Be.Bendigo has extended the application period for this year's Business Excellence Awards.
Disruption from the state's lockdown measures and COVID restrictions led to the decision with award hopefuls given an extra 48 hours to complete their applications. The application period will now close on Tuesday, June 15, at 10pm.
Nominations for this year awards have increased with more than 300 businesses nominated.
Be.Bendigo chief executive Dennis Bice said the 302 nominations were a slight increase on the 2019 nominations and reflected the fact more people are supporting local businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is slightly up on what we normally see," he said. "But the pleasing thing for me was spread of businesses. Based on the nominations, we have had a good spread in there.
"For the community to nominate a business is fantastic, but it is up to the business to decide to do the (awards) application.
"This is a really good opportunity for businesses who were nominated to put their hands up and complete the application and go through the judging process. We will know by July 5 who the finalists are in each category.
Mr Bice said competing in the Business Excellence Awards was a good way to showcase your business.
"It is a good opportunity to promote yourself and your business in an environment where people are excited to be supporting businesses," he said.
"Businesses who have won categories and award previously will tell you their business went off on a great trajectory in terms performance. The upside is really promotion and marketing you get from it.
"This year we did reduce level of effort required in application process to take pressure off applicants. We understand it's a challenging time for businesses to complete applications but have been pleased with the response so far."
After completing the applications, judges will assess the nominations and do on-site visits to businesses.
"We have the judging panel, comes from all parts of Victoria headed by a judge in Bendigo," Mr Bice said. We will spend time between June 15 and July 16 doing visitation but have plan B in case we can't do that."
Following the judging, a gala event will be held on August 6 to present the 2021 Be.Bendigo Business Excellence Awards.
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