Emma Thomson, of Maple Roch maple syrup company in Summerland, with some of their product at the Penticton Farmers’ Market. The company is one of 100 semifinalists in 10 categories for this year’s Small Business B.C. Awards.                                (Mark Brett/Western News)

Emma Thomson, of Maple Roch maple syrup company in Summerland, with some of their product at the Penticton Farmers’ Market. The company is one of 100 semifinalists in 10 categories for this year’s Small Business B.C. Awards. (Mark Brett/Western News)

South Okanagan businesses make B.C. awards semifinals

Three businesses from Penticton and one from Summerland are among 100 semifinalists at SBBC Awards

Three Penticton businesses and one from Summerland are one step closer to B.C.’s top prizes for small businesses.

Winecrush, Duffy Baker Construction Corp. and Okanagan Cosmetology Institute LTD from Penticton and Maple Roch Pure Canadian Maple Syrup from Summerland are among the 100 semifinalists named under 10 categories at the Small Business B.C. Awards announced Friday.

Related: Voting open for Small Business B.C. Awards

Those 100 semifinalists beat out nearly 500 other nominees for the awards’ 15th year running.

Duffy Baker Construction was one of the top-10 semifinalists named for the premier people’s choice award, while Winecrush was named for the best innovation, Maple Roch for best community impact and Okanagan Cosmetology Institute for best apprentice training.

Semifinalists will now have to submit an extended application form, which the judging panel will evaluate to narrow the top-10 lists down to a groups of top-five finalists.

Those finalists will be invited to make an in-person pitch for why they should win the award, with winners announced at the awards gala on Feb. 23 next year at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

All winners will receive $1,500 cash, a one-year all-access pass to the Small Business B.C. education and experts and bragging rights.

Related: Penticton startup takes major award

Last year, Winecrush was the only South Okanagan-Similkameen area business to take home an award, winning best concept.

The full list of this year’s semifinalists can be found on the SBBC website.