One of the biggest events on the business community calendar is back for 2018!

The Westpac Manawatu Business Awards recognise business excellence and best practice in the region, across seven industry sectors, and businesses of all sizes.

Nominations are open until 12 August and anyone can enter a business: an owner, employee, supplier or client.

The Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) deliver this flagship biennial event in Manawatu via a supportive team of sponsors and partners. We are delighted to welcome back Westpac as naming sponsor, as well as all previous sponsors of the awards.

CEDA’s Economic Development Manager Sarah Gauthier says the awards are a community-wide extension of the agency’s work.

“Our Business Growth Advisors help businesses to upskill and develop on a daily basis, through the Regional Business Partner Network, which includes helping companies to develop their management and leadership capabilities, providing connections to business mentors, and supporting research and development grant applications.”

Previous winners and finalists say the insightful feedback from face-to-face meetings with experienced judges is one of the most valuable parts of being involved in the awards, with many making changes and improvements to the way they do business as a result of the judges’ suggestions.

DKSH New Zealand’s Managing Director Russell Wilson says suggestions were taken on board and implemented. DKSH were the 2016 winners of the Distribution and Logistics Award, sponsored by 360 Logistics and Palmerston North Airport.

“The feedback we received from the expert panel reinforced what we are doing well in our business, however more importantly the advice they gave us on how we can improve our business has been beneficial in terms of staff engagement and financial results,” he says.

“If you are wanting to improve your business and will accept constructive criticism, I’d highly recommend entering the 2018 awards.”

Ms Gauthier says a fresh pair of experienced eyes offering feedback can be helpful to a business, as it enables direction to be reaffirmed or highlights the need for change.

CEDA is thrilled to have teamed up with new key sponsor Go Media, who have joined NZME and the Manawatu Standard to provide promotional and prize packages for the awards via their extensive networks.

Manawatu District Council, Central Demolition Services, FoodHQ and BigaVision have also joined the awards team as category sponsors supporting the Manufacturing and Construction and Professional Services and Retail categories respectively. New supporting sponsors Nodero, SignFusion and Pivot Design have all come on board to ensure the awards have excellent design and digital presence.

Find out more about the 2018 award categories and our sponsors.