Busi­ness evo­lu­tion

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Front Page - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Grampians and Pyre­nees Busi­ness Awards in St Ar­naud on Fri­day night will re­flect a rapidly evolv­ing busi­ness, in­dus­try and de­vel­op­ment land­scape across western Vic­to­ria.

A sell-out awards gala din­ner, cel­e­brat­ing busi­ness ex­cel­lence in North­ern Grampians, Ararat and Pyre­nees mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, is at St Ar­naud Town Hall from 6pm.

Large-scale en­ter­prise has been a tra­di­tional busi­ness driver across the re­gion, but its face is chang­ing.

Re­new­able-en­ergy op­por­tu­ni­ties con­tinue to sur­face and or­gan­i­sa­tions are more than ever em­brac­ing the con­cept of value-ad­ding.

A broad cross-sec­tion of smaller busi­nesses and en­ter­prises are also seiz­ing the ini­tia­tive and mak­ing im­pres­sive head­way in the sec­tor.

A pri­mary in­di­ca­tor of chang­ing play­ers in the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment is the de­ci­sion by French re­new­able en­ergy com­pany Neoen to be the awards’ ma­jor spon­sor.

Neoen is work­ing in part­ner­ship with Nec­tar Farms and North­ern Grampians Shire Coun­cil on Bul­gana Green Power Hub, a world-first value-ad­ding project in­cor­po­rat­ing re­new­able power gen­er­a­tion and stor­age with largescale hor­ti­cul­tural pro­duc­tion.

Es­tab­lished wind farms from Ararat through the Pyre­nees have had, or are hav­ing, a ma­jor in­flu­ence on en­ter­prise de­ci­sions.

Re­gional Aus­tralian ad­vo­cate and busi­ness­woman Kerry An­der­son, au­thor of En­trepreneur­ship: It’s Ev­ery­body’s Busi­ness, will be guest speaker at the awards.

Ms An­der­son will dis­cuss how com­mu­ni­ties can cap­i­talise on an era of en­trepreneur­ship and cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties in ru­ral and re­gional Aus­tralia.

Ac­knowl­edge­ment

North­ern Grampians Shire Coun­cil is host­ing the bi­en­nial awards and mayor Tony Driscoll an­tic­i­pated a big night of cel­e­bra­tion, achieve­ment and ac­knowl­edge­ment.

“There are a plethora of en­tries. The awards have un­earthed some great busi­nesses and this will show­case what they are do­ing and achiev­ing,” he said.

“It will show a side that many in the com­mu­nity are un­aware and is a great chance for ev­ery­one to show pride in the re­gion.

“The re­al­ity is that it’s all about cel­e­brat­ing the vi­brancy of busi­ness in our re­gion and at­tract­ing new busi­nesses.

“What is great about these awards is that they re­flect how busi­ness and com­mu­ni­ties are far from bound by mu­nic­i­pal bound­aries. There is a lot of cross­over. And it is great that we get a chance to show­case St Ar­naud.”

Ararat mayor Paul Hooper echoed Cr Driscoll’s sen­ti­ments, ad­ding he had ob­served how busi­nesses had ben­e­fit­ted from awards suc­cess.

“Pre­vi­ous win­ners have spo­ken to me about the awards and in some cir­cum­stances how it’s helped launch their busi­nesses to a new level,” he said.

“It’s made them look at the busi­ness- es more strate­gi­cally and feed­back from judges, when taken in the right man­ner, has proved to be ad­van­ta­geous. It is a good thing to cel­e­brate our suc­cesses in the re­gion.

“The awards are also a chance for the busi­ness com­mu­nity to enjoy each other’s com­pany and have a bit of fun while mak­ing the most of net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Award cat­e­gories, apart from Busi­ness of the Year, in­clude: New Busi­ness, Agri­cul­ture-viti­cul­ture; Re­tail; Man­u­fac­tur­ing; Hos­pi­tal­ity Food and Bev­er­age; Trades and Con­struc­tion; Pro­fes­sional Ser­vices; Com­mu­nity-so­cial En­ter­prise; Tourism At­trac­tion or Ser­vice; Tourism Event; Com­mu­nity Event; Ap­pren­tice-trainee of the Year; Em­ployee of the Year; Healthy Work­place; Peo­ple’s Choice.

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