Established in 1993, the Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards have undergone many transformations over the years.
Originally known as the Cessnock/Kurri Kurri Small Business Awards, they applied to businesses of the Cessnock shire only. They then grew to encompass the Maitland and Dungog shires and became known as the Lower Hunter Business Excellence Awards. In 2007 the awards were renamed the Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards and were opened to businesses throughout the Hunter region.
This year’s Awards opened for nominations in May 2013 and almost 100 separate applications were made with 69 finalists recognised. The winners were announced on Friday, 6 September 2013 at a gala event, recognising the 20 year anniversary of the awards, presented by the Hunter Region Business Enterprise Centre.
The major winners this year were Banjos Bushland Retreat who took out the trophy for Tourism and Accommodation and Business of the Year, Stephanie Mortel of Mortels Sheepskin Factory who won Business Woman of the Year and Bryce Gibson of LJ Hookers Cessnock securing the inaugural Young Entrepreneur award.
“This years Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards were possibly the best ever conducted by the Hunter Region BEC,” Kerry Hallett, Manager of the Hunter Region Business Enterprise Centre said.
“Our judges worked hard throughout August to come to their final decisions and they were impressed with the standard of customer service from most of the nominations and urge them to keep up the good work.”
“The presentation ceremony itself was held at the beautiful Cypress Lakes and the food, wine, weather and company were superb. The feedback received to date for the evening has been most positive – the challenge now is to continue to reach this standard in the coming years!”
Fairfax Regional Media (The Advertiser and The Maitland Mercury) have been major sponsors of the awards since 2000, with Beyond Bank (formerly Companion Credit Union), Cessnock and Maitland Councils and Akuna Care coming on board since.
The full list of winners are below:
Arts and Crafts
Restaurants and Caf√©’s
- Cupz N’ Crepes
Internet Based Business
- Infosolve Pty Ltd
- Inspirations Hair Design
- Mortels Sheepskin Factory
- Bottrell Business Consultants Pty Ltd
- Targeted Fitness
- Cronan’s Design and Drafting
- Finook Industries
- Aussie Maitland
- Newcastle Security Centre
Tourism & Accommodation
- Banjo’s Bushland Retrewat
Not For Profit
- Ungooroo Aboriginal Corpopration
- Hummingbird Electronics Pty Ltd
Home Based Business
- Colour Monkey
- iGym 247 Kurri Kurri
- MV Solar Pty Ltd
- Oops! the Clown
- Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council
- Cupz N’ Crepes
Business Woman of the Year
- Stephanie Mortel
Young Entrepreneur of the Year
- Bryce Gibson
Business of the Year
- Banjo’s Bushland Retreat
The Hunter Region Business Hub, located in Kurri Kurri, New South Wales is one of over 30 community-based Business Enterprise Centres (BEC) operating Australia wide. The Hub supports new and existing micro, small and medium businesses with practical assistance including digital, business planning, marketing, budgeting and cash flow.
Created as a result of an initiative from local businesses in conjunction with Cessnock and Maitland City Council to drive economic development. The Hub services Maitland, Cessnock, Dungog, Singleton, Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter Local Government Areas.
All support is independent, confidential and affordable. The Hub can assist with the establishment of new small business enterprises, as well as existing small to medium enterprises who are experiencing issues, want to grow, or just want to be better. Businesses can also take advantage of our business workshops and information seminars.
The Hub houses 32 units in office, commercial and light industrial premises, offering economical, easy-leasing arrangements.