(12pm, Thursday 26 June 2014, Lower Town Hall)
Thank you, James [O'Loghlin, MC]. Hello, everyone, welcome to Town Hall.
I also want to welcome:
- Robyn Hobbs, NSW Small Business Commissioner
- Stephen Cartwright, COE of the NSW Business Chamber and executive members
- The Hon Patricia Forsythe
- Murry Hurps, Acting General Manager, Fishburners
- Executives from the Chamber and Business Partnerships in our local government area
- Councillors and City staff and of course, the
- Award judges
The NSW Business Chamber Sponsor event is a platform that gives our vital business sector in the city of Sydney, the opportunity for recognition, outreach, and exposure at a State-wide level.
The City has joined with the NSW Business Chamber to sponsor the Excellence in Small Business Award in the Sydney South-East region.
It's one of 11 categories that range from innovation and sustainability, from excellence in business ethics to excellence in health and safety, among others.
Judging in these awards is by a panel of experts in each category, selected from business and community leaders within the Sydney and regional areas.
Today, the finalists across all categories will be announced, and all winners from the south-east regional awards will automatically go into the finals for the State-wide awards, held in November.
Naturally, local business chambers need to be affiliated with the NSW Chamber to enter these awards.
The majority in our local government area are already members, but I urge those who are not to sign up. Over the last two months, our City Business and Marketing teams have been working closely with our chambers and business partnerships in the LGA to facilitate this.
Our businesses, large, medium and small, are of vital importance to Sydney's prosperity, to its liveability, to its workability, and to its attractiveness to global business.
Business is a major employer, with the latest Floor Space and Employment Survey showing that the workforce in our LGA has grown by over 13 per cent - an extra 52,000-plus workers - since 2007.
Over the past five years, 40 per cent of all job growth across metropolitan Sydney has been in the Sydney LGA, with the number of businesses growing by just over 2,000, or 10 per cent.
These figures underscore just how important our businesses are to the whole of Sydney - and indeed, NSW.
By sponsoring this Excellence in Small Business Award, we reaffirm our commitment to supporting all our businesses, and recognising the contribution you make.
I congratulate the finalists, and everyone who entered what was obviously a highly competitive field, and I thank the NSW Business Chamber for organising these important awards.