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A flood of entries has fired “robust discussion” on the judging panel for this year’s Powercor Geelong Business Excellence Awards, according to the panel’s boss.
The 2017 awards were among the “toughest” of Simon Flowers’ nine years on the panel, he said.
Geelong’s business community will gather at The Pier for next Thursday’s presentation night after the judges sorted through a record haul of nominations for an expanded field of 21 categories.
The 2017 categories include new individual prizes for Business Leader and Young Entrepreneur of the year, with both shortlisted for Australian Leadership Excellence Awards’ Victorian finals.
Mr Flowers welcomed the “unprecedented” interest in this year’s Geelong business awards.
“The selection of the category winners is usually a difficult exercise for the judges each year because the standard of entries is constantly raised,” Mr Flowers said.
“This year we experienced roughly a 20 per cent increase in the number of entries and the quality of businesses that entered led to lengthy and robust discussion at the judges’ table to select the category winners.
“Together with the business entries, we also received some exceptional entries in the two new individual awards.”
The 32-year-old awards were the oldest of their kind continually running in Australia, said Geelong Chamber of Commerce chief Bernadette Uzelac.
“Each year the Awards provide a vehicle to showcase and recognise entrepreneurialism, innovation and the depth of business excellence within the greater Geelong region,” she said.
“The awards shine a spotlight on business excellence and past winners and finalists exemplify the significant contribution that the Geelong region’s business community makes in driving the local economy.”
The awards’ social media accounts would provide regular updates during the presentation night, Ms Uzelac said.

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