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Revealed: the best Northern Rivers businesses

Young Enterpreneur of the Year Jeremy Holmes of Elements of Byron receives his award from NSW Business Chamber Board Director Greg McNamara
Young Enterpreneur of the Year Jeremy Holmes of Elements of Byron receives his award from NSW Business Chamber Board Director Greg McNamara kate o'neill

STALWARTS of the Northern Rivers business community, Brookfarm, have taken the top honour at the 2017 Northern Rivers Business Awards.

The family-run macadamia products company was awarded Regional Business of the Year at Saturday night's sold out gala dinner at Elements of Byron.

 

Jim Burgess and Tony Dunn of Active Pest Management Ballina with TAFE's Kerrie Bowtell and NSW Business Chamber's  Greg McNamara.
Jim Burgess and Tony Dunn of Active Pest Management Ballina with TAFE's Kerrie Bowtell and NSW Business Chamber's Greg McNamara. kate o'neill

The win topped off a great night for Brookfarm, with the business also taking out the awards for Excellence in Business, Excellence in Export, and Start Up Superstar for the Brook family's newest venture, Cape Byron Distillery - makers of Brookie's Gin.

Brookfarm, which began in 2000 and has grown to employ 70 people and export its products all over the world, was recognised for its contribution to creating job opportunities in rural and regional Australia and for helping the local community.

"What we love to do is to make things," said co-founder Pam Brook.

"We manufacture - and that's such an important thing for Australia and for this region.

"We manufacture from things that are grown by agriculture in this region.

"For us, it's so important that we connect agriculture, real food and make regional jobs, and make a difference to our community and environment.

"That's what we're about and we live that every day."

Other winners on the night included Ballina-based suspended wood fire manufacturers, Aurora, who won the Excellence in Small Business Award; Johnson Hunter from The Farm Byron Bay, who was named Young Business Executive; and Jeremy Holmes from Elements of Byron who took out the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

 

EXCELLENCE: Pam and Martin Brook, of Brookfarm, that won the award for Regional Business of the Year.
EXCELLENCE: Pam and Martin Brook, of Brookfarm, that won the award for Regional Business of the Year. kate o'neill

Excellence in Innovation went to the Flow Hive honey harvesting system inventors Bee Inventive, Business Leader award went to Karen Justice of independent pet retailing group, Just For Pets; while Excellence in Social Enterprise went to Yaru Water

The Murwillumbah and Lismore Chambers of Commerce were also recognised at the awards for their innovation and leadership in the aftermath and recovery from the March floods.

Northern Rivers Business Awards Winners:

Excellence in Small Business: Aurora Suspended Fires, Ballina

Excellence in Business: Brookfarm, Bangalow

Young Business Executive: Johnson Hunter, The Farm Byron Bay

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Jeremy Holmes, Elements of Byron

Business Leader: Karen Justice, Just for Pets, Byron Bay

Excellence in Social Enterprise:  Yaru Water

Start Up Superstar: Cape Byron Distillery

Excellence in Innovation: Bee Inventive Pty Ltd (Flow Hive)

Excellence in Sustainability: SAE Group, Tweed Heads

Employer of Choice: SAE Group, Tweed Heads

Excellence in Export: Brookfarm

Local Chamber of Commerce: Murwillumbah Chamber of Commerce

Regional Business of the Year: Brookfarm

Visitor Experience:  Yamba Bowlo Sports and Leisure

Retail: SPAR, Maclean

Professional Service: Southern Cross Credit Union, Murwillumbah

Personal Service: Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic

Trade and Manufacturing: Active Pest Management, Ballina

Aged Care and Wellbeing: Varela and Swift Pharmacy, Murwillumbah 

Topics:  brookfarm northern rivers excellence in business awards



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