The Small Business BC Awards recognizes the contributions and achievements of BC small business owners – entrepreneurs just like you.

The Small Business BC Awards contest is open to all new and existing businesses registered in BC with fewer than 50 employees. Businesses can be nominated in as many award categories as they’re eligible for.

General Eligibility

  • Nominees must be starting or growing a small business in British Columbia, Canada.
  • Companies must be registered British Columbia based businesses to be eligible.
  • Nominees must be the founder/owner of the business or have had (or will have) a significant impact on the company if acquired.
  • Nominees must own (or will own) shares in the company, hold (or will hold) a senior executive title and/or be the chief decision maker. They must be responsible (or plan to be responsible) for the day-to-day management and the financial bottom line of the business.
  • Past Small Business BC Awards finalists (Top 10 or Top 5) and nominees may re-enter into the same or alternate categories the following year. Past Small Business BC Awards winners are prohibited from entering the category in which they won, but are eligible to enter alternate categories should they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Nomination applications must be submitted online by 11:59pm on November 30, 2020.
  • Review the specific eligibility criteria for each award category prior to entering the contest. Small Business BC reserves the right to disqualify any entries that do not meet specific award criteria.
  • Nominees must not operate businesses that are sexually exploitative or that feature sexually explicit entertainment, products or services; businesses that are engaged in or associated with illegal activities; businesses trading in countries that are proscribed by the Canadian federal government; and any other commercial activities deemed inappropriate by Small Business BC.
  • Inappropriate, disrespectful or offensive language will not be accepted as part of  SBBC Award applications and will be removed.  SBBC will contact the nominated business to address this issue.

General Rules

  • Small Business BC reserves the right to update the Rules of the Small Business BC Awards at any time and will do our best to keep nominees informed of changes, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the nominees to be aware of any updates.
  • Nominees understand that the Small Business BC Awards should not be construed as an endorsement or determination of future success of your business.
  • Non-profit organizations are NOT eligible for the Best Company Award because this award is reviewed as a commercial venture and will recognize a nominee based on a for-profit business.
  • Franchisees are NOT eligible for the Small Business BC Awards because nominees must be the founder of the original business concept and structure. BC based franchisors are eligible to enter if they meet specific award criteria and have less than 50 employees in their corporate office/headquarters.
  • Small Business BC staff members are not eligible to enter.
  • Businesses may be nominated in one or more categories as long as the business meets the eligibility criteria for each award.
  • The Small Business BC Awards judging panel will be made up of selected representatives from the BC business community. By entering the Small Business BC Awards, you accept that the judges decisions will be final.
  • All shortlisted finalists authorize SBBC to identify them (name/picture) in connection with the Small Business BC Awards through press, broadcast and online promotions.
  • There are three rounds in the Small Business BC Awards selection process:
    • Nomination & Votes: The Top 10 finalists, in each award category, will be shortlisted based on top votes and announced by Mid-December, 2020. Vote tallies will not be made available to the public, or to the nominated companies, due to the normalization calculation process.
    • Shortlist Applications: The Top 5 finalists, in each award category, will be selected from the Top 10 shortlisted nominees based on top scores on the application forms and announced Mid-January, 2021.
    • Business Pitch Presentations: One winner, in each award category, will be selected from the Top 5 finalists based on the top score at the Business Pitch Presentations and will be announced at the Small Business BC Awards Gala in February, 2021 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Nomination Rules

  • Nominations are open to first-party and third-party.
  • In the case of third-party nominations, the owner/s of the business nominated will be notified of its nomination by Small Business BC to confirm their participation in the contest before their nomination is published on the Small Business BC Awards website.
  • In the case of third-party nominations the name of the nominator will not be kept confidential and will be released to the nominee.
  • Businesses can be nominated in multiple award categories as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Contest entries must be submitted online through the Small Business BC Awards website. Small Business BC will not accept entries via mail, in-person, fax or email.

Voting Rules

  • All nominees are encouraged to share their nomination with their networks via email, social media and other means of communication to collect votes.
  • The voting period to shortlist the top 10 nominees, in each award category, is from October 1, 2020 – November 30, 2020.
  • Voting closes at 11:59pm on November 30, 2020.
  • Only one vote per person is allowed, per nominee, per category. Voters can vote once for their favorite business in every category they’re nominated in.
  • All votes will be normalized based on the 2019 BC Regional District population figures in order to create equal opportunity for all small businesses across BC.
  • The Top 10 semi-finalists will be selected based on top votes in each award category.

Top 10 Semi-finalist Application Rules

  • Top 10 semi-finalist nominees will receive a link to an Extended Application Form by December 12, 2020. They must submit the completed form, with supporting documents (if requested) by 11:59pm on January 7, 2021.
  • The Small Business BC Awards judging panel will review all Extended Applications to determine the Top 5 finalists to move forward to the next round, Business Pitch Presentations.

Business Pitch Presentation Rules

  • As a Top 5 finalist, nominees will be requested to present a 10 minute pitch to a judging panel at the Small Business BC office in Vancouver (or via Skype or video conference if outside the Lower Mainland).
  • Pitches will take place early February, 2021.
  • Details on the presentation format will be provided to the Top 5 finalists.
  • Pitches will be followed by a short Q & A session from the judging panel.
  • After all of the finalists have completed their pitches, the judging panel will decide on the winners for each category based on each of the awards’ criteria. Judges decisions are final. Winners will be selected on the day of the pitch but not announced until the Small Business BC Awards Gala.

Prize Rules

  • The winner of each category will be recognized with a cash prize in the amount of $1,500, and will be rewarded a One-Year All-Access Pass to Small Business BC Seminars and “Talk To An Expert” Services.
  • The One-Year All-Access Pass includes:
    • All Seminars valued between under $70 (view the current seminar listing). Seminars are available in-person (at the Vancouver office) or available throughout BC via webinar.
    • All “Talk To An Expert” services valued between $0 to $40 (view current Talk to an Expert Services). These are accessible in-person or via Skype.
  • The One-Year All-Access Pass excludes:
    • Seminar Packages including, but not limited to, the Focused Business Planning and the Business Finance Package.
    • Advisory Services including, but not limited to, Business Plan Review Services, Market Research Advisory Service and Trade Advisory Service.
  • Any employee of the winning business may participate on behalf of the business owner, however only ONE person may access SBBC’s resources at any given time. All services must be accessed during a one year period commencing March 1, 2021 and ending March 1, 2022. Any education or expert services wishing to be attended after that time must be paid in full through normal SBBC booking procedures.
  • All services MUST be booked online on the Small Business BC website or through a SBBC Client Services Representative using the unique Access Code printed on the All-Access Pass. SBBC reserves the right to make changes to the All-Access Pass usage and to end the privilege of the card holder if the rules are not followed.

Confidentiality Clause

  • Small Business BC agrees to keep all applications and related documents confidential and agrees not to reproduce/distribute/communicate the information within, except to the members of the judging panel, without expressed written consent of the contest entrant.
  • All nominations, applications and business pitch presentations will be kept confidential, available only to the judging panel, and kept in a secure location during the judging process.


  • November 30, 2020 (11:59pm): Nominations & Voting Deadline
  • December, 2020: Top 10 Shortlisted Nominees Announced (in each category)
  • January, 2021: Shortlist Applications Due
  • January, 2021: Top 5 Finalists Announced
  • February, 2021: Business Pitch Presentations (Top 5 Finalists)
  • February, 2021: Small Business BC Awards Gala (Winners Announced)