Burger55 named among B.C.’s top 10

Penticton restaurant in the running to be named top small business in the province

Chris Boehm puts the finishing touches on one of his custom burgers

Earlier this month, Chris Boehm was named one of the top 40 young entrepreneurs in Penticton, and now, his Burger55 restaurant has been named one of the top 10 businesses in the province.

Boehm is understandably pleased.

“We’re just a small little restaurant, 600 square feet,” said Boehm. “It’s all across B.C., so I would assume quite a few businesses are in there.”

Burger55 topped the public voting portion of the Small Business B.C. Awards. in the best company category, recognizing the small business that best demonstrates exceptional leadership and a proven track record of growth and profitability.

Burger55 has developed a following over the last four years, which helped when it came to the competition. Nominees had two months to gain as many votes as possible for their business using social media, e-communications and word of mouth. Those with the most votes in each award category have been named top 10 semi-finalists in the competition. This year a total of 417 nominations were received and 37,650 votes collected.

For Boehm and Burger55, it’s far from the first time they have been recognized. Besides making the top 40 list Boehm was young entrepreneur of the year in 2011 and the restaurant received best burger and veggie burger in the 2010 and 2011 Best Of The South Okanagan awards and business of the year in 2010.

Topping the list for recognition, though, was when the Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here dropped by last year to film a segment on the little burger place.

“That was fantastic for our business. I still feel the effects of that show,” said Boehm, recounting how a woman from Ontario recently phoned to buy gift certificates for her niece and nephew, who live locally. “That was just because she saw the show, she’s never been here.”

The Small Business B.C. Awards recognize the contributions outstanding B.C. entrepreneurs make in this province. Businesses in industries as diverse as manufacturing, technology and hospitality were nominated from 55 cities across B.C.

“It’s fantastic to see so many small businesses being recognized, not only for their success, but also for the positive impact they’re having on their local communities and the contributions they’re making to the economy,” said George Hunter, CEO of Small Business B.C. “With the high quality of nominees this year it’s going to be a tough job selecting the winners, but we’re very excited to see who comes out on top.”

Boehm still has some work to do in order to win the competition. First, there is a questionnaire that needs to be dealt with by mid-Janurary to help the judges decide what businesses will make the top three. And if Burger55 makes it to the next level, Boehm will be off to Vancouver to make a 10-minute presentation for the judges deciding on the winner.

“It’s a lot of extra stuff, but worth it,” he said. “It’s a $1,500 cash prize but just the recognition and the advertising out of it, that’s fantastic.”

The overall winners will be honored on Feb. 27, 2014 at the Small Business B.C. Awards Ceremony at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver. More information on the finalists and the Small Business B.C. Awards can be found at www.sbbcawards.ca.

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