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Kiwi Business Hero of the year

20 small businesses from throughout New Zealand compete for title of Kiwi Business Hero of the year

20 small businesses from throughout New Zealand have entered the inaugural Kiwi Business Heroes Awards
Twenty small to medium businesses from Dunedin to Auckland have entered the inaugural Kiwi Business Heroes Awards. Organised by national website and web marketing company Web Genius, the awards are designed to celebrate the largely unsung efforts of an important sector of the New Zealand economy.

Web Genius founder and managing director Richard Calkin said that 97 per cent of enterprises in New Zealand have fewer than 20 employees, and they contribute around 40 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP. “Small to medium businesses make up the backbone of the New Zealand economy and the perseverance of many Kiwi businesses is nothing short of heroic,” said Mr Calkin.

Entry was open to all Web Genius clients, which number around 1200 small to medium businesses the length and breadth of the country: three from Dunedin, one from Christchurch, four from Wellington, three from the Kapiti Coast, one from Palmerston North, three from Hamilton, one from Tauranga and four from Auckland.

The 20 entries include a restaurant, a plumber, an electrician, a photographer, a builder, two accountants, a hairdresser, a joiner, a garage door supplier, a chiropractor, a glazier, a computer company, a software support company, a cleaner, a caterer, a paint supplier, a signage company, a caterer and a packaging company. (There is more information on the entrants at

Voting is now open until the end of October for the public to vote for the businesses they believe are most deserving of the title of Kiwi Business Hero 2016. The five entries that receive the most votes will be the finalists. The panel of three judges will then assess the finalists against the following criteria:

- A story of perseverance (or “heroism”) to overcome significant challenges that stood in the way of business success.
- Evidence of how the business’s products and services are highly valued by your community (for example testimonials, reviews and customer stories).
- Contribution to the Kiwi economy in the form of the employment of staff and the use of local contractors, products and services.
- Giving back; examples of support for the local community in the form of sponsorship, charitable activities or community involvement.

One of the entrants, Peter Jackson Plumbing from the Kapiti Coast, is no stranger to awards, winning the Kapiti Horowhenua Small Business of the Year title in 2012 and the New Zealand Master Plumber of the Year in 2016.

Co-director Sonya Jackson said the Kiwi Business Heroes Awards appealed because they specifically recognised perseverance and community support, two factors which had been important in their business journey. “Part of succeeding in business is that there are always struggles to overcome, hurdles to climb, legislation to adhere to in order to keep going and be successful,” said Mrs Jackson.

“As far as community support is concerned we have a particular interest in helping the youth of Kapiti as we see them as our future. Locally, we have supported Youth Quest and Zeal which means we can give back and help make a difference for the younger generation coming through.”

The winner’s prize is a trip for two to the Gold Coast, plus $1000 worth of services from Web Genius, with the other four finalists also receiving prizes of Web Genius services.

Awards website:

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