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Chamber virtually celebrates best in business from 2020 (5 photos)

'I can honestly say I am proud of our business community,' says Orillia District Chamber of Commerce official at annual Business Achievement Awards

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:

Technological Advancement

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

Runner-Up: YLCC

Company Expansion

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

Customer Service

Winner: Georgian Bay Printers

Runner-Up: Pavetech

Longevity

Winner: The Bike Stop

Runner-Up: Orillia Area CDC

Green Award

Winner: The Birdhouse Nature Co.

Runner-Up: Green Storage

Strengthening Our Communities

Winner: Orillia Sports Medicine

Runner-Up: Eclectic Café

Overcoming Adversity

Winners: Crossfit Orillia and Rama Country Market

 Rebuilding Orillia

Winner: The Common Stove

Runner-Up: The Northern Joinery

Hats Off

Winner: Raquel Ness and Amber McGarvey-Moreland, Ripple of Kindness