Dufferin Board of Trade Business Excellence Awards

The 2023 BEAs recognize outstanding local businesses and nonprofits who work to benefit both our local economy and the wellbeing of our community. Nominations are submitted by community members who wish to recognize and celebrate local hardworking organizations. Winners are determined by judges from outside the area, based on how the nominee exemplifies the award criteria.

Award nominees live and breathe their corporate values, have survived the challenges of the past few years, and are making our community better by being part of it. Nominations are open to DBOT members and non-member businesses located in Dufferin County. Nominees are eligible for nomination in as many categories as applicable..

After nominations close, nominees are asked a few questions through an online survey to help tell their stories. Their responses are sent to judges from outside our area for non-biased judging.  Nominees’ logos and stories are also added to our website and social media to further promote these outstanding local businesses and showcase Business Excellence in Dufferin. Nominees will be presented with a certificate of their nomination by municipal council &/or DBOT staff and volunteers, with the Award winners announced at a special Gala Evening May 18th at Monora Park.

2023 Award Categories

Business of the Year

Recognizes a local business for noteworthy accomplishments, long-standing contributions to Dufferin County, and significant community involvement. This business demonstrates best business practices, is a leader amongst local business, and has:

  • been in business longer than two years;
  • champions “Thinking Local” within the organization, and to the community;demonstrated innovate and pro
  • active leadership;
  • made exceptional contributions to our community’s wellbeing; and
  • practiced good corporate citizenship.

Businessperson of the Year Award

This award is presented to a local business person that has shown leadership, community involvement and is a pioneer and mentor in the business community. A business leader who:

  • sets an example of positive leadership;
  • projects a positive image in the community;
  • works to motivate and encourage other entrepreneurs;
  • promotes a positive image of Dufferin County and/or its people;
  • actively contributes to the growth of the community, and support of local initiatives; and
  • has been active in the community for a minimum of five years.

Inclusivity Champion Award

This Award recognizes a local business or non-profit in our community who has policies and practices of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those having physical or mental disabilities or belonging to other minority groups. Some ways this organization demonstrates their inclusivity may include:

  • being an active participant on DBOT’s LGBTQ+ Safe Space &/or Accessible Business Trails (optional, but recommended);
  • educating and training their staff and volunteers on diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • setting an example of inclusivity best practices for other local organizations to follow;
  • ensuring employees and customers are clearly aware of their inclusivity efforts; and
  • creating new and innovate ways to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community.

Responsible Business Award

Recognizes a local business or non-profit who demonstrates both social and environmental responsibility in their business practices.  This organization is committed to making life better by being a good steward of the environment, a good employer, and a good business. Some ways this organization demonstrates their responsibility may include:

  • being an active participant on DBOT’s Socially Responsible &/or Environmentally Responsible Trails (optional, but recommended);
  • taking tangible steps towards bettering our environment and our society. Steps which may include:
  • paying a living wage, having clear and inclusive hiring practices, changing to more earth-friendly products, implementing a local purchasing policy, etc.
  • this business may have, or be working towards obtaining, “B Corp” status, or other similar status

Innovation Award

Awarded to a business or organization that is a trailblazer of our local business community, striving ahead to achieve remarkable results. Innovators are committed, determined, and skilled game-changers in their industry, and have:

  • created, invented or developed an innovative product or process that has had a significant impact on the local community;
  • made innovative improvements in their products, processes, technology, management, or customer service;
  • been a socially responsible, engaged member of the local business community; and
  • been in operation for a minimum of two years.

Community Builder Award 

Honours a for-profit business that demonstrates outstanding community involvement and embraces the notion of giving back, with community investments that have resulted in an improved quality of life in our region, and increased community well-being.  The Community Builder:

  • invests in the lives of others and actively contributes to making Dufferin a great place to live and work;
  • has initiatives that demonstrate a sustained and long‐term commitment to improving the quality of life and community well-being in Headwaters;
  • has policies and practices that demonstrate accountability and responsibility to the community; and
  • actively supports existing community building programs, or establishes new programs and initiatives.

Chairman’s Award

This is awarded at the discretion of the Chair of the DBOT Board of Directors. Nominations are not accepted for this award.