The 24th Annual Biz X Awards Tribute “Year 24K: Setting The Gold Standard”

2021 Biz X Awards
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The 24th Annual Biz X Awards Tribute “Year 24K: Setting The Gold Standard”

Award Write-ups By Rebecca Wright & Jim Murphy

Let’s step back in time to the gold rushes in North Carolina 1799, Georgia 1829 and California 1848 to 1855.

The Gold Rush in 1849 stimulated worldwide interest in prospecting for gold, and led to new rushes in Australia, South Africa, Wales, and Scotland. Successive gold rushes occurred in British Columbia and in many states in the U.S., including Alaska. 

One of the last “great gold rushes” was the Klondike Gold Rush in Canada’s Yukon Territory (1896 to 99), which became famous in the novels of Jack London, and Charlie Chaplin’s film, “The Gold Rush”. 

As you are aware, this precious metal has played a huge role throughout history. From gold bars hoarded by ancient empires, to the Renaissance gold coins, to the gold rushes and gold bullion jewellery, gold is a part of life. And obviously a big part of business — mining, jewellery, coins, art and more.

The “gold standard” is a paradigm of excellence by which similar items are judged or measured. It’s a level that all aspire to achieve and the perfect way to describe the Biz X Award nominees.

In addition, since gold stands for prosperity, strength, success and a winner mentality, it became quite obvious that in honour of our 24th year, 24 Karat gold was a great fit.

Thus the theme “Year 24K: Setting The Gold Standard” was born.

Throughout the Biz X Awards edition, you will see elements of the 24 Karat gold theme. Editorial photos and captions feature gold mines, prospectors, gold nuggets and gold bars with references to TV shows/music/catch phrases whenever possible.

Though our theme changes each year, our mission always remains the same . . . to honour the outstanding entrepreneurs and leaders in Windsor, Essex County and Pelee Island. And, according to the loyal readers of Biz X magazine, we are “sitting on a gold mine” of exceptional nominees!

Just as in Discovery’s “Gold Rush” TV show that follows the lives of miners who risk it all to pull gold out of the ground for a big pay out, our award nominees battle the odds each and every day . . . hoping for their own “pot of gold.”

Which local businesses, organizations, events and professionals will be chosen to receive the “golden” Biz X Award — the “pillars of success” — this year?

In 2021, our 24th annual awards tribute, 214 nominees competed in 24 categories. This year, the online voting poll ran from September 16 until September 24 with over 25,000 votes coming in.

Our award history goes back to 1998, and to date, over 750 Biz X Awards have been handed out. Like every year before, the new batch of nominees are simply the best our region has to offer and we congratulate every company, organization, event and individual listed throughout this entire cover story. However, like all award programs, there can be only one winner of each category in the end.

These lucky recipients receive a plaque from The Trophy Boys (see accompanying graphic), to display in their workplace, and promotion in the Biz X Awards tribute (the print and digital copies plus BizXmagazine.com); local news outlets and social media. They are also given a “golden opportunity” to record an award acceptance speech, airing on YourTV (Channel HD 700) in January 2021.

Our main award sponsors for each section include: Motor City Community Credit Union, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre, St. Clair College Alumni Association, Century 21 Showtime Realty (“Team Monty”) and Jem Software.

Let’s now fill you in on how a business, organization, individual or event became a nominee or the overall winner of their category, by recapping “THE GOLDEN RULE(s)” for the Biz X Awards.

-Each year a list of award categories is published in the summer and September editions of Biz X magazine and online at: BizXmagazine.com. Businesses, organizations, events and people can be nominated by customers, suppliers, and Biz X readers, from late July until early September, using an online form with a section for supporting evidence included. Only a single nomination is required to qualify for the voting poll, so everyone has a fair chance, especially if it’s a small company or organization.

