(7pm, Friday 28 November 2014, Dockside Pavilion, Darling Harbour)
Thank you, Julia, [Morris, MC], and good evening, everyone.
Tonight I want to warmly welcome you all to Sydney - a city that very much relies on and is defined by its booming business sector.
All our businesses - small, medium and large - are of crucial importance to Sydney's liveability, its prosperity, and its attractiveness to global business.
Tonight I want to celebrate the significance of the small business sector.
It is a major employer, with a workforce that has grown since 2007 by over 13 per cent in our LGA alone.
In the past five years, the actual number of businesses has grown by 10 per cent - and that's notwithstanding the fall-out from the Global Financial Crisis.
So small business is vital, not only to the economic life of Sydney but to that of NSW. It also adds enormously to the richness and variety of all that our great City and the State have to offer.
It is an innovative and highly competitive sector, so I congratulate everyone here tonight - the finalists, those who'll be announced as winners, but all participants in this program.
Together, you are building the reputation of Sydney and NSW as a great place to do business, a great place to live and work, and a terrific place to visit.
The City is proud to support the NSW Business Chamber in recognising your fantastic contribution, and to sponsor this year's Excellence in Small Business Award.
Congratulations to everyone involved in these awards. Welcome again to Sydney - and have a great night, everyone!