2019 Nanaimo Business Awards – Best in Creative Services

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING

What three core values make up HA Photography’s foundation? Professionalism, customer care, and community service. Dirk is sought after for his industry knowledge and expertise, visionary approach to impact branding, and forging synergies with small business partners. He is a welcoming and a trusted professional who takes the time to understand each client’s unique needs and desire to standout amongst others. As a fixture in the community, Dirk is committed to community and frequently offers a range of in-kind services to a variety of local charitable organizations. He believes that his “respected reputation and top-notch customer care have set me apart from my colleagues and made me the go-to photographer in Nanaimo.”

For Dirk, winning the award for “Best Creative Services” “topped of a completely stellar day.” “OMG, I was totally thrilled and could not have been happier!” Dirk had a very successful shoot earlier that day in Sooke with FortisBC capturing images of a hand drum making workshop on the Scia’new traditional territory. Winning the award has given HA Photography further recognition and profile.  This is important to Dirk as he wants to “continually raise the stature of what it means to be a professional photographer.”

There are some exciting changes coming up at HA Photography. Currently in the works is a new website featuring stock images of Nanaimo and the local area. This new website will have many new images and more information for Dirk’s clients. HA Photography is also looking for an upgraded look for the logo.  In short, there are a great deal of new things coming down the line.

Check out HA Photography’s website heydemannphoto.com, like them on Facebook at HA Photography, or follow them on Instagram at @dirk.heydemann!

Click here to download PDF.

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2019 Nanaimo Business Awards – Best Large Business

Harmac Pacific is a green power generating facility and a 400,000 metric tonnes per year of Northern Bleached Kraft Pulp business.  Their products are 100% produced from regional sawmill and timber harvesting waste.  Their wood pulp is sold all over the world to produce high quality paper, packaging, and other materials essential to supporting a healthy and educated society.

Harmac Pacific makes unique products but what really sets it apart from the competition is the ownership structure since 2008.  The 340 employees own one-quarter of the company, are represented on the board of directors, and directly share in the financial success of the business.  Harmac’s employees are highly motivated to perform their best all the time.  The other shareholders in the business are committed to long-term success, demonstrating this through supporting the reinvestment of $200 million since 2008.

Among Harmac’s employees, winning the award rekindles the feeling of pride and power in their business model. It has also helped draw attention from other businesses looking to partner with them in synergistic ways.  Harmac Pacific continues to invest in its long-term future with an eye on improving competitiveness through ongoing equipment upgrades and strategic acquisitions.

To learn more about Harman Pacific and what they do in our community visit their website at www.harmacpacific.com.

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The ‘Greening’ of Business in Nanaimo

Our new City Council has taken some major steps toward Nanaimo evolving as a community firmly committed to a ‘greener’ future.  Following Council’s declaration of a ‘climate emergency’ in April, they have begun adopting policies that reflect shifting municipal philosophies to address some of the elements of human-influenced climate change.

They’ve made changes to city planning to increase our community’s walkability while appealing to the province for more transit hours to create the greatest single expansion of public transit service in our history. City staff are working on recommendations to Council on ways to regulate single use consumer plastic bags. We’ve long been targeting ‘zero waste’ in attempts to divert as much as possible from our landfill and extend its life while also encouraging citizens to reduce their water and energy use. As much as legislated actions will help minimize climate change, we need to strike initiatives on our own in our businesses and our homes.

Committing to a major shift in our thinking and practices is vital to extending our lease on this planet. This longer lease will give us more time to figure out how to balance, or more fully integrate, environmental concerns with a heathy and strong economy for the future. Rather than looking at managing climate change as an expense, business needs to look at the opportunities to create efficiencies through enhanced energy management, waste diversion, reduction and reuse activities, and other green initiatives.

Seeking out potential business opportunities in this new economy is paramount in unison with the motive of saving money and protecting the planet for future generations. Businesses are doing this in a wide and diverse manner. There are a number of local businesses either operating, expanding or planning on opening to serve new markets created by this ‘green’ shift in our thinking and actions. The term coined to describe this approach is ‘the circular economy’. Take a look around and see where what actions you’re taking and how you’re impacted by this emerging economy.

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2019 Nanaimo Business Awards – Best New Business

Live·Laugh·Eat/Repeat

Famous Franks, the winner of the New Business Award in the 2019 Nanaimo Business Awards, is a small, local business that sells comfort food fast and fresh.  You can find them located at Nanaimo Northtown Centre beside Canadian Tire most days, at events across Vancouver Island, and at the Commercial Street Night Market on Thursday nights throughout the summer.

Famous Franks strives to provide their customers with the freshest ingredients.  They also are big supports of other local businesses such as Cobs, who provides all their fresh baked buns.  Their goal is to bring you comfort food made fresh in minutes.

Their chef, Tao Breese, is “a bombastic man with charisma and an explosive personality” who “enjoy[s] meeting new people, learning new things, and keeping people happy.”

