It is no secret that owning and running a small business—or any-sized business, really—is a bold and arduous endeavour.
Throw in a years-long pandemic, inflation, supply chain shortages, rising taxes, CERB repayments and a housing and childcare crisis that makes it hard to find and keep staff, and Squamish business challenges can start to look like insurmountable obstacles.
Not to mention the need to pay higher wages, more employer-paid sick days, more statutory holidays, WorkSafeBC premiums, and an unpredictable seasonal customer base.
And yet, sitting at the Squamish Chamber Business Excellence Awards at the stunning CN Roundhouse and Conference Centre on Friday, it was clear that thanks to their creativity, talent, drive, and grit, many local entrepreneurs are not only surviving but they are thriving.
From the new-this-year businesses like Outbound Station, which won the New Business Award, to the long-established local businesses like the Squamish Valley Golf Club—it opened in 1967—which won the Medium/Large Business Award, Squamish businesses are keeping the engine of our economic train chugging along.
And despite what they have to overcome each day, most business owners in this town don’t just take their hard-earned money and call it a day; they give back—big time.
This is most evidenced by the annual Battle of the Businesses, which is on again now.
The fundraiser is a heated, friendly competition between local businesses to see which can raise the most money for Community Christmas Care.
Started in 2017, the fundraiser has garnered more funds each year. Last year, it brought in $77,000, and the goal this year is to raise $100,000 for those in need.
Our bet is on that goal being busted.
Find out more about the contest at Battle of the Businesses Squamish on Facebook and Instagram.
Soon, The Squamish Chief’s own 2023 Reader’s Choice Awards will be announced at a special ceremony to be held on Nov. 22 and printed in our pages the next day. The awards will celebrate beloved Squamish businesses, organizations, and people.
To all those who won at the chamber awards or who will win at ours, and to those business owners busting their butts every day in this town and perhaps not getting the recognition they deserve for doing so, kudos.
Thank you for all you do to make this town the quirky, unique, breathtakingly beautiful home it is.