To our business community – You are awesome!
If you were at our local Business Awards Night last week you were part of something very special – celebrating local small business. Our Business Awards is our opportunity to let our business community to shine. And shine you did! But of course, the Awards Night is the culmination of a lot of hard work, courage and commitment by local entrepreneurs.
Stirling Business Association received so many high quality nominations for this year’s awards. Clearly the businesses who operate and service the Stirling region are innovative, energetic and successful. How exciting, and what a privilege, to be able to recognise those businesses amongst their peers and the wider community? How inspiring to showcase those businesses and for them to share their story to inspire others?
As our local business owners took their seats in the Regal Theatre’s auditorium the excitement was palpable. Lachy Reid, as MC, was in the mood for some fun and light hearted banter. The music pumped and the lights dimmed. It was time to get those finalists up on stage and announce the winners.
Tim Salik of Corporate Choice presented Employer of the Year recognising that it is the people within the business that make the difference. Congratulations to The Factory for being Employer of the Year 2015. The Factory have apparently been a finalist 10 times and this is the first time they have won. It just shows that tenacity and persistence does pay off in the end. You just gotta keep at it!
Micro Business of the Year was presented by ‘yours truly’ at Stirling Business Association. Micro Business is where it often starts and SBA certainly wants to be a part of that journey with you. This category was highly contested with 18 nominations received for this category alone. Sunbella Creations was announced as Micro Business of the Year and their story identifying a need, knowing their market and aligning with high profile individuals and charities to promote their brand is impressive. Congratulations Sunbella Creations.
Mi-Lin Finnie and Ian Salt from Bendigo Bank truly understand small business and how innovation can enable and transform businesses. They presented Digit Books with the trophy for Most Innovative Business of the Year 2015. Our judges had been impressed with Digit Books’ enabling their clients, through training and workshops, to improve their understanding of cloud technology and how it can improve their businesses. Digit Books have certainly seen a growth area and are exploiting it well.
Our New Business of the Year 2015 was awarded to Whitworth’s Professional Car Detailing presented by Peter Thomas at WA Business Assist. WA Business Assist prides itself on providing business owners, and often those with a new business idea, professional advice to navigate their way to business success. Congratulations Whitworths Professional Car Detailing. In less than two years you have succeeded in providing a car polishing service that is based on old fashioned customer service and understanding the importance of going ‘that extra mile’. It just proves it doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective.
Our final Award Category, Small Business of the Year 2015, was presented by Cr David Michael of City of Stirling. Cr Michael expressed how City of Stirling recognises the importance of small business within our community for stronger economic growth and the need for collaboration and mutual support. Congratulations to Photosnap Photobooths for being Small Business of the Year 2015. Photosnap is a terrific start up story, taking the ‘selfie’ culture and adding it to live events.
As part of the SBA team, as I stood to the side of the stage, I couldn’t have been more proud to watch these business owners receive the applause and kudos for their efforts. It is the stuff dreams are made of. I also felt a true sense of camaraderie and support within the theatre. No longer were we all individual business owners but now we were all part of the same community – Stirling’s business community – and it felt that we could achieve whatever we decided to put our efforts to. I love that!
But what about the Business of the Year?
Drum roll please….. Business of the Year 2015 was awarded to Photosnap Photobooths and presented by our very own President, Jayne Griffiths. Unfortunately one of Photosnap’s partners, Jason D’Costa, couldn’t attend the awards as he had just become a father for the third time. Did that matter? No chance! Lachy decided calling Jason with the news and putting him on loudspeaker to the entire audience was only fair – there was no way Lachy was going to let Jason miss out on the fun too.
A big thank you to all who nominated, our finalists and our winners. You should feel very proud. Keep doing what you’re doing and remember you are part of a diverse but connected community and that is indeed special.