Famous Franks is honoured to have been recognized by the community as the Best New Business in Nanaimo in 2019.  To them, the awards shows the hark work and dedication they have put in over the last few years to realize their dream of “bringing comfort food to Nanaimo in minutes.”  Since winning the award there are plans in the works to expand their menu and add another food truck to better serve Vancouver Island.

Check out their website at famousfranks.ca, like them on Facebook at Famous Franks Nanaimo, or follow them on Instagram at @famousfranks!

Click here to download PDF.

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Developing Nanaimo’s Economy

Nanaimo’s economy arrived at a ‘sweet spot’ over the last 18 months allowing the business community to boast its lowest unemployment rate in decades and a healthy, growing GDP. Our population is noted to have passed the 100,000 mark evidenced by the release of 2016 census data. We’re seeing signs of that growth in burgeoning building and development statistics.

2019 will go on record as having the highest value of building permits issued in the city’s history. The work to keep pace with demand on real estate partially fuels the growing economy, as much as the people moving here create new business. Major projects by the Port of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island University and the growth of the health care community are some of the major moves.

It’s the perfect time for Nanaimo to take on new endeavours in managing this growth and targeting specific sectors and industries to harness future prosperity. Economic development generates wealth and provides opportunities across the socio-economic spectrum enhancing the quality of life for the whole population.

Targeting economic development efforts at the kind of businesses we want to see grow in Nanaimo is vital to managing a healthy future for ourselves, our kids and grandkids. Aiming our sights on clean, green businesses that employ numbers of people in family-sustaining careers is an obvious goal, and preparing our community to welcome, support, and retain these kinds of businesses is essential to economic development.

Nanaimo is embarking on new economic development initiatives. After a rocky experience with its municipal corporation – the NEDC—City Council is identifying new ways to manage the future. Actions are currently underway that will see a much more active role by Council, civil servants, community economic development stakeholders like the Chamber to take advantage of this ‘sweet spot’.

Now is the time to direct actions and investments towards attracting business outside of our community to consider Nanaimo for entrepreneurial startups, relocation of established businesses and expansion of those already in place. Nanaimo’s new economic development activities are destined to do just that.

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2019 Nanaimo Business Awards – Best in Builders and Trades

Safety, Service, and Reliability

Congratulations West Coast Helicopters on winning the award for best in Builders and Trades in the 2019 Nanaimo Business Awards!  West Coast Helicopters offers a versatile aerial approach to support remote construction jobs across Vancouver Island.  Whether it be moving crews, slinging construction material or pouring concrete, West Coast Helicopters always finds a way to get the job done.  Their maintenance staff has also provided reliable and professional service to many other helicopter outfits over the years.

“It was a great honour for all of us at West Coast Helicopters to receive this award.  We have serviced the builders and trades community of greater Nanaimo for more than 20 years now and to be recognized in this way brings a great deal of pride to our team.  Showcasing this award on our front desk and across our social media platforms has reinforced what our committed clientele has already come to know of our service.”

West Coast Helicopters has grown so much as a company and would love to extend their services into the tourism industry here in Nanaimo.  They know of the growth and potential within the tourism sector and believe they “can offer a very exciting element to any tour package looking for a beautiful thrill!”

Check out their website at www.westcoasthelicopters.com, like them on Facebook at West Coast Helicopters Maintenance & Contracting Ltd., or follow them on Instagram at @westcoasthelicopters!

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Making Connections – Our Ultimate Goal

Nanaimo’s second annual Commercial Street Night Market — part street party, part artisan market, part food fest — kicked off in late June and is likely to boast big crowds until the end of August.

2019 Jonathan Ha Photography

Considered a huge success again, we’re incredibly happy that it brings together so many community members in an outstanding celebration of pride-of-place.

 

In May, the Nanaimo Chamber was the proud recipient of the BC Chamber Executives’ Award for Community & Member Engagement among ‘large’ Chambers in the province. This Award recognized the efforts of our staff and our many volunteers – from board members to Ambassadors to our event volunteers.

Considered for the 2019 Award were the Chamber’s efforts in non-partisan, civic leadership and government advocacy activities. The Chamber was lead organizer of many All-Candidate election events in Nanaimo for the past few years. In the lead-up to the 2018 municipal election we produced a series of Civic Leadership Workshops and presented widely-attended All-Candidate “meet and greets” and candidate debates.

Another consideration was the Chamber’s role in representing the voice of business addressing increasing homelessness problems, plus consequences to our community overall and the business community in particular. The Chamber has a seat on the City’s Homeless Coalition and Emergency Shelter Community Advisory Committees and looks forward to continuing to work on short and long-term solutions. While we are a compassionate community, safety and security for businesses and residents are a primary priority and core value of the Chamber.

The 2018 Commercial Street Night Market was also highlighted by judges – an event that went a long way to seeing Nanaimo’s downtown take some steps toward renewal. This event was so successful that we’ll all be enjoying a bigger, better, more fantastic version this summer.

Our gratitude to all who played a part in these or any of our other Chamber successes – and there are many! It’s been a great honour for the Chamber to work in the community over the years to earn this provincial recognition.