The 2011 City of Sydney Business Awards has broken all records, with 640 small businesses nominated and over 67,000 votes tallied.
These figures represent a 23 percent increase in the number of nominated businesses compared with 2010, and a 62 percent increase in the number of votes.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said almost half the businesses nominated are first-time nominees – suggesting that despite the gloomy global financial outlook, Sydney’s small business sector is thriving.
“Small businesses play a crucial role in enlivening our communities, driving economic growth and providing jobs for hundreds of thousands of people.”
“I’m delighted that Sydneysiders have shown such incredible support for their favourite small businesses this year, giving entrepreneurs all over our City a fantastic opportunity to increase their profile, expand their customer network and take their business ideas to the next level.”
Most popular industries
The most popular category in the 2011 competition was Professional and Business Services, with 61 nominations and more than 31,000 votes.
This was followed by Specialty Wholesale and Retail, with 58 nominations and 3600 votes, as well as Marketing and Communications with 44 nominations and 4800 votes. In the newly introduced Online Business category, 21 nominations and over 1900 votes were received.
The strength of Sydney’s small bar scene is being recognised again, with exciting new venues including Grandma’s, Stitch, 13B and CORRIDOR nominated in this year’s Small Bar category.
This year’s awards also suggest there’s been a bike boom in Sydney, with 13 Bicycle Businesses nominated and more than 500 votes received.
In the coming weeks, each finalist will be asked to complete a questionnaire to give the judges more information about their long-term business strategy, financial results, strategic planning, track record on innovation, community involvement and commitment to environmental sustainability. Some will also be visited by a mystery shopper.
The winners will be announced at the 2011 City of Sydney Business Awards Gala Dinner hosted by Lisa Wilkinson on Tuesday, 13 September.