Businesses and business people across the region are being celebrated on Friday as 69 finalists are named for the 25th annual IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards.
Illawarra Business Chamber executive director Adam Zarth said the finalists in 17 categories include the individuals in the running for Outstanding Business Leader.
They are Chance Hanlon, of Hanlon Windows, David Hiscox, of Dapto Leagues Club, John Lamont, of Nowchem, Kylie Flament, of Green Connect, Matthew Radnidge, of Sybmio Wildlife Park, and Trevor Molenaar, of molenaar + mcneice.
Outstanding Young Employee finalists are Ashleigh Barry, of Kells Lawyers, Kay-Lea Edmistone. of Quest Nowra, and Steve Hopkins , of The Flagstaff Group.
Outstanding Young Entrepreneur finalists are Christopher Murphy, of All Care Health Services, Elspeth Finney, of Shoalhaven Family Law, Ken Kencevski, of Devika, and Nadia Thompson, of Picnic by the Sea.
Mr Zarth said the 2019 awards attracted an increased number entrants. The finalists include 11 aligned award winners from the Shoalhaven Business Awards.
"We've received a great response. And the standard is particularly high. The finalists are a great cross-section of Illawarra businesses, ranging from sole traders to large corporates. They also reflect a wide range of industries, including tourism, retail, hospitality, financial services, health and aged care, legal, export and manufacturing".
Mr Zarth said the chamber is particularly pleased with the interest and diversity of businesses entered in the new microbusiness category. An area where many new businesses are emerging.
He said the IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards are a celebration of excellence in business as well as the achievements of business professionals across the region.
He said the panel of independent judges is being overseen by Warwick Shanks, of KPMG. "It is a great mentoring opportunity for business people new and established. There are many new entries this year. And quite a number of new judges".
Winners will be announced at WIN Entertainment Centre on October 18 where local produce will be showcased on the menu. "And local wines at the event will be a first. We are expecting a full house of 700 people. There is a lot of interest across the region".
Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster and the WIN Entertainment Centre Box Office.
The Land Meets Sea theme is influenced by Illawarra being an aboriginal word for "high place by the sea" as well as the natural beauty of the region. Winners of 12 aligned categories will go on to represent the region at the NSW Business Chamber State Awards.
Full list of 2019 IMB Bank Illawarra Business Award finalists
- Excellence in Business: Dapto Leagues Club, FinoComp, GJ Gardner Homes Shoalhaven, RMB Lawyers, Symbio Wildlife Park and The Disability Trust.
- Excellence in Customer Service - City Beach Function Centre, Dapto Leagues Club, Kwik Kopy Wollongong, RMB Lawyers and Symbio Wildlife Park.
- Excellence in Export - Aceit Sportswear, FinoComp and South32 Illawarra Coal.
- Excellence in Illawarra Tourism - Crooked River Wines, Stand Up Paddle Boarding Shellharbour and Symbio Wildlife Park.
- Excellence in Innovation - Alpha Veterinary Technology Solutions. IRT Group, Itree, Nowchem and RMB Lawyers.
- Excellence in Micro Business - i-induct, Jervis Bay Landscapes, Mt Hay Retreat, Parents Guide Illawarra, Stand Up Paddle Boarding Shellharbour and Switched on Mechanical & Tyres.
- Excellence in Retail and Hospitality - Cupitt's Winery and Sage Hotel Wollongong.
- Excellence in Small Business - Buckaroo Leatherworks, Devika, J&T Dale Plumbing and Verb Syndicate.\
- Excellence in Social Enterprise - The Flagstaff Group, Brewing Up A Storm (an enterprise of Greenacres Disability Services) and Trusted Travel.
- Excellence in Sustainability - Cupitt's Winery, Dapto Leagues Club, Green Connect and Switched On Mechanical & Tyres.
- Excellence in Workplace Inclusion - The Flagstaff Group and Green Connect.
- Outstanding Business Leader - Chance Hanlon, of Hanlon Windows, David Hiscox, of Dapto Leagues Club, John Lamont, of Nowchem, Kylie Flament, of Green Connect, Matthew Radnidge , of Sybmio Wildlife Park, and Trevor Molenaar, of molenaar + mcneice.
- Outstanding Employer of Choice -FinoComp, GJ Gardener Homes Shoalhaven, Mercer Administration Services and The Disability Trust.
- Outstanding Young Employee - Ashleigh Barry, of Kells Lawyers, Kay-Lea Edmistone. of Quest Nowra, and Steve Hopkins , of The Flagstaff Group.
- Outstanding Young Entrepreneur - Christopher Murphy, of All Care Health Services, Elspeth Finney, of Shoalhaven Family Law, Ken Kencevski, of Devika, and Nadia Thompson, of Picnic by the Sea.
- Start Up Superstar - All Care Health Services Group, Dr Olga Lavalle and Associates, Proadmin Solutions and Shoalhaven Family Law.
- Wollongong City Centre Business Excellence - Easy Agile and Glass Alley.
- Local Chamber of Commerce - Port Kembla Chamber of Commerce and Industry Incorporated, Kiama and District Chamber and Corrimal Chamber of Commerce.