The iconic Business Hunter Awards seek to highlight the important contributions businesses make to the local, national and global business communities. Held annually for more than 40 years, the program is known for celebrating the achievements and entrepreneurial spirit of our region's most inspiring organisations and individuals. Entering your business is a rewarding experience.

It provides an opportunity to reflect on the goals, strategies and vision which have shaped your success, and the insights you gain help drive growth and the longevity of your business. 

Our awards program is designed to showcase the best of the best in our region. Whether you are a startup, a small business, or a large corporation, we have a category that recognises your unique accomplishments. From innovative products and services to exceptional customer service and community involvement, we celebrate all aspects of business excellence.

By participating in the Business Hunter Awards, you not only have the opportunity to gain recognition and exposure for your business, but you also become part of a community of like-minded individuals who share your passion for success. Our judges are industry experts who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, providing valuable feedback and insights that can help you take your business to the next level.

We invite you to join us in celebrating the vibrant business community in our region. Whether you are a finalist, a sponsor, or simply a supporter of local businesses, your involvement helps to build a stronger, more resilient economy for all.


Entries for the Business Hunter Awards are now open!

Entries close 5pm Friday 5 July 2024. Entrants into the 2024 Business Awards must be a member of Business NSW or MyBusiness. You will be prompted to verify your membership via the Enter Now button before proceeding to the entry portal. Not a member? No problem, membership is free! Sign up via the Enter Now button above.


KEY 2024 PROGRAM DATES 

Entries Open: Friday 31 May

Entry Deadline: Friday 5 July

Finalists Announced: Friday 2 August

Gala Ceremony: Friday 13 September

NSW State Business Awards: October 2024


2024 Business Hunter Awards Key Information



2024 CATEGORIES

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The Outstanding Employee Award recognises an inspirational employee who has demonstrated a passion for their role and a commitment to their workplace and the community.  It is open to businesses to nominate an employee.

Employers are required to highlight their employees’ commitment over the past 12 months to their workplace, the community and to being an outstanding employee. To be eligible to enter this category, the employee must have been employed by their current employer for a minimum of 18 months, at the time of entry. 

Proudly sponsored by Quarry Mining

The Outstanding Young Business Leader Award recognises an inspirational business leader aged 35 or under at the time of entry who has demonstrated a commitment to their workplace, industry, and the community through leadership.

Entrants are required to demonstrate their commitment over the past 12 months to creating a smarter and more inclusive future and to being an outstanding business leader.  To be eligible to enter this category, the individual must have held a management position within their organisation for a minimum of 18 months at the time of entry.

Proudly sponsored by CPA Australia

The Outstanding Business Leader Award recognises an inspirational business leader aged 36 years or over at the time of entry who has demonstrated a commitment to their workplace, industry, and the community through leadership, whilst providing mentorship to others.

Entrants are required to demonstrate their commitment over the past 12 months to creating a smarter and more inclusive future and to being an outstanding mentor and business leader.  To be eligible to enter this category, the individual must have held senior management or executive level position within their organisation for a minimum of 18 months at the time of entry.

Proudly sponsored by CPA Australia

The Outstanding Business Leader Award recognises an inspirational business leader aged 36 years or over at the time of entry who has demonstrated a commitment to their workplace, industry, and the community through leadership, whilst providing mentorship to others.

Entrants are required to demonstrate their commitment over the past 12 months to creating a smarter and more inclusive future and to being an outstanding mentor and business leader.  To be eligible to enter this category, the individual must have held senior management or executive level position within their organisation for a minimum of 18 months at the time of entry.

Proudly sponsored by Port of Newcastle

The Excellence in International Business Award recognises a business that exports its products or services internationally, in order to build a positive reputation for Australian products and services and to deliver opportunities for business growth and success.

Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months across the key area of export. 

The Employer of Choice Award – Under 20 Employees, recognises a business that has implemented strategies and initiatives to create a stimulating and supportive workplace environment. 

Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months across the key areas of employee recruitment, engagement and retention.  Category criteria are based on initiatives that have had a positive impact on both employees and the business.

Proudly sponsored by Spirit Super

The Employer of Choice Award – 21 Employees and over, recognises a business that has implemented strategies and initiatives to create a stimulating and supportive workplace environment. 

Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months across the key areas of employee recruitment, engagement and retention.  Category criteria are based on initiatives that have had a positive impact on both employees and the business.

