Business Awards 2017

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South Port NZ Ltd chief executive Mark O'Connor speaking at the launch of the Westpac Southland Business Excellence Awards on April 27. Photo: Hayden Williams

Westpac Southland Business Excellence Awards have been altered this year to better represent Southland businesses.

Hosted by the Southland Chamber of Commerce (SCC), the biennial awards were launched last ThursdayILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill.

Carey said based on judges’ feedback from the past two awards, the committee decided to change the categories for 2017.

“Previously, all types of industry were lumped together and the main categories were split by the number of full-time equivalents. The judges found this challenging at times, for example you may be comparing the local florist with a mechanic. This year we’ve moved to sector-based categories to ensure we can judge apples with apples and the winners of each sector will truly be seen as providing excellence in their industry,” Mrs

Business owners attending this year’s launch urged to participate.

Guest speaker, South Port NZ Ltd chief executive Mark O’Connor, whose company won the Supreme Award category in 2015, said he couldn’t underestimate the value, potential gain and enjoyment people could get from signing up.

“You’ve got to adapt and change in business today. We’ve all got an image of ourselves in the marketplace, but it’s good to test that perception and have the external judges come in and ask the hard questions,” he said.

This year’s categories are: Crowe Horwath Primary & Primary Service Sector Award; Invercargill City Council Construction, Trades, Manufacturing & Distribution Sector Award; PowerNet New and Emerging Business Award; The Southland Times Consumer Service Sector Award; Invercargill Licensing Trust Not-for-Profit Award; Southland Chamber of Commerce Professional Service Sector Award; Business Innovation Award; ACC Workplace Safety Award; Southern Institute of Technology Business Personality Award; Healthy Families Workplace Wellness Award; Westpac Supreme Award.

Online applications (www.commercesouth.com) open on June 1, with the awards gala dinner to be held on September 29.

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