Scroll down for a full list of award nominees.
The finalists for the 2021 IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards have been announced ahead of a live awards ceremony in November.
Despite the pandemic, this year's awards have attracted a record number of entries, Business Illawarra executive director Adam Zarth said.
"This year more than ever, local businesses are looking to our awards for certainty, community and positivity amid the most challenging operating environment in living memory," he said.
Mr Zarth said the annual awards will be presented in a COVID-safe ceremony at WIN Entertainment Centre on November 19.
Entries in the 14 award categories were assessed by a panel of independent judges, overseen by Warwick Shanks of KPMG.
And the IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards finalists are:
- Outstanding Business Leader - Chris Lacey of Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra, Dave Elkan of Easy Agile, Michele Adair of Housing Trust, Nick Muldoon of Easy Agile, Dr Olga Lavalle of Dr Olga Lavalle & Associates, Steve Rogers of Cleary Bros.
- Outstanding Young Business Leader - Jessica Turney of Brilliant Blooms, Karlie Zec of Tiny Tins, Kevin Mcdonald of Future Focus Financial Planning, Kylie Flament of Green Connect General, Lachlan Stevens of His Boy Elroy, Melissa Jones of Peoplecare , Peter Gillies of Craft Digital Marketing.
- Outstanding Community Organisation - Green Connect, Housing Trust, Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra, Southern Youth and Family Services, Warrigal.
- Outstanding Employee - Abbey Hudson of Poseidon Animal Health, Amanda Crehan of South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal, Enrico Conte of Peoplecare, Narelle Hawken of Access Law Group, Nikayla Beer-Herring of Housing Trust, Susan Finn of Burnetts on Barney.
- Outstanding Start-up - Future Focus Financial Planning, Mama Base Illawarra, Wollongong Foot and Ankle Centre, Yesterday Stories.
- Excellence in Business - Easy Agile, FinoComp, Internetrix, Port Authority of New South Wales, South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal, The Illawarra Hotel.
- Excellence in Customer Service - All Care Health Services Group, Brilliant Blooms, C2C Logistics, Dr Olga Lavalle & Associates, His Boy Elroy, Housing Trust, Tiny Tins.
- Excellence in Import & Export - Australian Amalgamated Terminals, C2C Logistics, Easy Agile, FinoComp, Graincorp Port Kembla, International Cargo Express.
- Excellence in Innovation - Business Valuations Online, IRT, Prological Consulting, Virtual IT Group, Warrigal.
- Excellence in Micro Business - Bookywoo, C2C Logistics, Dr Olga Lavalle & Associates, Leadership Creativity, Stand Up Paddle Boarding Shellharbour, The Macbain Agency, Tiny Tins.
- Excellence in Small Business - Craft Digital Marketing, Haines Glass and Glazing, His Boy Elroy, Poseidon Animal Health, Sea Change Health Professionals, The Fold Media.
- Excellence in Sustainability - Burnetts on Barney, Green Connect, Silos Estate & Wileys Creek, Tiny Tins.
- Excellence in Tourism & Hospitality - Cupitt's Estate, Jamberoo Action Park, Mt Hay Retreat, Silos Estate & Wileys Creek, Stand Up Paddle Boarding Shellharbour.
- Excellence in Workplace Culture - Cupitt's Estate, Easy Agile, Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra, Warrigal.