The South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce will hold its delayed annual business excellence awards online this week in an event 'called A Celebration of Resilience'. (File photo)

Businesses honoured in South Surrey White Rock Chamber awards

Online ceremony paid tribute to resilience and also the support of frontline service workers

The South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce honoured outstanding businesses on the Semiahmoo Peninsula in a special online ceremony Thursday night (May 27).

The chamber’s 22nd annual business excellence awards, while delayed several months this year by the pandemic, were presented in a streamed virtual program titled A Celebration of Resilience.

Popular fine-dining venue Tap Restaurant was named business of the year in the small category (1-10 employees, sponsored by Cleveland Doan LLP)

Flinnwest Solutions Inc., which specializes in custom-made websites and digital marketing assets, got the nod for business of the year in the medium category (11-25 employees, sponsored by Peace Arch News).

And Amica White Rock, specializing in seniors independent living and residential care, claimed business of the year honours in the large category (26 or more employees, sponsored by SFU).

New business of the year award (sponsored by Starline Windows) went to Mainland Whisky, manufacturers of American-style whiskies and whisky liqueurs, which pivoted, at the outbreak of COVID-19, to also offer hand-sanitizer products to charities, government organizations, non-profits, and commercial enterprises.

In other awards, XBa School of Dance was recognized as business of the year in the supporter of the arts category (sponsored by Oceana PARC), community builder honours went to Everbean Cafe and Community, and Peace Arch Hospital Foundation was named non-profit organization of the year (sponsored by Amica White Rock).

In business leader of the year awards, Faith Gibson of Mink Chocolates was honoured in the self-owned category (sponsored by Janzen Insurance); Sandra Christian, Creative Kids Learning Centers was recognized in the corporate category (sponsored by PwC); and Ramandeep Dhaliwal of WR Mattress Gallery won top honours in the under-40 category (sponsored by Kwantlen Polytechnic University).

In her introduction to the ceremony, chamber board president Patricia Lapena paid tribute to the resilience of all South Surrey and White Rock businesses through COVID-19, noting that “there is not one business that has not been affected by this pandemic.”

“We have had businesses that were able to pivot and thrive; ones that have had to continue to regroup with the ever-changing restrictions, and those, also, that have had to dig deep and recreate to go forward,” she said.

Chamber executive director Ritu Khanna also offered a message of gratitude for “how our amazing and unique community has come together through the pandemic to support one another.”

She also paid tribute to the “frontline service workers in all sectors who we rely upon, and often take for granted.

“It’s the critical services that they provide that help our local economy and community continue to move ahead,” she said.

For full information on all award recipients, visit

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