THE Orange Business Chamber’s gamble to change the Banjo Business Awards paid off, according to president Mark Madigan.
Mr Madigan said he was over the moon with the format, which asked businesses to nominate themselves and put in submissions for three independent and anonymous judges to assess.
“The winners were just totally leftfield – it’s the recognition and acknowledgement of Orange businesses, that’s the bottom line,” he said.
He said the variety of the businesses winning awards demonstrated the business community was resilient and strong.
The awards also welcomed Attitude Gear founder Justin Herald to speak at the event – Mr Herald started a t-shirt venture with just $50 borrowed from his brother and it is now a multimillion-dollar business.
He recalled a meeting he had with Phillips regarding licencing even though he had no idea what licencing was, which resulted in a seven-figure payment.
“Some people wouldn’t have gone to the meeting just because they didn’t know what it was about,” he said.
Who took out awards:
- Banjo Business of the Year: La Bella Advanced Skin and Laser
- Excellence in Community Service: Wangarang Industries
- Excellence in Presentation, Marketing and Social Media: Bobbies Clothing
- Excellence in Innovation: Inland Digital
- Excellence in Sustainability: Ross Hill Wine Group
- Apprentice of the Year: Jack Mills of Union Bank Wine Bar
- Outstanding Customer Service: Nora McNamara of Union Bank Wine Bar
- People's Choice Award - Orange's Favourite Business: Dance HQ
- Young Business Executive: Dannielle Ford of Cheney Suthers Lawyers
- Young Entrepreneur: Sean Ryan of Central West Trailers
- Business Leader: Todd Raffen of Almighty Industries
- Excellence in Small Business (less than 20 full-time employees): La Bella Advanced Skin and Laser
- Excellence in Business (more than 20 full-time employees): Forefront Services
- Best New Business: Smoking Brothers Catering/Elwood's Eatery
- Employer of Choice: Morse Group Accountants and Advisors
- Business Hall of Fame inductee: Hansen Optometrists