IT WAS acknowledged several times at last Saturday night's Ballina Shire Northern Star Business Excellence Awards that it was tough being in business at the moment - and all the nominees were really winners.
But only one business could take out the gong of Business of the Year, and that was Ballina cafe, Deli 4U, owned by Michael and Anke Fellner.
The couple have worked in several other ventures before stepping out on their own in the Cherry St cafe three years ago.
Michael said it was challenging for the couple to get their business up and running because they were the first tenants in the building they are currently in.
They were overjoyed to receive the award. Meanwhile, Evolution Cafe and Wine Bar received the People's Choice award.
The Ballina Chamber of Commerce and Industry holds the awards each year.
Business of the Year: Deli 4U
Best New Business: Tonic Hair Body Beauty
Customer Service: Sirocco
Home-based Business: Rachel Elizabeth Photography
Green Business: Summerland House Farm
Hair & Beauty Services: Headroom
Retail Business: Blue Sky
Food & Beverage: Bean Bank
Tourism & Accommodation: Dunes on Shelly Beach
Professional Services: Collins Hume
Trade & Manufacturing: Mark Bullivant Coffee
Don King Community and Social Services Award: House With No Steps
Workplace Safety: Ballina Concrete Pumping
People's Choice: Evolution Cafe and Wine Bar