Entries open to Geelong’s most prestigious awards program

May 3, 2024 BY

The Geelong business community gathered last night to mark the official launch of the 2024 Geelong Business Excellence Awards. Pictured here are Geelong Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jeremy Crawford and LBW Business + Wealth Advisors associate principal Cathryn Walley. Photo: ALAN BARBER/BAREFOOT MEDIA

GEELONG’S business leaders, young entrepreneurs and organisations gathered yesterday (Thursday, May 2) to celebrate the launch of the 2024 Geelong Business Excellence Awards.

The sold-out networking event, which took place last night at Anabelas in Geelong’s CBD, marked the official opening of the awards’ entry process.

The prestigious awards, managed by the Geelong Chamber of Commerce and presented in partnership with major sponsor LBW Business + Wealth Advisors, recognise the achievements of the region’s vibrant and thriving business community across 20 diverse categories.

Chamber chief executive officer Jeremy Crawford said there were several reasons why businesses should consider entering this year’s awards.

“For those who are entering for the first time, they will get some incredible expertise and judging based on the information they send through.

“Businesses will actually receive feedback on their submissions, so it gives an opportunity for businesses to perhaps get an external view using our local business leaders and owners as the experts.

“Then, at the other end of the scale, for those who go through and maybe become finalists or winners, there’s just an incredible number of benefits at the end of it, including the prize portfolio that we have this year.”

For the first time, and in recognition of the challenging business conditions faced by many, a prize portfolio will be used to provide advertising packages to the GBEA’s category winners.

Pooled together from contributions from bay 93.9, Gawk Outdoor Advertising and Times News Group (publishers of this masthead), the total prize offering is worth just over $100,000.

This year’s awards also feature a new category, the Employer of Choice Award sponsored by the City of Greater Geelong, which is expected to be very popular.

“We actually created this based on a review of the awards we did at the end of last year, and importantly what came through was that there wasn’t a category for recognising great employee culture and employers of choice,” Mr Crawford said.

“I think it’s really fitting too that the City of Greater Geelong are the category sponsor for that award.

“[They] have gone through significant change and transformation under Ali Waste, the CEO, and are continuing on that journey. I think it’s a really fitting sponsor for this year.”

Mr Crawford recognised some businesses were hesitant to dedicate their time and resources to the GBEA entry process, but encouraged them not to be deterred.

“We keep hearing from our previous winners and entrants that the investment of time and effort really does pay off,” he said.

“It’s probably a question of whether businesses are really happy to throw themselves in and look at that return on investment.

“One of the absolute benefits of entering is actually having a self-reflection on the business and then seeing what some of those rewards can be at the end of it.”

Entries to the GBEA will remain open until 4pm on July 12. For more information, head to gbea.com.au

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