Good for Business: Sunshine Coast Business Awards

Image source: Photographer Barry Alsop, Eyes Wide Open Images

Savvy entrepreneurs know awards are good for business and the return of the Sunshine Coast Business Awards (SCBA) is an opportunity to celebrate the region’s outstanding performers, as SCBA President Jennifer Swaine discovers.

If there is one thing that defines the Sunshine Coast, it would be our entrepreneurial spirit. From start-ups to established businesses we all understand the importance of connection, collaboration and being agile enough to adapt in order to not
just survive but thrive.

The Sunshine Coast continues to be the choice of home for savvy, entrepreneurial businesses from all over the world, affirming our right to be known as the entrepreneurial capital of Australia. In addition, our region contributes $20.37 billion to the Queensland economy and that is set to grow to around $33 billion by 2033!

However, what sets us apart is the way we work together. We embrace innovation, push boundaries and are prepared to share ideas and collaborate – in fact, the Regional Innovation Benchmark Report last year noted that 34.5% of Sunshine Coast innovators collaborate, which is higher than the rest of Australia.

Perhaps that is why, year after year, so many incredible local businesses get behind the Sunshine Coast Business Awards (SCBA) as sponsors, entrants and participants. It’s exciting that after a year-long hiatus, the SCBA is back!

Delivering the SCBA at a level that is on par with any awards program in Australia is only possible because other organisations and businesses see the value in the awards and throw their support into ensuring we continue to successfully deliver the program.

For the first time in the history of the award’s local energy provider LPE, who also have an incredible story to tell, have thrown their support wholeheartedly behind the awards to ensure as many businesses as possible get the opportunity to be recognised and celebrated.

As the Sunshine Coast continues to grow we will refine the categories this year to ensure we cater for new and emerging industries. As such there are two important changes to the award categories for 2021: Attractions and Tours and Transfers have been combined to a simpler category, named Experiences; and Retail, Trades and Services has been split into two categories, namely Retail and Trades and Services.

Businesses who enter any of the industry categories are also eligible to enter the Export award if they export internationally.

A highlight of the awards evening, that will be held this year on 13 November at the Sunshine Coast Convention Centre, is inducting businesses who have won three years in a row into the Hall of Fame. In 2019 we saw innovative local company Helimods welcomed into this prestigious club as the 24th inductee.

While the awards gala is a night of continuous celebration the evening culminates with the highly coveted Business of the Year. The winner of this category is selected from one of the industry category winners and in 2019 Noosa Beach House Peter Kuruvita was awarded this prestigious title.

Past winners comment that the awards are not something you sit down and complete in a weekend. Entrants can spend weeks thinking about their answers, involving their team in the process and say they are often surprised by how much they have achieved when they take the time to stop and reflect on the previous 12 months.

The awards also see strong connections and collaborations formed via the awards events simply because people stopped, talked and shared ideas on how they could work together for greater success.

Applications for the award are now open and will close on Friday 27 August at 5pm. I strongly recommend you start now and complete a little bit each week to ensure you have more than enough time to prepare and submit an incredible application.

Finalists will be announced on 24 September with all finalists invited to an exclusive Media Masterclass and Cocktail Reception on 14 October. 

The Sunshine Coast Business Awards are open to ALL Sunshine Coast and Noosa businesses that have been operating in the region for 12 months or more.

You do not have to be nominated to enter but if you do know an outstanding local business, you can nominate them via the online portal. The impact of nominating a business is incredible and many people have told me it made them feel appreciated and recognised – and that’s before they even win an award!

I encourage everyone to spend the few minutes it takes to nominate an outstanding business – I promise you it will make their day!

The Sunshine Coast Business Awards belong to all of us and provides a platform that allows businesses from across our region to be recognised for their outstanding business efforts – but they are much more than that. The awards give so many small businesses a chance to tell their story.

They share with us the highs and the lows; their wins and losses and what they have sacrificed on their journey to success. 

We hear stories that would otherwise go untold and, in telling these stories, we connect on a level that is real and meaningful.

We all have the power to positively impact others, and it is important we start in our own back yard by supporting the incredibly generous sponsors of the awards and by nominating and championing those we buy from or those whose services we use on a daily basis – because when they succeed we succeed and that’s just good business.

For more information or to nominate:

Award Categories

• Accommodation (Tourism)

• Building and Construction

• Clean Technology

• Creative Industries

• Education and Training

• Experiences (Tourism)

• Festivals and Events (Tourism)

• Food and Agribusiness

• Health and Wellness

• Hospitality

• Manufacturing

• Professional Services

• Retail 

• Social Enterprise

• Trades and Services

•Export – only available to those exporting internationally

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