THE CGU 2014 Banjo Business Awards are shaping up to be the most competitive yet with more than 100 businesses making it to the finals out of almost 300.
For the first time, people could nominate and vote for businesses online but unlike previous years, businesses did not have to write a submission to accept a nomination which meant there were 287 business vying for a spot in the finals. .
Business awards chairman Mark Monaghan said as part of the restructure of the awards process, voting was invited on all categories, not just the people’s choice categories.
“The finalists are those businesses in each category that received the highest number of votes,” he said.
“As such there were significantly more paper votes this year.”
There were 9929 votes handed in from the Central Western Daily voting form and there were 6423 online votes recorded.
“It’s an outstanding response with unprecedented community participation rate,” Mr Monaghan said.
Finalists were required to prepare a submission for independent judging by Friday, August 8 ahead of the gala dinner to be held in November and the awards night in February.
Committee member Tony Healey said he had not expected the large response to online voting given it had not been offered previously.
“The actual response from the public, with the overwhelming number of votes coming in meant people in business in Orange should be congratulated on what they were doing,” he said.
“It goes to show businesses are doing the right thing.”
This year further recognition will be given to the winning businesses of several categories, which become finalists for the NSW Business Chamber Regional Awards.
For information on finalists go to www.orangechamber.com.au
The people’s choice category is yet to be tallied.