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Topflite general manager Greg Webster and marketing manager Caro Webster.

Being named as a finalist in the 2020 Westpac Otago Business Awards caps off an already successful year for Oamaru business Topflite.

“It’s great to get some recognition,” general manager Greg Webster said.

Business leaders from around Otago gathered in Dunedin earlier this month for one of the business community’s biggest meetings of the year.

About 120 of the local business who’s-who attended the evening at the Edgar Centre, where the finalists of each award category were officially announced.

Topflite, which specialises in birdseed and small-animal feed, is a finalist in the primary industries category along with Southern Clams and Silver Fern Farms.

Mr Webster said he did not know who nominated Topflite for the awards, but it was the nudge he needed to enter.

“I’ve seen it before and thought we should give it a crack, but the fact that someone nominated us prompted us to get on with it and get it done,” he said.

“It’s a good way to get the Topflite brand out there a bit more as well.”

The actual entry process had been quite involved, he said.

“There were lots of questions around your people and your structures and how you make it all happen, I guess. And how you develop your culture.

“Then we got through that and went down for an interview. They had a panel of some local business people who quizzed us – Mike [McElhinney] the business manager and myself.”

Topflite was the only Waitaki business to reach the finals this year, although Whitestone Cheese had won in the past, Mr Webster said.

“There’s the people’s choice award as well, and then there’s our category and then there’s overall winner.”

The winners will be announced at an awards dinner at the Dunedin Town Hall on November 13.

“We’re rapt just to be in the finals really, so we’ll see what happens on the night,” he said.

“It’s great for the team to get the recognition for all the hard work that everyone does. And all the people that have dealt with us over the years as well.

Volunteer South, which has just opened an Oamaru branch, is also a finalist in the not-for-profit category.