-After the nomination period ended, nominees were made public on the Biz X website, when a voting poll in each category commenced from mid-September until the end of the month. People could only vote once per category, per IP address, (reinforcing the fact this is not a popularity contest). Individuals could vote in all categories if they wanted — or just one! Everything was totally confidential, with no one knowing who voted for who or how many votes a particular nominee had. The number of votes did not constitute an automatic win, and the voting results may or may not have had an impact on the judging process. Vote tallies are only a part of the overall selection process.

-The qualifications for nominees are simple. Businesses/organizations must be located in Windsor, Essex County or Pelee Island, which includes LaSalle, Lakeshore, Tecumseh, Amherstburg, Kingsville, Leamington, and Essex Centre. For categories in the PEOPLE section, nominees must be 19 years of age or over and reside in Windsor, Essex County or Pelee Island.

-Only one nomination per business/organization or individual is permitted. There are no multiple nominations in different categories allowed. We reserve the right to choose the best category for each nominee when a nomination came in.

-National chains/franchises and non-profits are not eligible in most categories. Our mandate is to reward start-up businesses in our region and not national companies. However, exceptions are made in the PEOPLE categories as we do believe those individuals (working for national chains or working for a charity/non-profit) living in our area deserve to be recognized. Since this entire section (categories #8 to #13) is being judged on the individual and not the company itself, they can be included (Note: for 2021, category #10 was strictly for non-profit organizations). An exception for category #22 is also allowed as many national organizations have local chapters hosting events.

-No media outlets can participate in any of the categories.

-Nominees are given an opportunity to submit information online, answering specific questions set out by Biz Xmagazine, upon notification that they were nominated. Information from the nomination forms and online submissions, along with the voting poll results, is then reviewed by each Judge on his/her own time. All nominees are required to submit information online as it is a way to check the information a nominator has submitted on the website form. The information provided is also used to compile the write-up on the company or person in the annual awards edition should they be determined as the winner. Judges also research each nominee at their own discretion. The Judges meet after the online voting poll closes and all nominee information is received, discuss their findings with each other and select the final winners during “Judgment Night” in October.

-To avoid any conflict of interest, Biz Xfull timestaff members are not permitted to participate in the judging process. This is to ensure impartiality to all advertisers, suppliers, and friends. As well, Judges cannot participate on “Judgment Night” conversations or the final voting in any categories that friends, relatives, or their own business are being considered for. They also are not permitted to be involved in any part of the judging process if their own business or workplace is a supplier to a nominee or pays a nominated company for any services they or their business may need. There is an exception to this rule if a Judge has hired or worked with many nominees in the category. We consider him/her an expert in this industry with valuable input to offer and they are permitted to vote. As well, in large categories, such as #8 “Powerhouse Professional” — where certain Judges know multiple nominees and all Judges would have had to declare a bias as each knows at least one nominee — they are allowed to participate or there would be no voting Judges! Please note that any biases declared by Judges, are mentioned at the end of the award write-up, if necessary.

-Businesses do not have to be an advertiser with the magazine to be nominated or to win. Every company, whether a Biz X advertiser or not, has an equal chance of winning. Once all nominations are in and the voting poll is closed (the end of September), nominees may be contacted to purchase ads by Biz X Sales Associates to thank those who nominated and voted for them in the November/December awards issue. The Judges are unaware which companies advertise in this edition (or do not) when they make their final decisions and only see the completed awards issue at the same time the readers do. This ensures there are no biases or conflicts of interest. Judges do not know who the final winners are on “Judgment Night” as they voted by secret ballot and are not told the results. All those nominees who chose to advertise in the November/December issue had nominee badges in their ads and, just before the magazine went to print, for those who won, the nominee badge was switched to a winner badge (without the knowledge of the advertiser). The entire process is kept top secret with only a select few knowing the final outcome during the printing process of the magazine and no-one seeing the winner badge in their ad until the annual Biz X Awards Tribute is released to the public in mid-November.

COVER STORY CONTINUES ON PAGE 18

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