by Stephen Dafoe

The Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce opted to take their annual awards event from an October Gala to a December luncheon add-on this year due to wanting to “to help businesses reduce extra entertainment costs in light of the slow economy.”

This year’s Awards Gala will take place along with the Chamber’s long-standing tradition of collecting toys for the Midstream’s Santa Store and food for the Morinville Food Bank during the Chamber’s Dec. 7 luncheon. The event will run from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the cultural centre.

Chamber Manager Diane Mineault said there would be entertainment at the event, but performers will be booked closer to the date.

Tickets for the event have dropped from $50 for the full glitz night last year to $35 for the enhanced Christmas luncheon event, catered by Premium Food Services. Tables of eight are available at $250, a further reduction of $3.75 per ticket.

“Next year we are planning to go back to our evening Gala,” reads a press release sent out Oct. 24 at Morinville News’ request for information.

But those wishing to nominate a business only have until Nov. 3 to do so. Nomination forms are available on the Chamber website at www.morinvillechamber.com and the Chamber office.

In the release, the Chamber said the Chamber Board of Directors would be talking with business within the town and county to get nominations along with the ones sent in through email.

“We are asking for nominations from everyone including the board,” Mineault wrote in a follow-up email. “Each board member has a copy of the nomination form that they can fill out or give to businesses to fill out.”

This year’s categories include Large Business of the Year (over 14 employees), Medium Business of the Year (5-13 employees), Small Business of the Year (1-4 full-time employees), Home Based Business of the Year (3 employees or less), Community Spirit Award (Not-for-Profit businesses), Business Legacy Award (long time business 8 years and over), Youth Customer Service Award (under 25 years old), and New Business of the Year Award (3 years or less).

Eligible businesses are those within the Chamber’s district, including Morinville, Sturgeon County, Legal, Gibbons, Bon Accord, Redwater, Nameo, Alexander First Nations, and Busby. Both Chamber members and non-members are eligible for nominations.

Businesses must be in business for more than three years except for New Business category to be eligible and they must demonstrate significant achievement in business regarding growth, sales, or expansion.

A full list of eligibility requirements is on the nomination form.

Those wishing to nominate a local business or two in a variety of categories can do so by downloading the nomination form here – or visiting www.morinvillechamber.com.

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