There will be some changes to the Business Excellence Awards hosted by the Orléans Chamber of Commerce in 2016.
The changes will bring in judges, and put more emphasis on specific judged criteria instead of public voting, which is the way all the awards were determined in the past.
There are still four awards that will be selected by public vote, but now nine awards will be based on judges evaluating business accomplishments, level of expertise and community involvement.
The four public vote awards will still be vetted by the judges though, who will pre-select finalists based on criteria.
Chamber executive director Dina Epale said the decision to bring in judges was made based on feedback from members as well as standard practises at other chambers.
“We wanted to make a few changes based on feedback that we got from our membership,” he said. “That’s always key. And of the ideas was to have some of the sections and some of the categories being vetted by judges.”
Public voting on the judges vetted choices will be for the small business of the year award, large business of the year award, new business of the year award, and business person of the year.
Epale said the judges were specifically selected from outside Orléans, so none of them live in Orléans or own businesses within the boundaries.
The chamber has also clearly defined the boundaries of businesses that are eligible for the awards to make things “crystal clear” he said.
“In the past we’ve said Orléans, but our members are further than just Orléans, so we felt (we should) really make it clear and put in a boundary,” Epale said.
The boundaries for businesses eligible for awards in 2016 are the Ottawa River to the north, up to and including Cumberland Village to the east, Highway 417 to the south, and Vanier Parkway–Riverside Drive to the west.
The nomination period is now open at www.orleanschamber.ca.