2014 Wheatbelt South Small Business Awards (and a bit about the Small Business Centres)

The third annual small business awards were held in Narrogin on the 17th May 2014 at the Narrogin Club and attended by 40 people – some as category finalists, some as sponsors, and some as guests.

The principle behind these awards, organised by the Small Business Centre, is to have a set of questions as part of their submission that encourages small business operators to self-assess their business practices. It is not a matter of having someone nominate businesses for an award as that would become a ‘popularity contest’ and in small towns people would vote for friends. That is not the aim of these awards.

There are many reasons why small businesses should contact the Small Business Centre:

  • The service is free, practical and confidential.
  • There are many rules and regulations governing business today and the SBC can make understanding them easier.
  • Occupational Safety and Health and Industrial Relations are two of the government regulations that can be costly if not followed. Taxation and financial are another two. There is ample information of each of these subjects available in book form or on the web – the SBC can assist with understanding and implementing these regulations.

The Small Business Awards are rewarding – entering is not necessarily all about the business owner. Behind every successful business are the staff and family members and in entering these awards, recognition of their role is equally important.

Once we have convinced a business owner to enter it is then a matter of assisting them understand how the questions can be answered so as to appeal to the independent judges that they could be a winner. The judges view the entries in respect to proper business practices, whether they have a business and succession plan, customer service and staff training.

We also have a category for Community Associations as they are considered a vital link to regional growth. Community Organisations are made up of dedicated volunteers who raise funds and attract external revenue into their towns. For this reason we have the Community Organisation Award and their judging is based on proper governance matters.

In all we had nine categories this year – an increase of three from 2013 – with the new categories being Young Business Person of the Year, Franchise Businesses and Business (5-10 employees). The awards are open to any business and organisation within the Wheatbelt South region which consists of 10 Shires. This year through our sponsors we raised some $9,000 in cash and in-kind prizes for the award winners. We acknowledge our sponsors:

  • Small Business Development Corporation
  • Narrogin Chamber of Commerce
  • Radio West
  • Great Southern Regional Business Association
  • Great Southern Fuel Supplies
  • Narrogin Observer
  • Betta Home Living
  • Regional Councils (Town of Narrogin, Shires of Narrogin, Wickepin, Wandering, Wagin, Dumbleyung, West Arthur)

Congratulations to all of the category finalists and winners, as follows:

Home Based Business

Finalists:

  • Squiggles and Giggles Face Painting (Wagin)
  • Walkers Hill Vineyard (Lake Grace)

 Lakeside Camping (West Arthur) – WINNER
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Tereasa and Ian Peirce (Lakeside Camping) with sponsor Loshni Mercuri

 

Tourism

Finalists:

  • Downderry Wines (Narrogin Shire)
  • Walkers Hill Vineyard (Lake Grace)

Rustik Rainbow (Williams) – WINNER

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Rennae Martin (Rustik Rainbow) with sponsor Kerry Byrant

 

Community Organisation

Finalists:

  • Narrogin Spring Festival Committee (Narrogin)
  • Wagin CRC (Wagin)

West Arthur CRC (West Arthur) – WINNER

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Caroline Telfer and Jacqui Bunce (West Arthur CRC) with sponsor Mayor Leigh Ballard

 

Micro Business (less than 5)

Finalists:

  • Ornatrix Hair Lounge (Narrogin)
  • Lakeside Camping (West Arthur)

Downderry Wines (Narrogin Shire) – WINNER

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Rex and Jan Hayes (Downderry Wines) with sponsor Scott Ballantyne

 

Business (5-10 employees)

Rustik Rainbow (Williams) – WINNER

 

Small Business Centre Achiever

Finalists:

  • Betta Home Living (Narrogin)
  • Lakeside Camping (West Arthur)

Walkers Hill Vineyard (Lake Grace) – WINNER

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Tania and Jared Bray  (Walkers Hill Vineyard) with sponsor Anthony Howe

 

Franchise Business

Betta Home Living (Narrogin) – WINNER

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Damian and Loshni Mercuri (Betta Home Living Narrogin) with sponsor Sherryl Chilcott

 

Young Business Person

Finalists:

  • Amanda Gooley (Narrogin)

Damian Mercuri (Narrogin) – WINNER

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Damian Mercuri with sponsor Neil Butterworth

 

Business Person

Finalists:

  • Rennae Martin (Williams)

Geoff Perkins (Narrogin) – WINNER

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Geoff Perkins with sponsor Mayor Leigh Ballard

Catering was done by Rustik Rainbow.

We encourage every business and organization in the Wheatbelt South region to take note of these outstanding businesses and enter the Small Business Awards in 2015. Details of the criteria can be obtained by contacting the Small Business Centre on 98813000.

We wish to acknowledge our generous sponsors and all those that made the 2014 Wheatbelt South Small Business Awards successful.

Neil Butterworth

Manager, Wheatbelt South Small Business Centre

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Thanks to Neil Butterworth from the Wheatbelt South Small Business Centre for contributing this article. Learn about ways you can contribute to Wheatbelt Local here.

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