Finalists in the 2018 South Canterbury Business Excellence Awards have been chosen from a record number of entries.
The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce announced the finalists on Friday.
Chief executive Wendy Smith said this year’s awards had attracted a record 60 entries across all the categories.
Emerging business: Blush Beauty Clinic, Columbus Coffee Timaru, Sidekick Timaru, SkyScape, The Little Red Fox.
Small business: Adventure Horse Trekking NZ, Craighead Kindergarten, Heartland Immigration, Waituna Creek School.
Medium business: Apex Environmental, Copyfast, Harding Construction, Opuha Water, U Bake Bakery.
Large business: Dan Cosgrove 2014 Ltd, Fonterra Clandeboye, Geeves Scaffolding, The Fairlie Bakehouse, Tekapo Star Gazing.
Retail: Pet Central Timaru, Real Milk Timaru, Cocoon Hair Design, Arthur Street Kitchen & Mocca.
ACC workplace safety: Apex Environmental, Fulton Hogan, Geeves Scaffolding.
Community impact: Hospice South Canterbury, The Rotary Club of Timaru North, YMCA South & Mid Canterbury Inc.
Employee of the year: Alpine Energy – Nyia Strachan, Farmside – Amy Linwood, Harding Construction – Adele Fogarty, Timaru District Council – Briony Woodnorth.
Sustainability and environmental award: Cocoon Hair Design, Real Milk Timaru, Timaru District Council.
Innovation and technology award: Apex Environmental, Farmside, SkyScape.
Mrs Smith said the calibre of entries was very high.
“Businesses that have made it through to being finalists are winners already. It was very competitive.
“In the large business category, for example, they’re all stand-out businesses.
“When you’ve got, arguably, the largest business in the country [Fonterra] competing, it shows the credibility of the awards, so that’s fantastic.
The awards were about showcasing the breadth and depth of businesses in South Canterbury and celebrating that success, she said.
“This is the Grammys for South Canterbury business.”
Judges who chose the finalists from a diverse range of entrants faced a difficult task.
“One said to me, that was one of the hardest things they’d ever done.”
A new category introduced this year, with support from Environment Canterbury, was a sustainability and environment award, adding to last year’s addition of an ACC workplace safety category, and an employee of the year award.
“Each year we talk to the entrants and the judges and gather feedback, and introduce those new categories.
“The employee category recognises that, for every business, it’s staff who make or break the business, and that category was really popular this year.”
Voting for the people’s choice awards has begun and is open until August 17.
The awards night will be held on Friday, August 24. Tickets go on sale today.