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Entries Open For Wānaka’s Prestigious Business Awards

Wānaka businesses are encouraged to reflect on resilience and innovation as a measure of success after a challenging fiscal year, with the launch of the Ignite Wānaka Business Awards.

Entries to the highly anticipated Ignite Wānaka Business Awards supported by Milford Asset Management are open, alongside the announcement of three new categories and two new judges to the independent judging panel.

The biennial awards provide an opportunity for local businesses to be recognised for their achievements, innovation, diversification and success across a broad range of categories, culminating in a glitzy awards dinner in November (date and other details to be announced).

Ignite Wānaka Chamber of Commerce is looking for outstanding businesses to enter the following categories: Tourism; Individual; Innovation; Trades & Infrastructure; Sustainability; Professional Services; Retail; Hospitality; People’s Choice and Young Enterprise (less than two years in operation). New categories are Outstanding Employer, Outstanding Not-for-Profit or Social Enterprise and Outstanding in Resilience and Diversification. Hospitality and Retail, previously one category, have now been separated into two separate categories. All finalists have the opportunity to be crowned the supreme winner.

The independent judging panel is convened by Wayne Hudson, who is joined by fellow returning judge Ann Lockhart. Two new judges are local business advisers Charlie James and Meg Taylor.

Hudson says: “2021 will be a very interesting year for the Ignite Wānaka Business Awards. I’m looking forward to seeing how businesses have coped with the challenges imposed by the pandemic, the lockdowns and the closing of our international borders.

"I am not expecting every business to have had a financially ‘successful’ year. Instead, survival in these turbulent times will in many cases be a success in itself. Learning how businesses have managed to survive and what they did to adapt should be very interesting."

Ignite Wānaka general manager Naomi Lindsay says: "It's been an uncertain 18 months for many in our business community, but the courage, tenacity and creativity with which businesses have tackled the pandemic has been nothing short of inspiring. We encourage businesses from all sectors to do a deep dive into their business, using the application forms as a guide, to unearth the great things they've achieved in the last two years."

Milford Asset Management has backed the Ignite Wānaka Business Awards since its inception in 2016. Manager Andrew MacKenzie says: “Milford is delighted to once again partner with Ignite Wānaka for the Business Awards and we encourage all Wanaka businesses to enter then come together to celebrate success. During these uncertain times, it is even more important for the business community to support each other.”

Entry forms are available online at https://www.ignitewanaka.co.nz/events-training/ignite-wanaka-awards/. Entries close at 5pm on October 8, 2021.

Full list of Ignite Wānaka Business Awards categories:

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