Requirements

• All businesses nominated must be within the limits of Sussex or the surrounding areas (see map) or be a member in good standing with the Sussex & District Chamber of Commerce.
• Businesses may be nominated for and accept the nominations for multiple awards, however, may only win one per award year
• Nominations may not be made by owners, employees or family of the business except for the employer of the year award which can be nominated by an employee
• Nominations open on Monday, November 9th, 2020
• Nominations close Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 at 12:00 noon sharp
• Nomination descriptions of why they are being nominated, may be shared with businesses, judges and/or for promotional purposes. Nominator names will not be shared.
• Winners from the previous year may not win in the same category the following year
• “Start Up Business Award” may only be won once
• All businesses must meet the award criteria, rules and regulations & are subject to review by the Chamber Board of Directors. All decisions are final
• Acceptances may be shared with our affiliates for ongoing, next level, regional awards
• Businesses must accept their nominations within the prescribed timelines in order to compete or be considered for an award

Award Descriptions

The SDCC reserves the right to adjust the quantity of awards granted for any category. The number of awards granted will reflect the number of nominations accepted for the category. All achievements described below must have occurred within the Award Year (November 1st, 2019 to October 31st, 2020).

Agricultural Award
• A Company that has made a substantial contribution to the field of agricultural development
• Innovation and creativity in business (production and/or processing, and/or sales and marketing)
• Proven business sustainability and/or growth
• Outstanding accomplishments in agriculture, aquaculture, and/or value-added food processing
• Shows active involvement in the community
• Dedication to environmental agricultural practices

Business Excellence Award
• Open to all businesses operating in the Sussex & District area or are members of the Sussex & District Chamber of Commerce in good standing
• Candidates will be judged on all the following criteria:
• Dedication to customer service
• Quality of product or service
• Innovation and creativity in business
• Consistent pre-sales and after sales customer service
• Proven business growth
• Outstanding business accomplishments
• Active involvement in the community and/or business associations
• Expertise in their industry

Community Award
• Strong record of exceptional generosity through direct financial support or through significant volunteer time
• Has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to philanthropy
• Has encouraged and motivated others in the business community to take leadership roles in philanthropy and community involvement
• Active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community

Employer of The Year
• A business with a minimum of 3 full time employees
• Business must have been profitable in the last year
• Must have a strong and sustainable structure for employee compensation, via benefits, wages and benefit practices
• Demonstrates strategic employee recruitment and retention activities
• Commitment to workforce development; employee training and education/professional development opportunities
• Displays commitment to providing programs for a happy and healthy workplace as part of its company goals and overall strategy
• A commitment to an inclusive workplace, with a strategy to recruit, hire and encourage a diverse workforce

Entrepreneur of The Year Award
• Individually owned and operated
• Successful in expanding their business
• True trendsetter in recognizing a new market, product, service, technological advancement or opportunity and led the way
• Business is profitable, has a comprehensive business plan and is ready for next-stage growth
• Shows true innovation and a willingness to take risks

Home Based Business of The Year Award
• Individually owned and operated business out of their home in Sussex, the surrounding areas or as a member in good standing with the Sussex & District Chamber of Commerce
• Active involvement in the community and/or business associations
• Business is profitable, has a comprehensive business plan
• Shown innovation and creativity in business
• Potential for sustainability of future business growth
• Overcoming challenges
• Dedication to customer service

Start Up Business Award
• Operating between 0-3 years
• Newly established
• Showed growth and success
• Nominees for this award should be exceptional leaders whose businesses and business practices affect our community
• Shown innovation and creativity in business
• Potential for sustainability of future business growth
• Overcoming challenges
• Active involvement in the community and/or business associations
• Has not previously won this award

People’s Choice Award
• Vote online for your favourite business via the form hosted by the Sussex & District Chamber of Commerce
• Pick a company that demonstrates one or all the below criteria:
• Principles and practices of excellence in customer service
• Going above and beyond expected service; friendly & helpful
• Value for money
• Product knowledge
• After-sales service

Woman of Influence
• Must be involved in a business for a minimum of the last 3 years
• Business must have been profitable in the last year
• She must hold a senior executive role or be the chief decision maker
• She must be the founder of the business, or have made a significant impact if the business was acquired
• She has brought positive change in the form of equality, inclusion and/or women’s security through their business practices
• Has taken on a role of mentor for other women in business through grassroots initiatives or via other organizations

Youth Entrepreneur of The Year Award
• An individual 29 years of age or younger by the nomination submission deadline of Nov 23rd, 2020
• An entrepreneur in business for at least 1 year
• Has demonstrated significant business achievement
• Has defined goals and a business plan
• Has overcome challenges and demonstrated good corporate citizenship
• Shows true innovation and a willingness to take risks

Nominations close: Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 at 12 noon sharp.

Acceptance
All businesses are provided the opportunity to accept their vetted nominations. Acceptances will be emailed to business owners, as they were supplied to the Sussex & District Chamber of Commerce via the nomination forms. Businesses must accept their nomination(s) via email in order to vie for / be considered for an award(s). The Sussex & District Chamber of Commerce holds no responsibility for incorrect emails submitted via the nomination form.
Acceptances will be sent out November 19th and will close November 23rd, 5pm sharp. We highly suggest that businesses ensure that their email accounts are monitored during this time. Businesses may be nominated under multiple award categories and may accept any that they wish to be considered for. Businesses may only win one award per year.

The SDCC cannot change or edit nominations once they have been submitted. If a business is nominated for a category to which they do not apply, the nomination is rejected. Once nominations close on Wednesday, November 18thth, 2020 at 12 noon sharp, all nominations are submitted to vetting as-is. There will be no exceptions for late acceptances.

Judging
Judges are a panel of influential individuals from across the Sussex area. Judges names will not be disclosed to ensure none are approached to influence their choices. Judging is confidential and online. Judges are not aware of category assignments of others on the judging panel.

In the event of a tie, it will be discussed during the private judge’s luncheon. Should a business win under multiple categories, the SDCC Award Administration will present the recommendation to the judging panel for approval. The judge’s decision is final.

People’s Choice Award
The People’s Choice Award is unique as it is by popular vote. Votes are open to members of the public. The method of this vote is via our online form.

In the event of suspicious voting, those votes will be cancelled by the SDCC and will not be accepted in the final tally. The SDCC’s decision is final.

The vote will open on November 19th and close on November 30th at 5pm sharp.

Awards Gala
Our Annual Awards Gala will be shown online on Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 at which time all awards will be announced.

Timelines
November 9, 2020 Nominations Open
November 18th, 2020 Nominations Close, 12 noon
November 19th, 2020 Open Acceptances
November 23rd, 2020 Close Acceptances, 5pm
November 24th, 2020 Chamber Board to Begin Judging, Open People’s Choice Award Vote
November 30th, 2020 Chamber Board Judging Closes, Close People’s Choice Award Poll, 5pm
December 3rd, 2020 Sussex & District Chamber of Commerce Celebration, all winners are announced