The Bendigo Business Excellence Awards have been launched, with entries now invited for the region's best and most inspiring businesses and employees.
Be.Bendigo chief executive officer Dennis Bice encouraged anyone in the community who sees a business or individual they believe worthy of a nomination to go to the awards website and complete the simple nomination process.
"This year, more than ever, is a celebration of our business community," he said.
He said this was the chance to acknowledge all the hard work and effort that has gone into driving business forward in Bendigo, particularly after the events of the past 12 months.
Looking back: McKean McGregor wins Business of the Year in 2019
The 2020 awards were cancelled due to the pandemic, but Mr Bice said he was extremely grateful to the awards program's many sponsors and supporters - all of whom have stuck with the event, despite last year's forced cancellation.
"They all just want to get on with having this year's awards," he said.
Mr Bice said many people also saw the awards as the opportunity to acknowledge many of the smaller businesses that contribute so much to the region's economy.
Bendigo Advertiser sales manager Dean Farrell said the Addy has long been a proud supporter of the awards, and this year will be no different.
"We are extremely proud of our association with Be.Bendigo and the Business Excellence Awards, and we and look forward to being there for many years to come.
"We see it as our role within the community to share the stories you have in a way that pays respect to your business. We have been here for nearly 170 years doing this role within the community, and as the media landscape changes we look forward to changing with it and to helping businesses grow."
The awards launch was held at the Strickland Road offices of real estate and livestock agency, McKean McGregor, who were the major award winners in 2019.
McKean McGregor principal Glenn Rae said his firm had experienced a rapid growth trajectory as a result of being nominated and ultimately judged the winner of the major category in 2019.
"It was a humbling experience to be awarded, and a very gratifying experience.
"We couldn't believe we were recognised," he said.
More details on the 2021 Bendigo Business Excellence Awards can be found at https://bbea.com.au