Lloyd businesses up for excellence awards


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August 30, 2016 12:00 AM

Two Border City businesses are up for Achievement for Business Excellence awards from the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. Red Bicycle Communications is a finalist for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, something owner Jill Kelly said comes as both a shock and an honour.

Two local businesses have been announced as finalists in the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce Achievement of Business Excellence (ABEX) awards, which will be given out on Oct. 22 in Saskatoon.
Red Bicycle Communications and the Lloydminster and District Co-op are up for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and Marketing award respectively.
Jill Kelly, brand strategist and owner of Red Bicycle, said she was shocked just to be nominated again, having been up for the same award last year, but this time making it as a finalist is even harder to wrap her head around.
“It’s unbelievable to be able to not only come to work each day to do a job I love for great clients, with a kick-ass staff, and then to be recognized for it on the provincial stage,” she said.
“Well, that’s just incredibly humbling and I am so honoured.”
After looking at the other finalists in the category, Kelly said she feels she’s in good company, and win or lose, it’s an amazing ride for Red Bicycle to be in the same class as those organizations across the province and is just happy being associated with businesses of that caliber. 
Kelly started the advertising and design agency in January of 2014 and has grown it in that time to where it now represents 15 to 20 clients.
Being a small businesses with only two full-time employees, herself included, Red Bicycle is currently operating at full capacity, but is actually looking at expanding again so it can grow its client base even further. 
“It’s just nice to be recognized for a lot of the hard work that goes behind running an organization like Red Bicycle—it kind of puts us out there a little bit more in terms of recognition, which is awesome for us,” Kelly said.
“It’s also wonderful to share this spotlight with the Lloydminster Co-op; two Lloydminster businesses in the running for two different categories in the ABEX Awards—that’s great; that’s great for both our businesses individually, of course, but it’s also great for Lloydminster as a whole, to be able to help put Lloydminster on the map of business excellence is something I’m certainly proud of.”
Don Stephenson, CEO of the Lloydminster and District Co-op, shared the sentiment of being honoured just to get nominated, let alone considered as a finalist, and said the entire Co-op association is thrilled with the news.
Much like Red Bicycle, the Co-op has been nominated for ABEX awards in the past, but this is the first time the company has made it to the final round.
The Co-op was recommended for the Marketing award based on last year’s inaugural Spread a Little Love Campaign, the success of which Stephenson places squarely on the shoulders of the Lloydminster community.
“Your marketing promotion typically is something done to drive sales, and this wasn’t so much something to drive sales, this was an opportunity or initiative that was set up to give something back to our seniors,” said Stephenson.
“So while it was inspired by our people, the initiative was fulfilled by our community.”
Spread a Little Love benefited 12 seniors care facilities in six communities, Lloydminster included, when seniors were asked for their requests for a Christmas gift.
They filled out request forms and the Co-op put those requests on ornaments, hanging them on Christmas trees in their facilities, and community members then picked out the ornaments, fulfilled the requests, and dropped them back off for distribution.
This ended with 550 seniors getting gifts during the 2015 holiday season.
“I think it’s a special honour, but as I said, to be nominated, let alone considered as a finalist in the category, it speaks volumes of the Spread a Little Love campaign,” Stephenson said.
“It speaks volumes of our community and the support our community showed behind that campaign and we’re just really honoured to be a part of it.”

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