Region's brightest shine at Coast's biggest business awards

Retail, Specialist Services - Small: Daze & Nites Lingerie, Coral Brown, left, Inger Myatt, Julie Simon-Green and Karena Dunn at the Sunshine Coast Business Awards 2012
Retail, Specialist Services - Small: Daze & Nites Lingerie, Coral Brown, left, Inger Myatt, Julie Simon-Green and Karena Dunn at the Sunshine Coast Business Awards 2012 Erle Levey

A DANCER plunges an angle grinder into her steel costume in time to the music, setting off sparks that reportedly melted a microphone cable.

Aerial artists twirl five metres off the ground on long, white sheets hanging from the ceiling.

Humility, thanks, laughter and pride as the winners clutch their framed certificates.

Cute food in little boxes, free-flowing drinks and a crowd of 650 trying to dodge the constant rain falling on the Innovation Centre.

Welcome to the 2012 Sunshine Coast Business Awards.

There were 160 finalists across 25 award categories this year, the 18th in history.

Maroochydore's Ron Hill Automatics won Enterprise of the Year after servicing and repairing vehicles on the Coast for more than 35 years.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Hill told of a Maroochydore with no traffic lights and an Aerodrome Rd without kerbing back in 1975 when his business began.

Small Business of the Year was Belli Park's Hinterland Feijoas, one of Australia's few commercial orchards made up of 750 trees. Sally Hookey and Peter Heineger urged people to visit their farm next year for a taste test of the mysterious fruit.

Warana's Eniquest took home the Innovation Award for their wide range of tough, portable energy solutions for the industrial and agricultural sectors including solar panels, cycle batteries, power generators, parts and accessories.

Founder Don Pulver reminded people of the importance of buying Australian.

Jetts Fitness won the Export Award for its push into New Zealand, where it has opened 40 clubs in 26 months.

Chef Cameron Matthews from The Long Apron Restaurant at Spicers Clovelly Estate only attended the awards at the last minute, at the coaxing of his wife. He had been serving dinner just an hour before he got on stage to claim his Employee of the Year award.

John Pearson, who left high school at Year 10, won the Outstanding Business Person of the Year, days after claiming a state AIM award for his work in indigenous training and employment.

Nambour's Fertility Solutions, Narangba's (formerly Beerwah) Hahn Environmental Services, Mooloolaba's Savvy Business Sales, Maroochydore's Sea English Academy, Maroochydore's Shine Beauty and Nambour's Uptown Hair Studio were all inducted into the Hall of Fame as a result of winning three previous awards.

Mayor Mark Jamieson would have been happy with the winners who thanked council for their support, including Tania Hubbard.

The Gluten Free Grain Free Company founder said council's focus on food encouraged her to stay on the Coast instead of moving.

The Mayor said the efforts of the winning business people were indeed something to celebrate.

"Congratulations to all and, to those who came so close in each category but just missed out on the ultimate prize, hold your heads high because you are among the champions of this region's corporate elite."

President of the Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce, organisers of the awards, Ross Hepworth thanked the sponsors for their support.

"Thanks to our in-kind and cash sponsors from all walks of the business community including local and state government, media, education, banking, communications, business services, automotive, tourism, employment and graphic design companies, we're able to keep celebrating the success of Sunshine Coast businesses year after year."


Building/Manufacturing Small: Bebrok Excavations, Bli Bli

Building/Manufacturing Large: Quik Corp, Warana

Professional/Business Services Small: Enhanced Health & Fitness Clinic, Warana

Professional/Business Services Large: Sunshine Coast Private Hospital, Buderim

Creative/Training/ Knowledge/ Development Industries Small: Sole Studios, Burnside

Creative/Training/ Knowledge/ Development Industries Large: The Creative Collective, Kuluin

Environmental Industries Small: Duke Environmental, Birtinya

Environmental Industries Large: Perfect Earth, Kunda Park

Food & Beverage Production Small: Gluten Free Grain Free Company, Nambour

Food & Beverage Production Large: Suncoast Fresh Pty Ltd, Coolum

Lifestyle Services Small: Kiddie Kicks Soccer, Yaroomba

Lifestyle Services Large: Community Solutions, Buddina

Hospitality Large: Your Garden Centre & Organic Cafe, Forest Glen

Retail/Specialist Services/Home Based Vendors Small: Dazes and Nites Lingerie, Caloundra and Buderim

Retail/Specialist Services/Home Based Vendors Large: Maple Street Co-Operative, Maleny

Employee of the Year: Cameron Matthews, The Long Apron

Business person of the Year: John Pearson, Coolum

Small business of the Year: Hinterland Feijoas

Enterprise of the Year: Ron Hill Automatics

Tourism accommodation: Bli Bli House B&B

Tourism attractions: Aussie World

Tourism experiences: Noosa Dreamboats

Innovation: Eniquest, Warana

Export: Jetts Fitness

Hall of Fame inductees: Fertility Solutions Sunshine Coast, Hahn Environmental, Savvy Business Sales, Sea English Academy, Shine Beauty, Uptown Hair Studio.

Topics:  sunshine coast business awards

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