Nominations still sought

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Last month, we launched the Waitaki Business Awards together with our partner, the Oamaru Mail.

Being able to bring former Oamaru Business Collective members together with Business South members is moving with purpose towards becoming truly representative of our region’s economic ecosystem.

Figure NZ shows the Waitaki as a region of diverse industry, mainly anchored in agriculture. Creating eight bespoke categories to accommodate this diversity was a challenge.

We are really pleased to include a category for new or emerging businesses which don’t need to be members of Business South.

This will provide businesses in their first three years of trading an opportunity for promotion and celebration to the public and amongst their peers. Please think of a business that has impressed or inspired and nominate them.

We have one more week of nominations and encourage Waitaki residents to join us in celebrating the entire region and its businesses.

This is not just about showcasing individual businesses. Digging through the multitude of nominations we have already received, the public has spoken and is overwhelmingly nominating in the category of ‘‘best professional/ community service of the year’’.

How gratifying is that?

The businesses that are greatly connecting with us are those of service to community.

Of course, this is hardly surprising in Waitaki, a region where Figure NZ calculates that almost 20% of people are involved regularly in voluntary work and community is of great importance.

If a boost is what you’re after, Regional Business Partners have a fund available for Waitaki. Regional Business Partners aims to connect small to medium›sized businesses with the right advice, people and resources and is run by Business NZ.

‘‘Digital Boost’’ covers business› relevant digital expertise, from online accounting to marketing and everything in between. Please contact Cara Tipping Smith at The Business Hive if you want in. This programme is part› funded.

There are many more events this month to enhance your business. Please check the Business South website for further information and to register.

The whole business community and beyond is eagerly awaiting the outcome of Waitaki District Council’s economic development plan, which has been crafted alongside external consultant Polis.

More than 70 individuals were consulted across all sectors to advise Polis of the best strategy, which is being presented to councillors on Tuesday.

Rebecca Finlay is Business South’s Waitaki business navigator