Proudly sponsored by Port Authority of NSW

The Excellence in Innovation Award recognises a business that has implemented innovative solutions for new and existing needs through the introduction or improvement of a product, technology, or application that impacts the wider community.

Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months at the time of entry across the key area of innovation.

Proudly sponsored by Umwelt

The Excellence in Sustainability Award recognises a business that has demonstrated its commitment to sustainable business practices and is working to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment. 

Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months at time of entry across the key area of environmental sustainability.  Category criteria are based on initiatives and projects executed within the business not related to its core offering.

Proudly sponsored by EDF Renewables

The Outstanding Community Organisation Award recognises an organisation that works to improve the social, cultural, or environmental wellbeing of the community.

Entrants are required to demonstrate their commitment over the past 12 months to being an outstanding community organisation.  This category is open to social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations that have been trading for a period of over 24 months at time of entry.

Proudly sponsored by Whiteley

The Contribution to the Region award recognises an organisation that has made a significant contribution to the ongoing prosperity and growth of the Hunter Region outside its core business activity. Entrants will be asked to provide evidence of how this contribution has benefited people and/or organisations outside the core business activities of their client/customer base.

The Outstanding New Business Award recognises a start-up business that has effectively driven growth and is able to demonstrate the potential to achieve future success.

Entrants are required to demonstrate their commitment over the past 12 months to being an outstanding start-up.  This category is open to new businesses trading for a period of less than 24 months at time of entry. 

Proudly sponsored by Skildare

This Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award recognises businesses that address the needs of a diverse community, including seniors, people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, and people with disability. An inclusive business facilitates the needs of all its employees and customers. 

Entrants are required to demonstrate their commitment over the past 12 monthsat the time of entry to address the needs of a diverse community. This category is open to businesses that have been trading for a continuous period of two or more years. 

Proudly sponsored by Glencore

The Excellence in Micro Business Award recognises a business that has effectively driven growth and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies implemented to achieve business success and/or resilience. 

Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months at the time of entry across the key area of business excellence.  This category is open to businesses with less than 5 employees at the time of entry, who have been trading for a period of over 24 months at time of entry.

Proudly sponsored by Newcastle Herald

The Excellence in Small Business Award recognises a business that has effectively driven growth and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies implemented to achieve business success and/or resilience.

Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months at the time of entry across the key area of business excellence.  This category is open to businesses with 5 to 20 employees at the time of entry, who have been trading for a period of over 24 months at the time of entry.

Proudly sponsored by NSW Minerals Council

The Excellence in Large Business Award recognises a business that has effectively driven growth and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies implemented to achieve business success and/or resilience.

Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months across the key area of business excellence.  This category is open to businesses with 21 or more employees at the time of entry, who have been trading for a period of over 24 months at time of entry.

Proudly sponsored by AGL

The Outstanding Local Chamber Award recognises innovative projects undertaken in the past 12 months by a Local Chamber that aims to improve economic, environmental or social impacts.

To be eligible to enter this category, Local Chambers must be a part of the Business NSW Chamber Local Chamber Alliance program. 

The Outstanding Visitor Experience award recognises a business that understands the importance of visitor engagement for a region’s economy* and reputation. The business needs to articulate how they promote the Region as well as offering an exceptional visitor experience.

Entrants are required to demonstrate how their business showcases the Region/community and how their offering is unique within their industry.

This category will be awarded at regional only and will not proceed to the State Awards.

Proudly sponsored by Hunter Water

Entrants for this Award are Hunter Water customers who have undertaken a water efficiency management plan to reduce their use of potable water, delivering cost savings to their business and reducing the demand on the region’s drinking water supply.

Proudly sponsored by NGM Group

The President’s Award is selected by the Hunter Business Chamber President and recognises an organisation or individual that has added substantial value to business efforts in the Hunter Region.

Proudly sponsored by IMB Bank

Business of the Year is open to all winners of the following categories: 

  • Excellence in International Business

  • Employer of Choice Under 20 Employees

  • Employer of Choice Over 20 Employees

  • Excellence in Innovation  

  • Outstanding Sustainability

  • Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion

  • Excellence in Micro Business  

  • Excellence in Small Business   

  • Excellence in Large Business 

This award is awarded to a Business that has been judged to be an outstanding business, that has provided an entry that demonstrates achievements and excellence over and above all other entrants.  This award will be judged by a panel of three judges that have not judged any other entries in the awards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Business Awards Terms and Conditions