Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, has announced the winners of the 2017 Fan Choice Awards. Of the hundreds of nominations received between Sept. 11 – Oct. 8, top spots were awarded to the local and independent small businesses that received the most votes from loyal community members and supporters.
“We were so impressed by the number of votes cast in this year’s Fan Choice Awards,” says Mark de Medeiros, AVP, commercial banking with Island Savings. “That said, the number of B.C.-based small businesses has grown by 1.0 per cent since June 2016—it’s an important part of our province’s economy. So it’s no wonder our community members were so enthusiastic in advocating on behalf of their favourite local eateries, barbershops and retail stores.”
“Day in, day out, our business banking advisors see just how hard working small business owners are,” says de Medeiros. “It feels good to be able to recognize and reward the value they bring to our community through the Fan Choice Awards.”
Hosted on Island Savings’ Facebook page, the Fan Choice Awards celebrate small- to medium-sized businesses located on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands that provide a product or service that is second to none. This year, roughly 1,400 votes were cast in five categories: food and drink, health and wellness, retail, new business and beauty.
Among the winning businesses is Axe & Reel Outdoor Emporium, based on Salt Spring Island, which supplies Islanders with new and consignment outdoor equipment and clothing.
“All of us at Axe & Reel are grateful to have been chosen for this award,” says owner Angelo Scaia. “It goes to show that we are surrounded by outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy exploring as much as we do. We would like to thank this amazing community for all their support and for furthering the island’s sustainability by choosing to shop local.”
This year’s winning businesses include:
Food and drink:
Bucky’s Taphouse (Victoria)
twig & buoy (Salt Spring Island)
Old Town Bakery (Ladysmith)
COCO Café (Nanaimo)
Health and wellness:
Fix Healthcare (Victoria)
The Nest hot yoga (Salt Spring Island)
YOGA by Lura (Duncan)
Pure Body Balance Health and Fitness (Nanaimo)
A Sea of Bloom (Sooke)
Talisman Books & Gallery (Pender Island)
Wall Street Clothing (Duncan)
Fish O Chips (Sidney)
Axe & Reel Outdoor Emporium (Salt Spring Island)
Riot Brewing Co. (Chemainus)
ReDEFINE Health and Wellness (Nanaimo)
Staerk Hair (Victoria)
B Natural Hair Studio (Salt Spring Island)
Hair at 60 Queens (Duncan)
The Cottage Hair Design (Nanaimo)
About Island Savings
Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, offers more than 60,000 members on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands a suite of innovative products and an extensive branch network. As a leading employer in the region, the credit union provides generous community investment through the Growing Island Families Together (GIFT) program in support of Island children and their families.