Our business community has faced unparalleled disruption and uncertainty in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During these unprecedented times, we have witnessed powerful stories of resilience, heart, grit, compassion, determination, and leadership. Excellence in 2020 took on a whole new meaning and as such we are transforming our 6th annual WMBEXA Gala to showcase and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit and resiliency of the many businesses throughout our region.
On Thursday, May 27th we will virtually honor multiple businesses in each category who have demonstrated their ability to quickly adapt and respond to business disruptions in the face of the global pandemic and the economic hardship that it has caused. We have adapted our categories to better reflect what businesses experienced in 2020.
MICRO WARRIOR CATEGORY The Micro Warrior Category recognizes businesses with 1-5 employees who have demonstrated resiliency, perseverance, compassion, determination and an ability to adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19.
BUSINESS CHAMPION CATEGORY The Business Champion category recognizes businesses with more than 5 employees who have demonstrated resiliency, perseverance, compassion, determination and an ability to adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19.
SERVICE RE-IMAGINED CATEGORY This award celebrates businesses who took advantage of 2020 to build new connections with customers. Leveraging the new and often unprecedented circumstances of this past year, these businesses served customers in new and tailored ways. Whatever the specific circumstance, if you switched things up to better serve your customers, this category is for you.
COMMUNITY HERO CATEGORY This award celebrates businesses who went above and beyond to support the community in which they operate this year. It celebrates businesses that made outstanding contributions to the community. From pitching in to help neighbors, to launching a new business initiative that helps others during these challenging times, if you chipped in to support your community meet the challenges that 2020 has brought, this is the award for you.
BREAK OUT NEW BUSINESS CATEGORY The Breakout New Business category recognizes businesses that have been in operation for less than 3 years and have demonstrated perseverance and an ability to adapt to the challenges presented by the global pandemic. Under normal circumstances, entrepreneurs face many challenges; however, opening a business during a pandemic presents a whole new level of challenges. These entrepreneurs took the leap and have shown that they have what it takes to make it!
INFLUENTIAL EMPLOYER CATEGORY The Influential Employer category recognizes businesses that demonstrate leadership in their commitment to providing a safe workplace for staff and a safe environment for customers and clients.
“While we recognize that this year has been one of incredible hardship among the business community, it has also brought businesses and community together like we have never seen. It is our goal to recognize and celebrate the inspiring efforts and achievements of as many businesses as possible.” explained PSCC ED, Jaimie Malmgren.
Recognizing business owners have a lot on their plate, we have simplified the applications for this year in hopes of making it easier for everyone. We witnessed so many innovative and inspiring ways that businesses adapted to the challenges of the last year and want to be able to celebrate them all.
On February 15th, 2021, nominations will open for a two-week period. Nominations will be accepted from anyone……staff, customer/clients, family, colleagues, even self-nominations. Show you love for local by nominating a business or two. Applications will also open on February 15th but will remain open until Friday, March 12, 2021.
While it is not a requirement, nominees are encouraged to submit a short 1 min video explaining how COVID-19 impacted their business and how they’ve changed their operations to adapt. These videos will be shared on our social media platforms.