Posted: October 14th, 2022. By: Elizabeth Klein. newmarkettoday.ca, Original Article.
Local businesses of all sizes are being celebrated by the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce for the 33rd edition of its Business Excellence Awards, with NewRoads president and CEO Michael Croxon claiming Business Leader of the Year.
“I am indeed humbled by this award. I am also deeply grateful for being able to operate our business in the great town of Newmarket,” Croxon said as chamber members gathered Oct. 12 at the NewRoads Performing Arts Centre for the awards ceremony. “It is also a testament to the commitment of the 400-plus associates who choose NewRoads as a place to come to work every day. Without their efforts and dedication to our customers and community this award would not be possible.”
Another winner of the night was The Maker’s Mark, which received the award for New Business of the Year. Owner of the store Erin Gooderham said she and business partner Meghan Larking said they genuinely didn’t expect to win with so many great nominees.
“We were sitting in the audience and we were just excited to be around just the energy and the excitement of the community that we have here in Newmarket of these really incredible, incredible businesses,” she said. “When they announced our name, we were both a little bit excited, shocked, you know, giddy and just really grateful.”
The Maker’s Mark opened in November 2020 but encountered a total of 20 weeks of lockdowns during its first few months of operating. After running for just under two years, Gooderham said it is humbling to be recognized with the new business award.
“It’s very gratifying too and validating to see that the community has sort of shown up for us that they’ve welcomed and embraced this idea, and really seem to enjoy the space that we’ve created,” she said.
That space includes a retail store on Yonge Street with more than 100 makers selling their items in it, a workshop and event space, and corporate gift boxes curated with local goods.
Gooderham credits the local business community with helping The Maker’s Mark to succeed.
“Having the support of the chamber has been incredible,” she said. “It feels very comforting to know that they’re in your corner and you want to just tap into that and be part of that community and learn and grow and contribute to it.”
Market Brewing Company took home the Business Resilience Award. Piers Simpkin said the night was a first-class event and that they were honoured to be recognized.
“The pandemic brought forth so many difficult challenges for all small businesses, so to be recognized for this is quite humbling. We want to share this award with all our local business pals because we’ve all had to be resilient, determined and we are all here today because we never gave up when facing adversity. We love and appreciate our entire team for grinding through it all to a return to normal and fun times at the brewery,” he said.
The brewery has been resilient in a number of ways, first transitioning to make hand sanitizer in the early days of the pandemic, introducing frisbee golf, introducing non-alcoholic sparkling water, working toward its bingo licence, hosting a Christmas market, online trivia nights, and more.
“We’re confident, more than ever, in our ability to adapt, change and bring forth great initiatives while incorporating as many other local businesses to help impact our community in a positive way. We’ve shown our ability to survive difficult times and now we’ve taken those changes and implemented them with a return to a more normal existence for businesses. Moving forward we’ll have numerous fun events in the Taproom and around town while we strive to do good wherever we can,” Simpkin said.
“Businesses are finally beginning to bounce back and there’s a lot to celebrate,” chamber president and CEO Chris Emanuel said.
New categories are the Leadership in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award, which was won by Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA), and Business Leader of the Year, which replaces the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
“You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to be a leader. Opening up the category provides more opportunity to spotlight fantastic leadership,” Emanuel said.
Here are all the winners of the 2022 Business Excellence Awards:
- Innovative Startup of the Year Award: Shippie Technologies Inc.
- Not For Profit of the Year Award: Blue Door Shelters
- Professional Services Business of the Year Award: Miller Orthodontics
- New Business of the Year Award: The Maker’s Mark
- Impact in Marketing & Promotion: Addison Marketing Solutions
- Leadership in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA)
- Business Resilience Award: Market Brewing Company
- Small Business of the Year Award: Patti Wilson Design Inc.
- Large Business of the Year Award: Celestica International LP
- Business Leader of the Year: Michael Croxon, NewRoads Automotive Group
- Upper Canada Community Recognition Award: Jordyn Leschiutta