A glittering night for business at the BEATS 2017
THE list of business finalists was as impressive as it was diverse - from organic sauces and a century's worth of car sales to bottling Mt Warning water and spruiking the Tweed's natural beauty aboard an old ferry.
Welcome to the Business Excellence Awards Tweed Shire, affectionately known as the BEATS, handed down at a glittering gala dinner in Murwillumbah on Saturday.
With everything from the complimentary Ink Gin to the food, to the fabulous entertainment courtesy of the Seven Deadly Swings, hailing from the Tweed, it was certainly a night to celebrate.
Finalists in each of the 20 categories were invited onto the stage with the winners from each to progress to the NSW Business Chamber's regional awards.
The evening culminated in the premier award of the night, the 2017 Best Business of the Year, which was won by Mt Warning Tours, a company that has taken the shire by storm over the past year, offering guided tours of the Tweed and Rous Rivers aboard their traditional huon pine ferry boat.
Michael Simmons, who accepted the award alongside his wife Katya Simmons and co-owner Kym Marston, said he was "very proud” to be nominated.
"The Tweed is Australia's natural theme park, with greater diversity here than any other part of the country. I'm just passing on my enthusiasm about all things Tweed,” he said.
WINNERS in Saturday's BEATS awards include:
1. Excellence in Visitor Experience: Mavis's Kitchen
2. Accommodation: EcOasis
3. Retail: Mt Warning Tours
4. Professional Service: Summerland Credit Union
5. Trade, Construction and Manufacturing: SAE Group
6. Excellence in Aged Care and Wellbeing: Varela & Swift Pharmacy
7. Personal Services including Hair and Beauty: Laurence Irvine Chiropractic
8. Community and Social Services (not-for-profit): Mt Warning Spring Water and Yaru Foundation
9. Creative Industries: Coastal Framing and Design
10. Dining: Potager - A Kitchen Garden
11. Environmental Sustainability: SAE Group
12. Excellence in Small Business: Summergrove Estate
13. Accessibility and Inclusion: Varela & Swift Pharmacy
14. Workplace Health and Safety: Mt Warning Tours
15. People'e Choice: Mt Warning Tours
16. Employer of Choice: SAE Group
17. Business Leader (aged 36+): Anni Brownjohn from The Right Food Group
18. Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Bella Creative
19. Start up: Geological George
20. Business of the Year: Mt Warning Tours
Two "Upbeat” awards were given in recognition of the hit Tweed businesses experienced as a result of the March flood.
Upbeat Awards for Courage: Tweed Creative Studios, Gilato and Co, Mt Warning Tours, Mavis's Kitchen
Upbeat Awards Thank Your Mate: Alicia and Craig McNiven; Geoff Smith Motors, Kerry Sanderson, the Murwillumbah State Emergency Service, Jake Malong, Smile Street Dentist.