Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, local business owners, event organizers, and politicians were still able to gather (virtually) this year to celebrate the achievements of Orillia’s business community.
The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce (ODCC) held its annual Business Achievement Awards Thursday night where 90 locally owned businesses and organizations from Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Ramara, Severn Townships, and Rama First Nation were up for awards to acknowledge their efforts over the past year.
This year's ceremony marked the first time the event went fully virtual, which presented the ODCC team a great challenge, says Bill Ecklund, president of the ODCC.
“The task of putting together the Business Achievement Awards is always a tough one, and this year with the effects of COVID-19, the task was especially daunting,” he said.
“Much goes on behind the scenes to put on the Business Achievement Awards, from going through the list of the great and many deserving nominees to lining up sponsors. It’s tough putting together an event, and putting together a virtual event is even tougher.”
Ecklund praised Nathan Housser, First Vice President and Chair of the Business Achievement Awards event, and the whole Business Achievement Awards committee for a job well done.
Housser says his committee put a lot of effort into this year's event because of the importance of recognizing the Orillia business community for their efforts over the past year.
“I can honestly say I am proud of our business community. We’ve had to make changes to the way we do business and find new ways to serve our community while keeping them and our employees safe,” he said.
The final award handed out on the night was the chamber’s top honour, the Hats Off award, which was received by Ripple of Kindness Orillia Chapter, co-founded and led by Raquel Ness and Amber McGarvey-Moreland.
Ripple of Kindness Orillia Chapter is a group of women who have come together with goal of making an impactful donation to local organizations. Since their 2019 inauguration, the charity organization has raised $83,000.
“We really want to thank the chamber for presenting us with this award. Be kind to yourself and be kind to your community,” said Ness.
You can watch this year's ODCC Business Achievement Awards event in its entirety here.
Here's a list of winners:
Winner: Moulded Precision Components (MPC)
Runner-up: The Rossman Team
Regional Economic Development
Winner: Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC)
Runner-up: Moulded Precision Components (MPC)
Leadership and Training
Winner: Orillia Sports Medicine
Winner: Cavana Ridge
Runner-Up: Ever After Bridal & Stonebridge Design Co.
Site Enhancement- Renovation and Upgrade
Winner: Couchiching Brewery
Runner-Up: Creative Nomad Studios
Marketing and Promotion
Winner: The Northern Joinery
Runner-Up: Couchiching Brewery
New Business of the Year
Winner: Quayle’s Brewery
Runner-Up: The Common Stove
Winner: Georgian Bay Printers
Winner: The Bike Stop
Runner-Up: Orillia Area CDC
Winner: The Birdhouse Nature Co.
Runner-Up: Green Storage
Strengthening Our Communities
Winner: Orillia Sports Medicine
Runner-Up: Eclectic Café
Winners: Crossfit Orillia and Rama Country Market
Winner: The Common Stove
Runner-Up: The Northern Joinery
Winner: Raquel Ness and Amber McGarvey-Moreland, Ripple of Kindness