16 August 2017

Seven local businesses have been recognised for excellence in their field at a gala event to announce winners of the 2017 Mount Alexander Business Awards on Wednesday night.

The independent judging panel had the difficult task of selecting winners from 16 high quality finalists.

Congratulations to Mount Alexander Business Award winners:

  • Business of the Year – Kowelec Electrical Contractors
  • Judges’ Award – The Bike Vault
  • Professional Services Award – We Push Buttons and Healing Well (joint winners)
  • Agribusiness Award – Oxley Feed Mill
  • Microbusiness Award – Tori’s Pooch Parlour
  • Creative and Cultural Award – Theatre Royal
  • Manufacturing, Construction and Trade Award – Kowelec Electrical Contractors
  • Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Award – The Bike Vault

Kowelec Electrical Contractors won the coveted Business of the Year Award and $2,000 prize money.

Judges praised 33-year-old business owner Adrian Kowal’s hard work, innovative processes and eye on the future.

“This is a company that totally blew me away with their business planning, staff management and customer service,” said Frances Macdonald, business award judge and Senior Investment and Trade Officer, Regional Development Victoria.

“The reason for this company’s growth and success is not accidental – it’s all down to the hard work of Adrian and his team,” said Ms Macdonald.

Business award judge and Founder of the Lost Trades Fair Lisa Rundell said The Bike Vault was an easy choice for the Judges’ Award.

“Their exceptional one stop destination bicycle shop has a service plus approach to business. Beyond this their enormous community contribution has won the hearts of the locals,” said Ms Rundell.

The Bike Vault received 31 public nominations, the highest received by one business.

Ms Macdonald said she was pleased to see so many businesses integrating environmentally sustainable principles and practices into their operational activities.

“The Oxley family [of Oxley Feed Mill] is an example of how generations of hard work builds the foundation and reputation of a great business that we all want to deal with,” she said.

“In 1998 their various farming enterprises expanded into a thriving stockfeed business, still entirely family owned and operated.

“This company is constantly innovating their products and processes,” she said.

Mayor of Mount Alexander Shire Sharon Telford congratulated all nominees, finalists and winners of the business awards.

“I am so impressed by the acumen and enthusiasm of our local business people,” said Mayor Telford.

“Operating your own business is not a nine-to-five job. It requires tremendous effort, commitment and tenacity. I saw a lot of these qualities on display tonight and I congratulate each of the business owners and their teams and wish them every success,” she said.

Thank you to the judging panel for all their work in selecting winners. Judges were Lisa Rundell of Lost Trades Fair and Tomahawk Marketing + PR, Jason and Belinda Hagan of McIvor Farm Foods, and Frances Macdonald and Paul Goudie from Regional Development Victoria.

Thank you also to MC Tracee Hutchison, guest speaker Katie Finlay from Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens and Margot Spalding who shared her own experiences in business, after establishing Jimmy Possum Furniture.

The Mount Alexander Business Awards were proudly run by Council in partnership with gold sponsor Maldon & District Community Bank® and media partner Elliott Midland Express/Castlemaine Mail. The awards were supported by Regional Development Victoria, Workspace Australia, Business Mount Alexander and Maldon Inc. as award sponsors.