SUCCESS: 2019 Palfreyman Chartered Accountants Company of the Year winners. There are 62 finalists vying for awards at this year’s 27th Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards.

Camplify’s Justin Hales will be the keynote speaker for this year’s Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards.

Justin will deliver a motivational speech on how he turned the concept of Camplify, a community for motorhome, motorhome and trailer owners, into reality, building a $10 million business in two years .

The 27th Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards Gala Dinner will be held on Friday March 11 at Club Maitland City.

There, 160 of the Hunter’s leading businessmen will celebrate their achievements in the presence of the local business community.

This year, 62 finalists are vying for the awards, according to Kerry Hallett, general manager of the Hunter Region Business Hub.

“Original plans for the celebrations have been put on hold due to the closures, our sponsors and attendees have been very patient,” Kerry said.

“The decision was made to hold the gala dinner in March to coincide with Small Business Month.”

There are 12 general business categories as well as individual and major awards.

Categories include Hospitality and Tourism, Internet Business, Professional to Personal Services, Trades and Industrial.

Candidates are judged on a range of standards, from core business activities, to job growth, innovation, and business improvement and presentation.

“There were four judges for the awards, both reading judges and personal judges,” Kerry said.

“These awards are not a popularity contest, submissions are graded and this year there have been some hard calls as the quality of entries improves every year.

“The questions are intended to allow the company to reflect on how its business operates, its resilience in the face of disruption and what goals it is setting for the future.”

This year’s finalists include ACN-All Communications Network, All Trades Hunter Valley, Gymnastics 21, Ink Financial Solutions and Vintage Connections.

The Hunter Region Business Hub is a leading non-profit organization in the region, with various government-funded and commercial programs to help businesses at all stages of their life.

“The main program the Hub works on with small businesses in the region is the Digital Solutions program which provides one-on-one support to development owners to grow their online digital presence through marketing, websites and social media” , said Kerry.

The awards did not take place in 2019 and last year due to COVID closures and restrictions, making this year’s awards special.

The awards were originally known as the Cessnock Kurri Kurri Small Business Awards, before expanding to encompass the Lower Hunter and the entire Hunter region.


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