The North Delta Business Association is taking umbrage with the lack of local representation among the finalists for this year’s chamber of commerce awards.
Last month, the Delta Chamber of Commerce announced the finalists for this years Hats Off to Excellence Awards, the organization’s annual celebration of the outstanding contributions made by the business community in Delta and the Tsawwassen First Nation.
Finalists were named for six of the seven awards: Rising Star, Small Business of the Year, Medium Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year, Community Impact and Business of the Year. Citizen of the Year will be announced at the annual awards gala, happening Nov. 18 at Tsawwassen Springs.
In a press release issued Monday (Oct. 31) NDBA president Ian Tait congratulates the chamber on hosting the awards for the past 71 years, but questioned why there were no North Delta businesses among this year’s 18 finalists.
“While [the Hats Off to Excellence Awards are] considered to be the premiere business event of the year for Delta businesses and individuals, we have to ask the question: where are the North Delta businesses?” Tait said.
Nominations for the awards come from the community at large as well as from the businesses themselves — a chamber membership is not required. Of this year’s 18 finalists, seven are based in and around Tilbury, five in and around Ladner, three in Tsawwassen First Nation, two in Tsawwassen and one on Annacis Island.
“We do not know how many North Delta businesses were nominated, however we know there have been finalists from North Delta recognized in past years,” Tait said. “We are also quite sure there are some remarkable businesses in North Delta that deserve to be considered and in the running for an award.”
The NDBA’s press release asserted that the lack of local representation among the finalists is “proof positive” that the association, which began operating in April 2022, is the only community business organization in Delta that truly represents the interests of North Delta businesses and all others that join its ranks.
In a statement provided to the North Delta Reporter, Delta Chamber of Commerce board chair Rosanne Horner said businesses and individuals from North Delta have been recognized both as finalists and as award recipients many times over the Hats Off to Excellence Awards’ 71-year history, including over the past several years, up to and including 2021.
“The Delta Chamber of Commerce always welcomes the public to provide submissions from all areas of the federal electoral district of Delta (City of Delta and Tsawwassen First Nation), which we represent — from North Delta to Annacis Island, Tilbury Industrial Park, Ladner, Deltaport, Tsawwassen, Boundary Bay Airport Industrial Park and Tsawwassen First Nation,” Horner said in an emailed statement.