A St. Albert-based family business has been selected as a finalist for three 2017 Alberta Business Awards of Distinction.
The shortlist for each of the categories was released earlier last month and named Tiny Toes Castle as a finalist for the Diversity Leadership, Employer of Youth and Employer of Persons with Disabilities categories.
The family-owned business is based out of St. Albert but operates in Red Deer.
Since starting the business in October 2010, owners Annie, Alvina and Faiza Zaidi have put a strong focus on inclusion and diversity by integrating young workers and people with disabilities into their workforce.
“We strongly believe that as entrepreneurs, we have the ability and opportunity to be pioneers and develop initiatives that support people from all walks of life, including youth and persons with barriers,” said a media release.
Tiny Toes Castle has a partnership with Red Deer College’s Transitional Vocational Program, which offers employment readiness and job skills training to adults with developmental disabilities. It also provides a volunteer and mentorship program to orient and train individuals through one-on-one job shadowing.
As immigrants themselves, the Zaidis also promote and support multiculturalism by welcoming educators and families of all backgrounds.
This marks the second year in a row that Tiny Toes Castle has been named a finalist for the Employer of Persons with Disabilities Award of Distinction.
The daycare received the Child Development Professional Awards of Excellence 2016 from Minister of Human Services Irfan Sabir.
Active Physio Works was also named a finalist for the Marketing Award of Distinction.
The locally owned physiotherapy clinic has undertaken many unconventional marketing strategies over the past few years, said owner James Dean.
By cutting printed exercise sheets, Active Physio Works was able to help the environment and drive traffic to its website. The clinic uses online videos to instruct patients when exercising at home.
“It’s a great way to market at the same time; remind them that we’re there.”
They also take videos of patients completing the exercise on their smartphone for future reference, which Dean said has lead to increased compliance with prescribed exercise.
The clinic also put in a team during last year’s MS Bike Tour and opened it up to patients. Team Rehab through Active Physio Works counted 58 people, raised $41,000 and won Rookie Team of the Year. The event drove a lot of attention to its social media sites.
“It was a unique way to help others out but also to say ‘Hey we’re here,’” said Dean.
Finally, knowing that their best source of advertisement is word of mouth, they distributed T-shirts to patients to act as brand ambassadors – people who will talk them up in public.
The awards will be announced at a ceremony on Feb. 24 at the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel.