Entries are now open for the Westpac Tauranga Business Awards, with Air New Zealand sponsoring a new category that will celebrate Corporate Sponsorship and Philanthropy. Entries for all except the new category will close on Friday, 14 September, with results announced at the annual awards gala at ASB Arena on Friday, 9 November.
The Tauranga Chamber of Commerce is calling for the nomination of supportive businesses in the new category by Friday, 28 September.
Awards organiser Anne Pankhurst said the chamber was delighted Air New Zealand is supporting the important new category.
“The corporate sector supports and contributes an enormous amount towards the community, and it was felt that this needs to be recognised through an award,” said Pankhurst.
“While a large amount is contributed through the ever-necessary money, the corporate sector also contributes its time and expertise.
“It was felt that if this was recognised in a tangible manner, it would encourage the philanthropic culture that is needed to support and grow the social infrastructure of the city.”
Judges are carefully selected for their business skill and knowledge, with any conflicts established at the beginning of the process. Judging will proceed in three stages.
The first stage is the initial assessment of the entry by the head judge, financial judge and awards coordinator.
In stage two businesses will be visited by the judges, who will drill down in more detail on the entry and gain an over all impression of the business.
This interview will take up to two hours. There may also be a third stage where the judges may return for a second site visit or a specialist judge may visit.
At this point there will be further scrutiny to financials, staff and any further detailed information.
Judges may request customers or suppliers information to gain feedback, and may ask to involve staff.
Pankhurst said the chamber was still finalising who would serve as head judge.
Last year’s Westpac Tauranga award winner was 1st Call Recruitment, which not only picked up the overall award for Business of the Year, but also won in the Embracing Digital Technology category, and picked up a Highly Commended award for Workplace Safety.
The company, which has become the biggest employment agency in the Central North Island since it was founded in Tauranga in 2006, says it has found the awards process very useful.
Managing Director Phill Van Syp said the award wins had been very helpful in winning new business and had prompted a lot of positive comment from clients.
“We reviewed everything about the business when we went through the awards process. We re-evaluated everything and found some holes that we could fix.
“We’ve moved away from some sectors, but we’re putting more effort and focusing on other areas of the business, including the white-collar sector, which has seen huge growth for us.”
1st Call also has a new employment-related software product coming out at the end of the year, and has been working with Callaghan Group on this.
“The awards have been very positive for everyone here,” he said.