In little over a week, Yass Valley's entrepreneurs, employers and employees will be preparing to celebrate the annual Business Awards and the stakes are higher than ever with 31 finalists announced.
The awards, now in their third year, have ten categories, double the number the awards started with in 2017.
For the first time this year, entrants will compete for two new awards: People's Choice and Employee Customer Service.
"The reason we introduced these two categories is because people or businesses often feel difficult about nominating themselves," Yass Valley Business Chamber president Brad Davis said.
"The two awards are nominated by the public and reviewed by a panel."
Over 800 people have voted for the People's Choice award.
"This shows recognition of outstanding customer service," Mr Davis said.
The other categories include Outstanding Young Employee, Outstanding Business Leader, Start-Up Superstar, Excellence in Sustainability, Excellence in Micro-Business, Excellence in Small Business, Excellence in Business and Outstanding Employer of Choice.
"Just because we live in a rural community doesn't mean our businesses can't step it up," Mr Davis said.
"The awards push business owners to review their operations and see how they can do better."
In the previous two years, local award winners have gone onto win the regional business awards and made the state business awards finals.
"In the past five years I've seen a change in the standard of businesses in Yass Valley," Mr Davis said. "Businesses are differentiating themselves. Trader & Co. is different from Galutzis, as an example."
"All the businesses work together," Yass Valley Business Chamber secretary Brooke Watson said. "They don't see each other as competition."
Business people from across the region will gather on Thursday, June 20 at Linton Manor in Yass from 6.30pm for the awards. Everyone is invited to attend, including non-members.
Canapes, live music and gifts will be provided to guests. The dress code is cocktail.
"We're trying to step it up this year," Mrs Watson said. "It will still have that casual feel we're known for, but we're hoping people will dress up a little more.
"We also have a few things planned that will make it a bit different to last year," she said.
Mr Davis thanked Mrs Watson and the sub-committee behind the awards.
"Without them, they wouldn't happen," he said.
"Good luck to everyone!"
Purchase tickets to the Business Awards here.
Yass Valley Business Awards Finalists 2019
- Murrumbateman Health Hub
- Country 2 City Metal Roofing
- Petrichor Farm
- One Tree Hill Alpaca Farm
- Physical Ease Recovery Clinic
- Tootsie Gallery Café
- DeSigns By Joe
- Yass Gymnastics
- Yass Valley Waste Service
- Dr Emma Davis BVSc - Veterinary Career & Business Coach
- Four Winds Vineyard
- Blackwattle Alpaca Yarn and Fibre
- The Travel Compass
- Bello Beauty
- Aunty Jessy's Cheese
- Cafe Vieux
- Think Technology Australia
- Ygrene Energy
- Priceline Pharmacy Yass
- Andrew Douglas - Priceline Pharmacy Yass
- Neil Glassford - Yass Outdoor Power Centre
- Georgia Patmore - Yass Valley Council
- Karen Lawler - Miller's Pharmacy
- Dylan Patten - Country 2 City Metal Roofing
- Anthony Davis - Olleyville at Shaw Vineyard Estate
- Danika Bull - Thunderbird Motel & Ewe n Me Restaurant
- Tiarna Kelly - My Medical Practice Yass
- Renae Baker - Yass Jewellers
- Jennifer Lang - Yass Bookkeeping and Business Services
- Karen Lawler - Miller's Pharmacy
- Paul Jephcott - John Rankine Distributors