Local Businesses Recognized at Excellence Awards Gala

Michael Todd, Stone Tree's director of operations, presented the Hospitality Award to Marnie Weiss and Marg Miller, owners of Red Hot Catering.

Michael Todd, Stone Tree’s director of operations, presented the Hospitality Award to Marnie Weiss and Marg Miller, owners of Red Hot Catering.

Owen Sound’s Chamber of Commerce, which is celebrating its 150th year, hosted the 23rd Annual Business Excellence Awards Gala last week at the Bayshore.

‘Based on comments received, it was the best ever,’ says Chamber President and CEO, Bert Loopstra.

The event was completely sold out at $75 per ticket, ($85 for non-members.) There were ‘over 330 people there,’ says Loopstra. ‘The ones that were singled out were over the moon.’

‘It’s humbling for us to be receiving an award for something we’re just doing,’ says Marc Brooks, Property Manager of Legacy Ridge & Stonetree, companies operated by Balner Golf Ltd who won the Environmental Stewardship Award.

Donna Kaufman from Flower Expressions who won the Service Excellence Award, says it’s a ‘great thing to nominate businesses who deserve the extra recognition. It’s a struggle to stay in business from one day to the next, so having someone notice makes it worthwhile.’

‘We’ve been at this 15 years and have a loyal clientele,’ says Marg Miller who owns Red Hot Catering with Marnie Weiss. She attributes their winning the Hospitality Award to their ‘good, hard-working staff.’

‘We get along. It’s not just business, we’re good friends,’ says Miller. ‘The awards have definitely helped us.’

‘It’s a struggle to stay in business from one day to the next, so having someone notice makes it worthwhile.’ This is Balner Golf Ltd’s second time winning in the 17 years they’ve operated in Owen Sound. Less than three years ago, they brought their environmental practices to Legacy Ridge. Since then, Brooks and the staff at Balner Golf Ltd have reduced the amount of pesticides used at the former Owen Sound Golf & Country Club by a staggering 70%.


‘We’re trying to do the right thing for the environment and it’s great to be recognized for that,’ says Brooks.

Other winners of this year’s awards are:

Business of the Year Award 25+ Employee – Peninsula Ford Lincoln
Business of the Year Award 1-25 Employees – Wave Equipment LTD
SOHO Award (Small Office Home Office) – Pioneer Planning Solutions
New Business of the Year Award – Elsie’s Diner
Service Excellence Award – Flower Expressions
Skilled Trade Award – Benedict Electrical
Young Entrepreneur Award – Spencer Wareham with Kilannan Brewing Company
Community Service Award – Owen Sound Attack
Hospitality Award – Red Hot Catering
Environmental Stewardship Award – Balnar Golf Ltd. (Legacy Ridge/Stone Tree)
Community Not-For-Profit Award – Kiwanis Club
People’s Choice Award – The Bleeding Carrot

‘That was really neat to see their reactions to receiving the award,’ says Loopstra. ‘We always do it around Small Business Week, because most of our businesses are small. It’s just a way of highlighting them once a year.’

Click Here to Watch the Video of the History of Owen Sound’s Chamber of Commerce





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Basics of Bookkeeping (Three part workshop)
Tuesday September 19th and 26th and Tuesday October 3rd, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
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This three part Bookkeeping Workshop will allow you to use the tools and information to confidently understand your financial statements and your own books. Class size is limited to 8 to allow a hands-on, individual learning opportunity for everyone.

Business Enterprise Centre Workshops

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Wednesday September 20th, 9:00 am – 11:30 am, Bayshore Community Centre
FREE – Pre-registration is required
Facilitator: Cliff Bilyea
Discover the basic steps involved in starting a business, evaluating your idea, determining your market and basic rules and regulations. Attending the is workshop is mandatory for anyone applying to the Starter Company Plus Program.

Business Enterprise Centre Workshops

Introduction to Quick Books (Two part workshop)
Tuesday October 17th and 24th, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Business Enterprise Centre Training Room, $80 (HST Included)
Instructor: Jane Gallagher
The first session of Quick Books provides participants with an overview and access to a trial version of the program. The second session will be questions and answers to address specific issues. Knowledge of basic bookkeeping principles is required. Limited to 8, you must bring your own laptop. (This workshop does not cover the online version of Quick Books)


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