GOOD NEWS

New England North West Regional Business Awards finalists announced

Di and Barry O'Connor are again in the running for Excellence in Small Business at the New England North West Business Awards.
Di and Barry O'Connor are again in the running for Excellence in Small Business at the New England North West Business Awards.

Between drought, bushfires and now a pandemic restricting visitors to the region, business has been a challenge for local tourism.

But Barry and Di O'Connor will again be flying the flag for Tenterfield at the New England North West Regional Business Awards later this month.

"You feel like 'I'm a survivor'," Di said after learning of the nomination last week.

For the third time their business, Tenterfield Lodge and Caravan Park, which caters to travellers coming to town, has been named a finalist in the excellence in small business category.

The regional business awards are being held virtually on Friday, October 29 due to the restrictions in place which prevent an awards night from going ahead with an audience.

Di said the recognition had come at a time when the business has faced several difficulties.

"Certainly it's been challenging over the last couple of years between drought, bushfires and now COVID," she said.

"Our business from Queensland has been cut completely, but what we're finding is our business mainly is people travelling around NSW, which is fantastic because they're discovering places they have never discovered before."

Barry and Di have operated the caravan park for six years now.

"We just love it, we love sharing information about the town with people that come in here," Di said.

"They all have a good time and it's a really friendly business to be in."

She described Tenterfield as a hidden gem that more and more travellers were discovering.

"We've got so much to offer here with national parks and history, and boutique shopping. It's just a great place," Di said.

Business NSW Regional Manager, Joe Townsend, who organises the awards, said this year's finalists represent a cross-section of businesses from right across the region.

"It's been an incredibly tough number of years for many businesses, so these awards are a wonderful opportunity to showcase the ingenuity, strength and resilience of the New England North West," he said.

When the awards were launched earlier in the year, Mr Townsend said they had not expected a statewide lockdown and originally planned to hold a gala event in Tamworth this month.

"We believe it's incredibly important to celebrate and support our business community, so we will be pivoting to an online awards event," he said.

Winners from the New England North West will represent the region at the 2021 State NSW Business Awards to be held in November.

Of course the nomination itself is a wonderful recognition for businesses, as Di explained.

"We feel really proud because when you're doing something that you really enjoy doing then you get that acknowledgement, it's rewarding," she said.

Finalists

OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE AWARD

  • Abby Gream - Face to Face Beauty Salon
  • Bronte Pennefather - Headspace Tamworth
  • Jeremy Piper - Gunnedah Trade Waste
  • Kristy Dunshea - Mannion Drilling
  • Mikala Ellis - Birthbeat
  • Nick Hawkins - Everingham Solomons

OUTSTANDING YOUNG BUSINESS LEADER

  • Alexandra Bernard - Alexandra Bernard Journalism and Photography
  • Anna Barwick - PharmOnline
  • Cal Ridley - Show Us Your Crack
  • Chris Watson - Chris Watson Travel
  • Manbir Rooprai - One Connection Disability Services
  • Glenn Many - Many Fabrication & Engineering

OUTSTANDING BUSINESS LEADER

  • Bronwyn Pearson - Pinnacle People Solutions
  • Natalie Scanlon - Country Wide Legal
  • Nicole Brown - Face to Face Beauty Salon
  • Penny Crawford - Crawford Boots
  • Rachael Phillips - Birrelee MACS
  • Shonelle Gleeson-Willey - Moss Environmental
  • Tara Toomey - Seasons of New England

EXCELLENCE IN MICRO BUSINESS

  • Chris Watson Travel
  • Crawford Boots
  • CroppaCo - FarmSimple
  • Jessica Bradbery Copywriting & Brand Strategy
  • She's My Travel Agent
  • The K9 Shed
  • Ultra Fleet
  • Why Leave Town Community Gift Cards

EXCELLENCE IN SMALL BUSINESS

  • Austgrains
  • Face to Face Beauty Salon
  • North West Farm Machinery
  • Pinnacle People Solutions
  • Tamworth Regional Gallery
  • Tenterfield Lodge and Caravan Park

EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS (LARGE)

  • 2TM / 92.9 FM
  • Crowies Paints
  • Everingham Solomons
  • Mannion Drilling
  • Many Fabrication & Engineering

EMPLOYER OF CHOICE

  • BEST Employment
  • BOSS Engineering
  • C7EVEN Communications
  • Everingham Solomons
  • Moss Environmental

EXCELLENCE IN INNOVATION proudly sponsored by Cryptoloc

  • Chris Watson Travel
  • CroppaCo - Farm Simple
  • DroneLogbook Australia
  • Meralli Solar
  • One Connection Disability Services
  • Optiweigh

EXCELLENCE IN EXPORT

  • FeedXL
  • Red River

OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY ORGANISATION proudly sponsored by Santos

  • Birrelee MACS
  • Moree Sports Health Arts and Education
  • Quirindi Rotary Club
  • Tamworth Powerstation Museum

OUTSTANDING START-UP

  • Beaumont Property Sales
  • Good Life Beef
  • Michael Trevithick Handyman Mowing and Maintenance
  • NJOY Pilates
  • One Connection Disability Services
  • Optiwigh
  • PharmOnline
  • Zondii - Food Authenticity Scanning Technology