The Orillia and District Chamber of Commerce will be presenting its Business Achievement Awards, celebrating excellence in local business, at a red-carpet ceremony at the historic Orillia Opera House. Over forty local businesses have been nominated for the awards
This year’s awards are made possible with the support of presenting sponsor OLG, along with local business sponsors and the members of the chamber.
The awards program is open to all businesses operating in Orillia and area. Businesses are not required to be members of the chamber to be nominated. Award categories range from the Business Growth Award to the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The call for nominations went out in March and received a strong response. Over 50 nominations were received, and over A full list of nominees is available online.
This year’s awards will feature a completely revamped list of categories, including some brand new ones like the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award is introduced thanks to the support of Cloud Gallery and Georgian College. Cloud Gallery’s owner Mark Fletcher came up with the idea for the award to recognize the hard work of local entrepreneurs ages 18-35.
A few of the other new categories introduced this year are the Diversity and Inclusion Award, the Employer of the Year Award, and the Not for Profit or Charitable Organization Award. Several of the traditional categories will continue to be included but have been slightly tweaked to allow for broader eligibility. For example, the former Longevity Award is now the Milestone Award, meaning it will be awarded to businesses celebrating a significant milestone. The Technological Advancement Award has been rebranded as the Innovation Award, awarded to a business that has demonstrated creative or groundbreaking strategies in their operations.
Some of the categories that received the highest numbers of nominations are Milestone Award, which recognizes a business celebrating a significant anniversary in the previous year, and Customer Service Award, which recognizes a business that demonstrates an outstanding level of service that consistently surpasses customer expectations. Both categories received seven nominations each. Other popular categories included Small Business of the Year Award, New Business of the Year Award, and Not for Profit/ Charitable Organization Award.
The nominations were judged by a panel of volunteer judges that included representatives of local post-secondary institutions and business development organizations. For the first time since the inception of the awards program, the chamber used an online platform to facilitate nominations and judging. The platform used a scoring system that allows for a highly objective winner selection process.
The award ceremony takes place on May 25. All of Orillia and Lake Country’s business community are invited to attend and cheer on the winners as they accept their awards. The ceremony is free to attend, thanks to the generous support of the sponsors. Doors open at 6 p.m. for networking and red-carpet reception, and the formal part of the ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.
The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization made up of over 500 member businesses serving the City of Orillia, Severn Township, Ramara Township, Oro-Medonte Township and Chippewas of Rama First Nation.