Lloydminster’s Midwest Furniture and Appliances is one of five finalists for the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce’s ABEX Award in the Community Cornerstone category.
“We were extremely surprised and honoured obviously that something like that would come our way,” Midwest Furniture and Appliances co-owner Ken Lawrence said.
“To hear that you are nominated and then especially to end up being one of the finalists was amazing.”
The Community Cornerstone Achievement for Business Excellence Award recognizes a small business which has been in its community over 20 years, shows pride and support for its community and serves as an unofficial ambassador.
Midwest Furniture and Appliances is up against Regina’s Bushwakker Brewing Company, Prince Albert’s Econo Timber Mart, Moose Jaw’s Hopkins Dining Parlour and Saskatoon’s Saskatoon Funeral Homes.
Lawrence says this is the first time his business has been up for an award from the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. He says the local chamber voted to put Midwest Furniture and Appliances’ name forward. Lawrence says it’s impressive that his business has made it to the Community Cornerstone short list, considering the competition is from larger urban areas.
“There are lots of businesses and lots of chamber members throughout Regina and Saskatoon and P.A., some of the bigger centres, and Lloydminster’s not that large when you compare them that way.”
For its 29 years in existence, being an active member of the Lloydminster community has always been important, says Lawrence. He and his wife Elaine bought the business from the original owners a few years ago and have continued the tradition which was already in place.
See “Midwest Furniture,” Page 9
“Even though the ownership has changed, the ethics and morality of the business stays the same,” Lawrence said.
“The community has given to us so we want to give back and its just a big circle, which is great because that keeps the community strong.”
As for being a local ambassador, Lawrence says he sees that role as demonstrating the same level of generosity towards other communities as he does towards Lloydminster.
“We do have a lot of clientele that come from quite a ways around ... so we’re always trying to support their communities too. When they phone us for a curling bonspiel door prize or a donation for a museum association we always try to help out as much as we can,” he said.
“It is part of being a community member.”
Voting for the Community Cornerstone Award is open to the public and is done online at www.abexcornerstone.com. Voting starts on Sept. 24 and continues until the evening of the ABEX Awards in Saskatoon on Oct. 24. Voters can register to vote daily during that period. The winner will be announced during the award ceremony.