Vancouver Island Small Businesses Named Top Finalists

March 15, 2022

VANCOUVER ISLAND – Two local small businesses were announced as a top five finalists in the provincial Small Business BC Awards for gaining the unwavering and loyal support of their community and for leveraging the challenges faced throughout the pandemic to improve their business.

Lil’ Ronnie’s BBQ, owned by Ronnie Lee in Tofino, is a true wood fire BBQ & live music restaurant, providing a venue for people to enjoy delicious food and live music.

Nature Bee, owned by Katie Gamble in Saanichton, produces beeswax wraps using locally-sourced materials to serve as an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastics.

The Small Business BC Awards, presented by Kwantlen Polytechnic University, are an annual celebration of entrepreneurship, honouring the hard work, dedication and positive local impact of small businesses. The awards received 636 small business nominations in 88 communities across the province. Nominations represented businesses in a wide range of industries, from hospitality and service to technology and healthcare.

“From the number of votes received, it’s clear that BC residents appreciate how much small businesses have been through these past two years, and once again, they’ve come forward to show their support and appreciation,” says Small Business BC CEO, Tom Conway. “For entrepreneurs like Ronnie Lee and Katie Gamble, knowing they’re valued and appreciated by their community is everything. These awards are a chance to say thank you to the businesses we love.”

SBBC Business Impact Award Finalists

Lil’ Ronnie’s BBQ and Nature Bee were both nominated for the SBBC Business Impact Award for leveraging the challenges faced throughout the pandemic to improve their business and to better serve their community. After gathering enough votes to take them into the top 20, the businesses were then assessed by an internal panel of business experts who narrowed down the competition and named them as top five finalists.

The top five finalists for the SBBC Business Impact Award will be invited to present to a panel of judges, pitching why their business should win the award. A panel of past SBBC Award winners, business professionals and advisors will then select the winner, and the first and second place runners up. Both winners will be announced at the SBBC virtual awards gala on April 28, 2022.


The SBBC Business Impact Award category prizes include:

  • 1st place: $8,000
  • 2nd place: $4,000
  • 3rd place: $1,500

All winners and top five finalists will receive an extended business education and advisory package from Small Business BC to support their continued business growth.

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