Pair clean up at business awards
Blanche Bar and Yo-Get-It Karratha were the big winners in the 2016 Karratha and Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry Awards, taking home seven and four awards respectively.
Hundreds of movers and shakers in the Karratha business community dressed to the nines for the annual awards ceremony at the Tambrey Function Centre on Saturday.
Blanche Bar and its staff collected awards across almost half of the night’s 14 award categories, including business of the year.
It also won best business (11-20 employees) and best business local achiever, and was a joint winner of the young/small business achiever award.
The company won the tourism and hospitality award for the third consecutive year and was inaugurated into the KDCCI Hall of Fame.
Blanche Bar manager Lara Ducie won the employee of the year category.
Ms Ducie said it had been a particularly big year for the company, running the second Beats in the Heat festival and starting two new offshoots in the form of Wickham’s Rambla Bar and Fiorita Deli, in response to changing preferences in the community.
“We do work hard but to receive recognition on that scale is astonishing, especially considering there are so many fantastic small businesses, particularly homebased businesses that are doing so well.”
Yo-Get-It Karratha was also a stand-out performer, with awards for best micro business (0-4 employees), best franchise business, best new business and best young/small business achiever.
KDCCI chief executive John Lally said submissions for the awards had doubled since 2015, showing business in the city seemed to be picking up, if in different areas, despite the waning of the mining construction phase.
Mother-and-daughter company Red Rock Health and Fitness won the competitive best home-based business award category, while Erin Hardy Photography was highly commended.
Life & Soul was announced best business (5-10 employees) and last year’s overall winner, KBSS Engineering, took home best business (20+ employees).
Ms Ducie used one of her speeches to pay tribute to former KBSS operations manager and Karratha community member Mark Slocombe, who died in an incident in Perth earlier this year.
Best Aboriginal business was Impact Media and Pilbara Community Legal Service won best community organisation for the second time since 2013.
Dampier massage parlour The Turquoise Soul was highly commended in the best new business category, Wrapped Creations was highly commended in the best business local achiever category, and KAW Engineering’s Sanjay Yadav was highly commended for employee of the year.