AMHERST - The night is almost here that will see local businesses honoured with excellence awards.
The Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce will give out five awards tomorrow evening, one in each category of business of the year, excellence in customer service, excellence in community service, the young entrepreneur award and the Green award.
As part of the organizing committee, Debbie Allen says the awards have been a real eyeopener to her.
"It's so important for the business community to have this attention drawn to them because they're all doing wonderful things in this town," she said.
"A lot of people don't know what goes on behind the business doors of some of these places."
The three finalists in this year's excellence in customer service category are Bella's CafÉ and Bistro, The Regent B&B, and Amherst Insurance.
The community service finalists are CKDH Radio, Carter's Sports Cresting Ltd., and PolyCello.
In keeping with the Small Business Week theme of "Your Dream, Your Business, Your Passion," the finalists for the young entrepreneur award are Brad Hoeg's Shine Depot and Auto Detailing, North Nova Hearing Centre and Simply for Life.
There are two businesses going head-to-head for the environmental, or Green, award - Flow Lifestyles Boutique and the Wandlyn Inn.
Vying for business of the year this year are Amherst Insurance, Deanne Fitzpatrick Rug Hooking Studio and Bargain Bennies Ltd., Furniture and Appliances.
The awards will be given away at the Excellence Awards Gala on Thursday. Cocktails start at 5 p.m., with dinner at 5:30 p.m., followed by entertainment featuring comedian Evan Carter - who has been called a young Bill Cosby - then the awards presentations.