2017 Bendigo Business Excellence Awards nominations open.

Nominations almost doubled in the 12 months to the 2016 Bendigo Business Excellence Awards.

Organisers are hopeful even more businesses will get involved in 2017.

Nominations opened on Monday, along with the announcement of new prizes and new categories.

The winner of the 2017 Business of the Year Award will receive a $10,000 print and digital advertising campaign in the Bendigo Advertiser.

Each of the 17 category winners will receive an advertising package, including print, social media and radio coverage.

New categories include Excellence in trade, Excellence in service industry, Excellence as a large employer, and Excellence as a new business.

Bendigo Business Council chief executive officer Leah Sertori said the categories were inspired by feedback from this year’s applicants, including 2016 Business of the Year Todd Newman Builders.

The 2017 Bendigo Business Excellence Awards Gala Celebration will take place at Ulumbarra Theatre on June 9.

Winners will also have an opportunity to attend a special dinner.

Those who submit nominations will have opportunities to win prizes and giveaways, such as a membership to the Bendigo Business Council.

Nominees will be invited to attend a masterclass on March 2.

“We deliver that service because we think it is really important to invest back into strengthening the capability and capacity of small businesses in our region and leveraging the significant talent and expertise of our sponsors,” Ms Sertori said.

The Bendigo Business Council has a target of 800 nominations.

There were 712 nominees for the 2016 event, up from 400 the year prior.

Ms Sertori believes additional exposure and added incentives propelled the spike in nominations.

Entering has been worthwhile for Todd Newman, whose business has experienced a “significant” spike in popularity since its award.

Mr Newman believes the accolade has given prospective customers more confidence in his business.

“It’s so special to be recognised because of the pride and passion your put into your business,” he said.

The awards were a vote of confidence for 2016 Apprentice of the Year Linette Moore, of the Elmore Bakery.

The 22-year-old from Heathcote said people in Elmore now knew her.

“You feel like one of the town,” she said.

She has also been recognised for her skill at making vanilla slice.

Nominations close on January 20, and can be submitted via the Bendigo Business Excellence Awards website.


This article courtesy of the Bendigo Advertiser