Awards night

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - From page 12

‘‘The Peo­ple’s Choice Award is one we’re keep­ing be­cause it’s grown in pop­u­lar­ity due to on­line vot­ing from the com­mu­nity. The last time we did it more than 1000 peo­ple voted.

‘‘The process will be sim­i­lar; any­one can nom­i­nate a busi­ness and on­line vot­ing will take place dur­ing March.’’

The Busi­ness Awards were first held in 1998 and, dur­ing the next 18 years, more than 650 busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als were nom­i­nated and more than 150 had won an award.

Ba­rooga-based coun­cil­lor John Bruce said the pos­i­tiv­ity of the old for­mat still needed to carry into next year.

‘‘The nights weren’t about win­ners, it was about pro­mot­ing the great things that are hap­pen­ing in the Ber­ri­gan Shire and per­haps giv­ing busi­ness an op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote them­selves. I hope this new launch is tak­ing us in that same di­rec­tion,’’ he said.

‘‘Since we can­celled the event in 2016 we’ve done a fair bit of work, look­ing at how we can progress these awards by re-launch­ing themes and sourced out to the com­mu­nity to get their feed­back.

‘‘What we found out from the feed­back is the busi­ness com­mu­nity still want the awards.

‘‘Peo­ple were about pro­mot­ing lo­cal busi­ness and high­light­ing achieve­ments of lo­cal peo­ple and I think peo­ple would be amazed with the num­ber of busi­nesses we have op­er­at­ing in the shire.

‘‘Quite of­ten there would be peo­ple say­ing they didn’t re­alise an award win­ner ex­isted and that’s one im­por­tant thing; we are sell­ing our own busi­nesses to our own peo­ple but that’s what these busi­nesses are all about.

‘‘If there’s one thing I was al­ways proud of it was how the busi­ness awards would bring our five Ber­ri­gan Shire com­mu­ni­ties to­gether — four towns and the ru­ral com­mu­nity.

‘‘We want to re­mem­ber that fact; we can come to­gether and com­mu­ni­cate and so­cialise.’’

Tocumwal Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent Ser­gio Rede­galli said the night was about gather­ing busi­ness peo­ple to­gether.

‘‘Get­ting to­gether is im­por­tant be­cause we need more con­ver­sa­tion and, af­ter four years liv­ing here, I’m still meeting new busi­ness peo­ple across the shire.

‘‘This area is not just built up on farm­ing; the busi­nesses are also the heart­beat of lo­cal towns.’’

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