Support for business

4 reasons you should enter the NSW Business Chamber Awards

From brand recognition and industry credibility, to increased traffic, revenue growth and boosting staff morale.


Past winners give us their reasons for entering the NSW Business Chamber Business Awards.

Chris McHugh, Sitback Solutions
Chris McHugh, Sitback Solutions

1. Two simple words: brand awareness

Web and UX developer Sitback Solutions has a lot to be proud of. Over 5 years, the web agency has sustained 20% year on year growth, and in the last 18 months, it retained all staff. The secret to keeping productive staff happy and relaxed? Puppy therapy. Among perks such as spa days, free food and flexible hours, Sitback Solutions employees can bring their dogs into work.

This winning combination of delighted staff and revenue growth deserves a shoutout. The company’s well-deserved win of City of Sydney-supported Excellence in Business, Employer of Choice, and Regional Business of the Year category awards did the trick.

“We recognised that our brand awareness was an area we needed to work on and felt that the awards were a good opportunity for us to increase our market exposure,” Sitback Solutions CEO Chris McHugh said.

The awards boosted awareness of our business through articles, radio interviews and public speaking opportunities, all with the help of the credibility offered by endorsement by the Business Chamber.

Pro tip: “Write in bullet points so you are sharp and concise and, wherever possible, show measurable results to support your statements,” Chris said.

Imogen Hayes, Handpicked Wines
Imogen Hayes, Handpicked Wines

2. Good leadership needs to be rewarded

Marketing Manager of Handpicked Wines Imogen Hayes’ hard work was recognised by her mentor, who encouraged her to enter the awards. The young professional launched the Handpicked brand in 5-star hotels across Asia, and landed it in Qantas first class and major Australian airports. She took out the Young Business Executive award.

“I entered because our business has grown rapidly over the last 3 years and we have been trying to innovate within our industry. I’m also a young female manager with a team that is growing quickly, so I’m looking for any opportunity to grow as a leader,” Imogen said.

Many people reached out to me after the awards, resulting in a couple of valuable new partnerships.

Pro tip: “Don’t be deterred – the process of applying is very straightforward. There are plenty of events and networking opportunities, and the Business Chamber offers great assistance,” Imogen said.

Steven Deveraux-Stanford, Ivory Coat
Steven Deveraux-Stanford, Ivory Coat

3. Let your confidence shine

“We know we have great products, actually, the best in the industry. However, not every consumer knows this yet,” Ivory Coat CEO and founder Steven Deveraux-Stanford said.

The Alexandria-based dog product business was awarded best in show, walking away with the Excellence in Small Business award.

“We have many business stakeholders, including our suppliers, distribution network, hundreds of retailers and thousands of consumers, all of whom invest time and money into our brand. The award has helped to give a vote of confidence and move these relationships forward,” Steven said.

Pro tip: “While the application is detailed and can take some time, no question should be new to you as a business owner. The process is a valuable opportunity to review your practices,” Steven said.

Alexandra Riggs, Oobi Baby and Kids
Alexandra Riggs, Oobi Baby and Kids

4. Your first step to taking on the world

The City-sponsored Excellence in Small Business and the Business of the Year awards helped inner-west company Oobi Baby and Kids crack the international market.

“International customers can be reluctant to do business with an unknown supplier,” Oobi owner Alexandra Riggs said. “The award is a comfort to potential new customers, which is a further boost to our great designs and beautiful garments.”

Pro tip: “The application process was seamless, great for morale, wonderful for our staff and a fantastic ‘health check’ that made sure we are meeting our goals,” Alexandra said.

The City has been supporting business awards programs since 2004. This year, we’re a proud principal partner of the Sydney City Region at the NSW Business Chamber Business Awards.

Entries now open until 17 June 2019 to all businesses in our local area.

Find out more about the Business Awards.

Published 7 May 2019, updated 29 February 2024