Here is an abridged version of my speech at the Chamber of Commerce Business Awards on Saturday evening, 12 May 2018.
Tonight we celebrate 12 years of presenting these business awards, which are a little unique as we ask the community to nominate and be involved, as well as allowing businesses and individuals to self-nominate. We continue to achieve excellent results using this process and we hope that these awards give local businesses and organisations a platform to build up their operations, but also to inspire and motivate their employees.
We have wonderful local businesses and organisations who work very hard to keep local people working, and to support our local economy and community. And it is clear that the community appreciates this, and enjoys having the opportunity to reward them via these awards.
This year’s nominations comprise a broad range of individuals, businesses, and organisations from all areas across the Shire. This reflects a growth in new businesses and shows a growth in the diversity of the local business community, and an awareness of the importance of customer service, choice, consistency and an appreciation of environmental sustainability.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank a number of people who have made this event possible including our sponsors, members who financially support the work of the Chamber; the Chamber Committee who all work on a voluntary basis; our judges for this year’s awards - Ivan Skaines from Dungog Shire Council and Jelinda Millgate from the Business Centre, Newcastle.
I would also like to thank our MC’s, Matthew and Euan Coxhill, our caterers, Cath Turrin and her team, the students and teachers from Dungog High School and Ross Lovegrove and the staff from the Dungog RSL Club
I would also like to acknowledge and thank the staff and Councillors from Dungog Shire Council. The Chamber and Council has enjoyed a great working relationship, collaborating on many projects and I look forward to that continuing with Coralie Nichols, Council’s new General Manager. The Chamber has had another successful year and the future looks bright. Our membership numbers remain high, a number of new businesses have recently come on board and we have several projects underway. I congratulate all the nominees, the runners up and the winners.