Almost 300 representatives from businesses across the Sapphire South Coast gathered in Merimbula on Saturday night (June 17) for the the inaugural Bega Valley Business Awards.
The Bega Valley Business Forum which is made up of chambers from across the shire, was thrilled with how the event ran for it’s debut at Club Sapphire.
Following months of planning, nominations and visits by mystery shoppers, a shortlist of three finalists for each category, was selected across 18 categories with one winner announced for each.
The event was hosted by Power FM Bega Bay Breakfast Show Announcer, Brad Blissett, while special guests on the night included the Member for Eden Monaro, Kristy McBain and Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick.
Chair of the Bega Valley Business Forum, Nigel Ayling, was unsure if the event will go ahead next year but but based on the success of the first event – there’s a good chance likely it will.
“We had funding through a Resilience NSW grant to run this event but hopefully we’ll make a little bit of money from the 2023 event and if the committee decide they want to go back and invest that into doing it again next year, that might be a possibility,” Ayling said.
Bega clothing store, Green Queen (pictured above) won the Excellence in Innovation and Sustainability Award, Merimbula’s Sapphire Life Opportunities was named Outstanding Community Organisation while Ardy’s Automotive Services in Pambula won the award for Excellence in Construction, Trades and Services.
The late Chris Nichols was also honoured with a posthumous award during the night, for his tireless work in the Merimbula Tourism Information Centre and promoting the region as a whole, with Jackie Smith from Wheelers (pictured below) accepting the award on Chris’s behalf.
Toast Cafe Pambula won the Excellence in Hospitality Award, Tathra Beach Eco Camp was awarded Outstanding Visitor Experience, while the team at 2EC/Power FM – East Coast Radio (pictured below) won the Employer of Choice Award.
Big W’s Tom Marshman was named the Shire’s Outstanding Male Employee with Paula Teale from Pambula Village Dental Practice the Outstanding Female Employee.
Supply Central Eden (pictured above) won the Excellence in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing award, with Coast Hire Bega named for Excellence in Small Business.
List of 2023 Bega Valley Business Award Winners:
Excellence in Innovation and Sustainability Green Queen Bega
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Tulgeen disability Service
Outstanding Community Organisation Sapphire Life Opportunities Merimbula
Excellence in Construction, Trades and Services Ardy’s Automotive Services Pambula
Excellence in Retail Darcie Nicol Floral Design
Excellence in Health, Beauty and Wellness In2skin Cosmetic Clinic
Excellence in Professional Services Bermagui Veterinary Clinic
Excellence in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Supply Central Eden
Excellence in Hospitality Toast Cafe Pambula
Outstanding Visitor Experience -Tourism Tathra Beach Eco Camp
Employer of Choice East Coast Radio – 2EC and Power FM
Excellence in Micro Business Daisy hill Photography
Excellence in Small Business Coast Hire Bega
Excellence in Large Business Support Services 2 You
Outstanding Male Employee Thomas Marshman – Big W Bega
Outstanding Female Employee Paula Teale – Pambula Villahe Dental Pratice
Outstanding Business Leader Damien Foley – CEO Club Sapphire Merimbula
Outstanding Young Business Employee Shayd Measures – Commonwealth Bank Bega
Images: Bega Valley Business Forum – Robert Hayson Photography