Sabrina Kossler of Business Development Canada presents the Business of the Year Award to Canadian Fishing Company plant manager Tom Coleman.

Sabrina Kossler of Business Development Canada presents the Business of the Year Award to Canadian Fishing Company plant manager Tom Coleman.

Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce honours business excellence

The Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce honoured local businesses on Saturday night, handing out 11 business excellence awards in a variety of categories.

The Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce honoured local businesses on Saturday night, handing out 11 business excellence awards in a variety of categories.

The Rookie Business of the Year award went to Stuck On Designs, with the print shop getting the nod over Good Times Games and Electronics and Gutter Brothers. Small Business of the Year: Trades, Industry and Transportation was awarded to Kristoff Trucking, who was chosen over North pacific Seaplanes and Quickload CEF; the Small Business of the Year: Hospitality, Tourism , Service was awarded to Opa Sushi in a category that also included Cow Bay Café and West Coast Launch; and the Small Business of the Year: Retail was handed out to Farwest Sport and Cycle, with Cook’s Jewellers and Homework also nominated.

The Aboriginal Business of the Year was given to Gutter Brothers, which was nominated alongside Grassy bay Services and H2O Adventures, and the Chamber Member of the Year award was presented to the Prince Rupert Northern View, with Pacific U-Brew/Kerrie Desjardin and Northern Savings Credit Union also nominated.

The Volunteer Organization of the Year included the Prince Rupert Special Events Society, the Salvation Army and the SPCA as finalists, with the Special Events Society being selected.

The Excellence in Customer Service Award was presented to HawkAir, which was chosen over the Crest Hotel, Good Times Games and Electronics and Kathy’s Hair Design, and Cowpuccino’s won the Community Involvement Award in a category that included fellow community supporters Overwaitea and Tim Horton’s.

Dave’s Oyster Bar, which was the subject of filming for the Food Network’s The Opener was named Business Newsmaker of the Year ahead of the Crest Hotel and the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

The Business of the Year Award finalists included the Canadian Fishing Company, Prince Rupert Home Hardware and Northern Savings Credit Union, and the 2010 Business of the Year in Prince Rupert is the Canadian Fishing Company.

And while the focus of the evening was honouring business excellence, there was an overriding theme of optimism from those who accepted and presented the awards.

“There is just going forward, there is no more going back. Yes Prince Rupert has had its ups and downs…But I see nothing but positive growth for this port in the years ahead,” said Kristoff Trucking owner Murray Kristoff.

“The attitude has changed from ‘I don’t want to be here’ to ‘I’m looking forward to the future. That is important to see happen…When the attitude changes, that is what turns around business. The business that sees that attitude change and experiences it is going to see growth,” said Chamber of Commerce president Maynard Angus.