Sydney startups and social enterprise businesses now have the opportunity to promote themselves statewide, with two new categories added to the prestigious Sydney City Region business awards program for the first time.
The two new awards – Startup Superstar and Excellence in Social Enterprise – join the list of 12 categories open to local businesses under the new 2017 program launched today.
Speaking at the launch, event host Naomi Simson, Founding Director of RedBalloon and Redii.com and member of the TV show, Shark Tank, said the awards program offered businesses unique cut through in a crowded market.
“There’s 1.7 million small businesses in Australia, so it’s important to find ways to stand out. If you’re a startup, awards are a great way to get authority and validation for your business, your brand and your product,” Ms Simson said.
“Sydney is a great city to start and grow a business. This city is world famous for its startup ecosystem that nurtures new businesses. It’s important that we showcase the city’s businesses to celebrate innovation and sustainability.”
The City of Sydney has boosted its sponsorship of the annual NSW Business Chamber Business Awards program, committing $80,000 a year for the next three years to create the expanded awards program that will be available and free for all local businesses across the City’s local government area to enter.
Officially launching the new award categories, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City’s support for the awards will help raise the profile of more local businesses.
“This will allow more local companies to showcase their achievements and create new opportunities for growth,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Small-to-medium sized businesses are the lifeblood of the city’s economy, representing 85 per cent of our businesses and contributing an estimated $20 billion to the local economy.
“We’re ensuring all city businesses have access to the market exposure and networking opportunities this awards program delivers, as well as our ongoing support through the City’s business programs, seminars and grants.
“The City has supported business awards programs since 2004 and sponsors the Excellence in Small Business award across NSW. This is another great opportunity to further promote Sydney’s outstanding local businesses and see they receive recognition at a state level and beyond.”
Under the Sydney City Region Business Awards, businesses will now only need to become members of the NSW Business Chamber or a local chamber if they win a category at the Sydney City Region Awards and advance to the NSW Business Chamber State Awards.
NSW Business Chamber COO, Jane Nicholls, said the expanded partnership will encourage more Sydney businesses to enter the awards.
“I urge all businesses to get involved with these great awards. This is not just a great chance to celebrate the success of our state’s innovators and entrepreneurs, but will offer businesses the chance to build networks and explore new business opportunities.”
Alex Riggs’ Alexandria-based company, Oobi Baby and Kids, took out the overall Business of the Year award in the City of Sydney Business Awards in 2011. She says the win has helped drive the business to greater success internationally.
“Winning the awards gave us a lot of kudos and now that we’re preparing for the trade shows in New York. It’s a point of difference that gives the business some gravitas,” Ms Riggs said.
“People are nervous about purchasing from an unknown quantity, but having that weight of an award win behind you gives people more confidence. It demonstrates that you’re a solid and successful business that has received the acknowledgement of its peers. It really adds credibility.”
The Sydney City Region Business Awards are held each year, with applications for the 2017 awards open from 18 April to 29 May. The finalists will be announced in June and the Sydney City Region business awards event will be held on 2 August at Sydney Town Hall.
Winners who are chamber members progress to the state awards, which will be held in November.
For more information on the Sydney City Region Business Awards program and how to enter, cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/business/business-support/programs-and-seminars/business-awards or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Belinda Wallis on 0467 810 160 or email email@example.com
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Paul Mackay on 0432 182 647 or email firstname.lastname@example.org