The inaugural ANZ Geelong Small Business Awards (GSBA) celebrated with a bang at Simonds Stadium on Thursday night, showcasing the local small businesses that have made an extraordinary contribution to the Geelong community. Family-run local small business Shannon Pizza took out the coveted Geelong Small Business of the Year Award, whilst inspirational photographer Stevie van der Chys was named Entrepreneur of the Year in the two major categories for the evening.
Organised by Geelong Women in Business with support from sponsors such as ANZ, the Australia Post Small Business Hive, Cotton On Group & 6ft6 Wines, the GSBA provided local micro to small businesses with a platform to be recognized for their efforts, as well as let their hair down and have fun.
Geelong personalities Andy & Ben from the Block set the scene for an entertaining event as they presented the People’s Choice Awards, whilst local singer songwriter Sam Hanson provided smooth tunes for the evening.
ANZ GSBA 2017 Program Director Samantha Krajina said the event aimed to celebrate local small businesses and entrepreneurs and inspire their continuation, growth and success.
“Geelong is a region that is bursting at the seams with small business culture, which was evident in the large number of nominations and votes we received, as well as the ceremony being a sell-out event.”
“The awards ceremony itself was a welcoming and social event that encouraged networking and connections within the Geelong community, whilst also providing the chance for people to have fun.”
“We wanted to showcase this amazing small business community and encourage the expansion of local business development with the enticement of awards, which I think we achieved across the 21 award categories."
Categories included both People’s Choice and Judged Awards, showcasing a range of the region’s best small businesses across Geelong’s retail, hospitality, arts, education, health and events scene.
Rather than looking at financials as a measurement of success, the GSBA were based on criteria such as contribution to the community, innovation and collaboration.
The awards ceremony concluded with a charity raffle with all proceeds donated to TLC for Kids, a children’s charity dedicated to giving practical and emotional support to sick kids and their families.
Contributions will help drive the establishment of a TLC for Kids auxiliary in Geelong, where every dollar raised goes straight to local kids..”
There were a number of our wonderful Geelong Women members who were finalists and won awards including Laura Van Noordenburg from Geelong Creatives took out the Collaboration King Award, as well as the People's Choice Community Award. Also, Tracey Van Ingen from Shortlist Shop took out the People's Choice Award for Retail. Congratulations to all award finalists and winners!
For all of the images from the night, head to www.gsbawards.com.au