Awards.

To vote for the two Osoyoos businesses already nominated or to nominate another local business, visit www.sbbcawards.ca.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

Chris Johnson, the proud owner of Kobau Plumbing and Gas Fitting Ltd. in Osoyoos, has been nominated for a Small Business BC Award, as has local chartered accountant Jane Long. Local residents can vote for either business online. (Richard McGuire photo)

Craig Johnson, the proud owner of Kobau Plumbing and Gas Fitting Ltd. in Osoyoos, has been nominated for a Small Business BC Award, as has local chartered accountant Jane Long. Local residents can vote for either business online. (Richard McGuire photo)

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