7 May 2024

Is your Illawarra business awesome? Here's one way to prove it

| Dione David
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The Curran family (left to right) Curran Plumbing and Electrical CEO Sid, COO Jane and co-founders Kerrie and Pat pictured with Jane’s award for Outstanding Young Business Leader at last year’s awards. Photo: Curran Plumbing, Electrical, Heating & Air.

If you want to know the worth of the Illawarra Business Awards, just visit Jane Curran’s LinkedIn profile, which pictures the young COO of Curran Plumbing, Electrical, Heating & Air holding her Business Illawarra 2023 Award, and the title of “Outstanding Young Business Leader” in pride of place under her name.

Jane, who last year won the Outstanding Young Business Leader (just one year after the business claimed the Excellence in Customer Service award) said there had been tangible knock-on benefits for business.

“It quite literally brought in more customers. People want to hire award-winning businesses,” she said.

“It also gave our staff a real kick – they always get excited when we win awards, and we make a point to celebrate internally, because it’s never really an individual win – even if it acknowledges one person, that person’s achievements are a result of the work of their team.

“It all just validates that what we’ve been doing for the last 34 years is right, that we do stand above other companies in our region and industry. That keeps us fighting to do better.”

This year the Curran crew is gunning for three categories including Excellence in Large Business, due to the company’s expansion into heating and air-conditioning.

“We have a lot of plans and this was just one we’ve put into place,” Jane said. “We decided to expand our offering rather than our reach because there is a lot of demand for these services in the Illawarra for companies people trust.”

READ ALSO From Hysata’s hat-trick to a first for Business of the Year, the 2023 Illawarra Business Awards night was rich in highlights

Entries for the highly anticipated 2024 Illawarra Business Awards are now open, set to spotlight excellence in business across the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands regions.

Business Illawarra officially launched the event – which this year marks its 30th anniversary – in the courtyard at The Illawarra Hotel last week.

Business Illawarra Interim Director Paula Martin said the awards were a platform to acknowledge the exceptional endeavours of businesses throughout the area.

“The Illawarra Business Awards present an unparalleled opportunity for all local businesses to collectively celebrate their achievements within our vibrant and diverse community,” she said.

“Participating in the Illawarra Business Awards program allows entrants to showcase their leadership, innovation, and success story as well as honour the relentless commitment and collaboration of their teams.

“We have seen both finalists and winners go on to win incredible domestic and global contracts after competing in the Awards, so I encourage all business owners to tell us their story and apply.”

READ ALSO Business Illawarra’s advisory body to ensure growth in the region is done right

The Illawarra Business Awards adopt a two-phase evaluation process, whereby KPMP Australia Partner, Audit and Assurance at Warwick Shanks OAM oversees an independent panel of judges as they meticulously evaluate the applications.

The highest scoring written entries will be unveiled as finalists on Wednesday 31 July 2024, after which the interview phase begins.

The 2024 black-tie gala ceremony will be held on Friday 13 September at the WIN Entertainment Centre.

Fifteen categories will recognise business achievements across a wide range of areas, with winners in aligned categories continuing to compete against the best across the state at the Business NSW Business Awards in Sydney on Wednesday 30 October.

To submit your entry, visit Business Illawarra or reach out via [email protected] for further details. Nominations close at 5 pm AEST on Wednesday 5 June.

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