TWO Westlakes businesses were among the 14 category winners at the 2019 Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards announced on Friday night.
Belmont 16s was the venue for the annual presentation of awards which recognise top performers across the city's business community.
Toronto Private Hospital was named Outstanding Employer of Choice.
And Evergreen Energy Consultants, of Wangi Wangi, took out the Excellence in Micro Business category.
Toronto Private Hospital regional marketing manager Rebecca Brennan said as the employer of more than 200 locals, the hospital was proud to win.
"Employees at our hospital are provided with a range of benefits including above-award rates of pay, flexible working hours, free onsite staff parking, generous education and training allowances, free access to physiotherapy and psychology services when required, subsidised staff massages, access to the fitness passport 'Love your Work' employee-of-the-month program, and generous paid maternity leave in addition to the government payments, and much more," she said.
The creed 'People first, people always' was the hospital's top priority, and the staff responded positively to it, she said.
"We employ a wide range of occupations including nurses and doctors, psychologists and physiotherapists, cleaners and cooks, gardeners, bus drivers and admin staff.
"We achieve a healthy workplace culture and low staff turnover through rewarding our high achievers, supporting and encouraging staff to reach their full potential, providing flexible working conditions and, the list goes on..."
Ms Brennan said the hospital thanked every staff member for doing their bit "to make Toronto Private the centre of excellence that it is".
In the news:
Evergreen Energy Consultants provides advice, assessments and certificates relating to energy-efficiency in building projects.
Director Jenna Lorriman, who runs the four-person company with husband and co-director Joseph, said the award was humbling and rewarding.
"The finalists were all outstanding, so to be the one that came out on top means a lot," she said.
To be recognised as a finalist among the 12,000-plus businesses who entered the awards was a feat in itself, she said.
"Running a small business is hard work, but winning an award like this shows that the hard work is paying off. It's also inspired us to better ourselves, and to keep moving forward."
The business will see in its third year this September.
Winner of the Young Entrepreneur category, Jade Chislett, won for her business, Just Like You Dolls, which sells dolls accessorised with a variety of medical devices to customers around the world.
Speech pathologist Jess Kiely, from A Growing Understanding Speech Pathology, took out the night's Outstanding Young Employee award, while osteopath and ATUNE Health Centres managing director Simon Ashley won the Outstanding Business Leader category.
Deputy mayor David Belcher said all 14 winners were worthy of recognition and praise.
"A closer look at the recipients of this year's awards provides an insight into the diversity of corporate talent and potential in Lake Macquarie," Cr Belcher said.
"They demonstrate what is possible with hard work, creative ideas, passion and persistence. They showcase our city's growing reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the state's regional business community."
Lake Macquarie City Council CEO Morven Cameron said businesses made significant contributions to the city.
"These companies, and the thousands of other small and large businesses that call Lake Macquarie home, make a huge contribution to the lifestyle and wellbeing we enjoy in our city by creating employment and driving our economy," Ms Cameron said.
Winners of all but two categories progress to next month's Hunter Business Awards, with success there leading to the NSW Business Awards in November.
The 2019 Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards are supported by Dantia, Service NSW and media partners The Newcastle Herald and NEWFM and 2HD.
And the winners are.-
2019 Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards winners
- Outstanding Young Employee: Jess Kiely - A Growing Understanding
- Outstanding Young Entrepreneur: Jade Chislett - Just Like You Dolls
- Outstanding Business Leader: Simon Ashley - ATUNE Health Centres
- Excellence in Social Enterprise: Allambi Care
- Start Up Superstar: Integrated Environmental Management Australia
- Excellence in Innovation: Ampcontrol
- Excellence in Sustainability: Downer EDI Works
- Excellence in Micro Business: Evergreen Energy Consultants
- Excellence in Small Business: Design Anthology
- Excellence in Business: ATUNE Health Centres
- Outstanding Employer of Choice: Toronto Private Hospital
- Excellence in Export R&R Murphy
- Excellence in Retail, Hospitality and Tourism: Caves Coastal Bar & Bungalows
- Contribution to the City: Allambi Care