Nominations now being sought for business awards

Sam Odrowski

Do you know a business worth celebrating?
The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce once again is encouraging district residents to submit nominations for the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce’s 22nd-annual business awards.
“This is the opportunity for us to recognize local businesses for their great achievements and everything they do,” said Chamber executive director Jennifer Soderholm.
She would like to remind everybody that the nominations are open to all businesses in Rainy River District.
“This is not just open to Chamber members,” Soderholm stressed. “It’s open to any business in the community that an individual or person feels fits one of the categories of our awards.”
The deadline for nominations is Aug. 15, which is just under a month before the gala is set to take place Sept. 12 at La Place Rendez-Vous here.
The event regularly had been held in early February but was moved to September this year to allow organizers to properly plan for the new and improved business awards.
Soderholm noted that because it’s a complete revamp of the banquet, they will need longer to work out all the technical issues and logistics.
For instance, this year’s gala will be done in more of an “awards show” format compared to previous years.
“We have forgone the entertainment aspect and made it more, or are planning to make it more, like an Emmys show or an Oscars show,” Soderholm enthused.
“It’s going to be more of a prestigious event.”
Also new this year is the “Test of Time Award,” sponsored by the Royal Canadian Bank.
“This for any business that has endured [or] seen its share of hardships but has pushed through, persevered, and come through the other side stronger,” Soderholm explained.
“We just want to be able to recognize their achievement in staying the course and being a business that’s made it this long.”
The eight other award categories include:
•Business Woman of the Year;
•Customer Service Award (Business);
•Customer Service Award (Individual);
•Business of the Year (1-15 employees);
•Business of the Year (16+ employees);
•Home-Based Business;
•Small Business Trainer of the Year; and
•New Business Award (1-3 years in existence).
Soderholm is encouraging district residents to fill out a nomination form and support a business they feel fits any of the nine categories.
“It’s a great way of giving back to these people and to recognize them,” she reasoned. “This is our chance to say thank you.
“We rely on them a lot more than what we usually think about.”
To submit a nomination online, visit and fill out the digital form.
Alternatively, an application can be filled out in person at the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce office at 240 First St. E. (old high school).
Soderholm stressed the importance of nominating a business that district residents value and encourages them to have their say.
“This is really just a great way [for people] to give back to those businesses that have served them so well over the years and to recognize the great service they’ve received from them,” she reiterated.