IT'S time to start nominating Bathurst's best businesses for recognition in the annual Carillon Business Awards.
The awards celebrate business in Bathurst and publicly promote and reward business excellence, with 18 categories in the program this year.
One of the winners from those 18 categories will also be chosen as the recipient of the major award, the Carillon Business of the Year.
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The nominations period officially starts on Monday, inviting businesses to put themselves forward for the relevant categories and members of the public to nominate as well.
President of the Bathurst Business Chamber, Catherine Fitzsimons, said she was pleased that the awards were on track to be celebrated in the traditional way after a difficult year in 2020.
"Last year we had just the reduced online awards, but this year we're going back to the full format and it's going to be linked in with the Regional Business NSW Awards as well, so for a number of the categories people will have the opportunity, if they win in their category, to go on into the NSW awards, too," she said.
People have until August 12 to nominate or enter the awards.
For the first time, there will be no entry fee.
"There will be no fee to enter the awards, to try to encourage more businesses to come back into the awards for this first time we are holding it again," Ms Fitzsimons said.
It is also hoped that, by removing the barrier of the entry fee, that it might also see some long-established business enter the awards for the first time.
The judging will begin on August 16, with an independent panel of judges from outside of Bathurst to determine the finalists for each category.
Ms Fitzsimons said the judges will be from outside of Bathurst.
A finalist night will be held on September 21 to recognise the successful nominees and entrants.
Awards will be presented at the gala night at Bathurst Goldfields on October 22.
Ms Fitzsimons said it was more important than ever to recognise businesses, as they've faced unprecedented challenges in recent years, including bushfires, floods and the pandemic.
"It really is important to recognise the achievements of businesses who have battled against all those odds," she said.
She also encouraged business owners not to be shy or embarrassed about entering the awards and talking about how good their business is, as it's a great way to let more people know about their business.
To nominate or enter the business awards, visit the website.
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