Illawarra business gets ready for 'Oscars' night

Michael McKeogh, of 2013's Illawarra business of the year, and his partner, Neryl East. Picture: GREG ELLIS

Michael McKeogh, of 2013's Illawarra business of the year, and his partner, Neryl East. Picture: GREG ELLIS

After his business, Fibre Optics Design and Construct, was named business of the year at the 2013 Momentum Energy Illawarra Business Awards, Michael McKeogh will be one of many business leaders invited to walk the red carpet again this October.

Mr McKeogh and his partner, Neryl East, got to sample what to expect at the new-look Oscars-style awards event at the launch recently when they checked out the new venue. The awards will be held in IMB Theatre at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre.

And with Friday the closing day for entries, Mr McKeogh wanted to encourage all businesses to consider entering.

He said being named business of the year and winning three categories at last year's awards opened up new opportunities and greatly increased the profile of his business in the Illawarra through the media exposure the awards attracted. He said just entering was a win for any business, regardless of the result. That was why he put entries in every year.

"Going through the application process is extremely beneficial, as it allows you to evaluate your business's performance and document your achievements," he said. "I encourage all businesses to enter this year's awards and continue to showcase the incredible success stories in our region."

Illawarra Business Chamber chief executive Debra Murphy described the changes this year as exciting.

"We will create the Illawarra business industry's Oscars - an event that will reinvigorate the awards, provide a fun and unique experience, and ultimately celebrate the incredible work that the Illawarra business community has achieved over the past 12 months," Ms Murphy said.

"There are 15 categories this year, which focus more on business outcomes rather than specific industries. All our eyes will be focused on the IMB Theatre stage. The event is scheduled for 24th October."

Further details at illawarrabusinessawards.com.au. For the first time, winners of 12 of the categories will get statewide coverage by progressing as finalists to the NSW Business Chamber Business Awards.

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