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Clever concept makes business awards a huge success for community

The Ipswich Region Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards night was like no other in the 38-year history of the annual event.

This year’s event, held last Saturday, was unique in many ways, one of which was the innovative idea to host the event at two locations to maximise the amount of people that could come together to help celebrate business success in Ipswich in a COVID-19 compliant way.

This year also set new records for attendance. A total of 308 people came together between the Ipswich Civic Centre and the new Ipswich Turf Club. The event was broadcast live between the two venues and awards were presented in both locations, with the MC, President and Mayor being transported between the two venues throughout the evening.

Mayor Teresa Harding thanked President Phillip Bell, Renae Berry and the board of the Ipswich Region Chamber of Commerce for putting on the event, and commended the business community for the resilience shown throughout 2020.

“This year has seen our businesses weather challenging operating conditions due to COVID-19, and I’d like to congratulate all of our local providers, including the finalists and winners of the Business Excellence Awards,” Mayor Harding said.

“The high calibre of finalists is a testament to their expertise, commitment to customer service and resilience.

“Congratulations to all the finalists and winners, and to David Cullen from Pro Drive, who took out the prestigious Business Person of the Year Award.

“I’d also like to extend my thanks to the Ipswich Region Chamber of Commerce for the exceptional logistics of the event.

“This council is here to support Ipswich small business and we look forward to working with you all in 2021 and beyond.”

The Ipswich Region Chamber of Commerce is the second oldest chamber of commerce in Australia. 

Mr Bell said this year’s event was one of the most important in the history of the chamber, as it was important for the business community to be able to come together in what had been extremely challenging and unprecedented time with the global coronavirus pandemic.

“This is the first time that we are aware of this being done,” Mr Bell said of the split-venue night.

Ipswich City Council was proud to support this year’s Small Business of the Year award, won by Plot Australia, a local company founded by Rachel Leembruggen which is “inspiring busy families to achieve a home grown harvest through workshops and curated product packs”.

West Bremer Radio, which moved to its new Top of Town location this year, was also a finalist in that category, but did take out the Aon and BOQ Innovation in Business Award.

Station Manager Bradley Clarke accepted the award on behalf of the entire team behind West Bremer Radio.

“This award was recognition for the hard work and dedication from our entire team. All the supporters, presenters and content contributors that bring the local flavour to West Bremer Radio programming should be awfully proud. Thank you so much Ipswich,” he said.

“Innovation has been a difficult, but rewarding, process for the station and it’s technical team. Embracing new radio listening habits, the station has put in place a range of cutting edge concepts as traditional ways of listening to radio start to decline, and new digital platforms take over.”

Mr Bell said there was further good news for the business community with the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce awards night on November 27 and 28.

“Another example of thinking outside the box and presenting awards night in a COVID-19 complaint way,” he said.

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