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Winners are grinners

Just some of the winning grinners at the Southern Highlands Local Business Awards, held at the Mittagong RSL Club on October 21. Photo Ainsleigh SheridanAWARDS were handed out in 30 categories, but everyone walked away feeling like winners at the Southern Highlands Local Business Awards.
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“We conduct 25 awards throughout the year and I have to say the standard is very high in the Southern Highlands,” said awards convenor Steve Loe.

“It’s something you should be very proud of,” he told the sold-out room of 400 finalists, guests and dignitaries at Mittagong RSL on October 21.

Mr Loe’s company, Precedent Productions, this year independently managed, judged and hosted the awards commending quality customer service.

Realtors Highlands Property won Business of the Year as well as their Real Estate category, and took to the stage twice to thank their staff and clients

“It’s a huge privilege to be invited into someone’s home and we never take that privilege for granted,” said the company’s licensee in charge, Peter Walker.

Several category winners took the opportunity to celebrate how they employ local people and successfully run independent businesses in a tough market.

“Keep supporting local businesses, it’s important,” said Austruss founder Andrew Fowler, who took home the category award for Best in Manufacturing.

“We employ 50 local people and it’s good to see others rewarded for their efforts in this,” he said, such as Harris Farm Markets (Best in Fresh Food), with more than 70.

Mic Mac Boutique (Best in Fashion) owner Kim Macdonald said she was “proud to be one of the individual shop owners in this field”.

United Culture’s Patrick Glanville (Businessman of the Year and Best in Hairdressing) echoed the sentiment with a call for a return to small shops over chains.

Jane Crowley of Dirty Jane’s (Best in Specialised Retail) agreed, recalling recent times when her business “was going to cease to exist”.

“Developers wanted to move in, flatten us and put a huge mall in the middle of Bowral. But thanks to our customers and supporters, that didn’t happen,” she said.

The teams from Mittagong Charcoal Chicken (Best in Fast Food) and Capital Chemist Bowral (Best in Pharmacy) thanked customers for sharing “smiles” and “fun”.

But perhaps Phil Forrester of Le Mans Motors (Best in Automotive) spoke for all when he said: “There’s only one way to do it, and that’s to do it as best you can.”

Emcee Paul Hancock (Channel Nine) and entertainers Damn Good Divas and Australian Idol finalist Hayley Jensen kept the night going on a sweet note.

Mr Loe thanked the awards’ major sponsors Hume Coal and TrueLocal, and support sponsors Harper Entertainment Distribution Services, Clifton Accountants, Boral Cement Berrima, Wingecarribee Shire Council and the Southern Highlands Business Women’s Network as well as exclusive media partner Southern Highland News.

CATEGORY and OVERALL WINNERS

Accommodation: Peppers Manor House, Sutton Forest

Antiques, Art, Crafts & Gifts: Mittagong Antiques Centre

Automotive Services: Le Mans Motors, Bowral

Bakery/Cake Shop: Stones Patisserie, Berrima

Beauty Services: The Vogue Room, Bowral

Cafe: Il Pranzo, Moss Vale

Child Care Services: Gibbergunyah Long Daycare, Mittagong

Fashion Shop: Mic Mac Boutique, Bowral

Fast Food/Takeaway: Mittagong Charcoal Chicken

Fitness Services: BENt On Crossfit, Mittagong

Fresh Food: Harris Farm Markets, Bowral

Hairdresser: United Culture, Bowral

Health Improvement Services: Hill Top Surgery

Home Furniture & Furnishings: Bed Bath & Table, Bowral

Manufacturing: Austruss, Willow Vale

New Business: Ten Thousand Paces (retail gallery), Bowral

Not For Profit: Interchange Australia, Bowral

Pharmacy: Capital Chemist Bowral

Professional Services: RMB Lawyers, Bowral

Real Estate Agency: Highlands Property, Bowral

Restaurant: Eschalot, Berrima

Service & Trade: G.J Gardner Homes Southern Highlands, Mittagong

Specialised Business: Mali Brae Farm, Moss Vale

Specialised Retail Business: Dirty Jane’s, Bowral

Tourism Services: Small Farm Expo, Bowral

Business Man of the Year: United Culture, Bowral

Business Woman of the Year: Nest Children’s Physiotherapy, Bowral

Youth Award: Jack Smith of A.T. Roofing, Bowral

Environmental Sustainability Award: Tammie Ash @ Exclusive Hair & Beauty, Mittagong

Environmental Sustainability Award (Highly Commended): Book Us Bookkeeping, Mittagong

Environmental Sustainability Award (Highly Commended): Irelands Machinery, Braemar

Business of the Year: Highlands Property

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