It’s Oscar night for Great Southern businesses

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
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ACCI chief executive Benita Cattalini, event coordinator Kahlia Ericson and president David Steytler.
Camera IconACCI chief executive Benita Cattalini, event coordinator Kahlia Ericson and president David Steytler. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

Local businesses that go the extra mile will be rewarded at the Great Southern business community’s night of nights this Saturday.

The annual Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry Great Southern Business Awards is a gala night of glitz and glamour as business leaders and innovators are recognised for their contributions to the Albany economy.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan will be in Albany to open the awards ceremony.

Up for the top honour of Great Southern Business of the Year are four finalists.

They are the Alkaline Cafe, Boston Brewing Co, Concept Tech, and Busy Blue Bus Tours and Charters.

Alkaline cafe owner and chef Mel Homewood.
Camera IconAlkaline cafe owner and chef Mel Homewood. Credit: Laurie Benson

There are three people vying for Business Leader of the Year, including Asha Bhat from the Southern Aboriginal Corporation, Murray Gomm from Oranje Tractor Wine, and Susan McCabe from Busy Blue Bus.

Several people or businesses have been named as finalists in multiple categories, with Kiya Watt, Xesiv Digital, Boston Brewing Co and Bredco in contention for three or more gongs.

ACCI chief executive Benita Cattalini said new categories had been introduced for this year’s awards to make them more relevant to local businesses.

She said without the finalists, the Great Southern region would not have the same appeal to tourists and investors.

SAC’s Asha Bhat is one of the finalists for Business Leader of the Year.
Camera IconSAC’s Asha Bhat is one of the finalists for Business Leader of the Year. Credit: Laurie Benson

“Not just because they contribute to employment and the financial economy but because they contribute to the social capital in our region too,” Ms Cattalini said.

“They are the people that support our arts and culture, our schools and our sporting events.

“They volunteer and they donate. They deserve to be recognised for their contribution and for their commitment.”

“Without them the Great Southern would not be able to offer the amazing experience that we give to tourists, newcomers and investors in our region.

“By recognising them we are recognising our region and showing how much we value their contribution.”

Oranje Tractor’s Murray Gomm.
Camera IconOranje Tractor’s Murray Gomm. Credit: WA News, Laurie Benson

The winners will take part in a free workshop and receive support from local entrepreneur Steve Birkbeck, the founder of Mt Romance.

The awards will be held from 6.30pm on Saturday at the Albany Entertainment Centre.

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