Small Business is Big Business at the Sunshine Coast Business Awards

Image source: Contributed

Small business is the beating heart of the Sunshine Coast, and as Jennifer Swaine explains, every year the best of the best are recognised at the annual Sunshine Coast Business Awards.

Now in its 28th year, the Sunshine Coast Business Awards are one of the state’s longest running business awards programs aimed at identifying and celebrating the many outstanding and innovative businesses that call the Sunshine Coast home.

In a region that is home to just over 400,000 people, 10 per cent of us are small business owners, with many of these local businesses providing jobs and employment to close to 169,000 locals.

Without small business these roles evaporate and our economy is impacted which is why choosing to support local businesses wherever you can is so crucial to the success of our region.

Buying and supporting local is something we do well as a region almost as if it is ingrained in us. We connect, collaborate and find ways of working together because we know a “rising tide floats all boats” and if others succeed and draw attention to our region, this in turn creates more opportunities for all.

There are many organisations all over the coast who do a brilliant job of bringing together likeminded people and industries so that knowledge and learnings can be shared but also in a show of strength when organising interstate and international buyers and media to the region – why show them one outstanding business when you can show them many?

The business owners on the Sunshine Coast are a pretty special cohort which is why recognising the entrepreneurial spirit and celebrating their ability to create and innovate is so important.  

Every year the Sunshine Coast Business Awards invites entries from our local businesses from both the Noosa and Sunshine Coast regions to enter so that we can share their story and we can celebrate their success.

With 17 categories, the awards recognise the best of the best with the crowning moment being the announcement of Business of the Year.

We all know great businesses, so it is a nice way to let a business know that you appreciate their service and to show your support for what they do. 

You can also enter the awards without having to be nominated and going through the process is a great reminder of why you got into business in the first place – and a reminder of the great job you are doing to still be in business.

 No strangers to winning awards, Bella Venezia has been recognised and awarded as winners in the Hospitality category, Large Business in 2021 and 2022.

Owners Kristine and Todd Young were thrilled to win this prestigious award two years in a row and will enter again this year with the aim of being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Kristine said it had been a challenging few years for the industry so the wins were a great reward for all of the hard work and perseverance.

“We are so proud of our team and so grateful to our customers,” she said. “Preparing our entry and going through the judging process was a great reminder of why we do what we do and what is important to us. It’s very worthwhile.” 

Being a business owner is a lot of hard work and often you do it alone. There may be no team to cheer you on or remind you of the great work you are doing. Nominating a local business is a wonderful way to let them know what they do is important.

So what are you waiting for? 

Nominate a local business or enter your business today!


There are 17 categories for the 2023 Sunshine Coast Business Awards including:

– Accommodation

– Advanced Technology

– Building & Construction

– Business Services

– Clean Technology

– Creative Industries

– Education & Training

– Experiences

– Export

– Food & Agribusiness

– Health & Wellness

– Hospitality

– Manufacturing

– Professional Services

– Retail

– Social Impact 

– Trades & Services

For details on how to nominate your business or someone else, full criteria and key dates,

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