A large crowd gathered at the Tararua District Council Service Centre in Pahiatua last month, to celebrate two new initiatives that will benefit the districts business community.
The first was the official opening of the Tararua Business Network satellite office. Operating from the Tararua District Council Service Centre in Pahiatua, the office will be open on a fortnightly basis (by appointment).
Designed to help small and medium businesses that are either starting out or already in business, the Tararua Business Network is all about enabling and encouraging businesses in the district to succeed.
Since opening its original office in Dannevirke, just over a year ago, the Business Network has been hugely successful - assisting over 80 businesses.
Business and Communications Administrator, Louise Cooper, said "While we have supported numerous businesses in northern Tararua, we want to provide a more accessible service in the southern ward.
"We are aware of the time it takes to travel, and many small and medium business people in Pahiatua haven’t got the time to come to Dannevirke to see us.
"What we want to do is replicate what we are doing in Dannevirke, so all the training, workshops or seminars we have will be held in both towns."
The other exciting initiative was the official launch of the Southern Tararua Business Awards, promoted by the Pahiatua Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Jackson Enterprises.
The awards are designed to celebrate achievement in business, to recognise great service and reward best business practice.
Guest speaker, Councillor Shirley Hull, said the original idea came from local businessman Lance Shearman.
"Lance came to me and said we support our local sports people and pat them on the back every year, we support our volunteers and pat them on the back every year, but who is actually the backbone of our community? It is our businesses, and they deserve recognition.
"We took the idea to the Chamber who agreed the awards were a marvellous idea.
"Without true sponsorship we can’t get this type of thing off the ground, so we really appreciate the support of Jackson Enterprises who made this possible," she said.
Nominations for the awards are now open and will close on 26 February 2016, with finalists being selected on 21 April 2016.
A celebration dinner will be held on 14 May 2016 when the winners of the business awards will be announced.
Do you know a business that deserves recognition?
Nomination forms are available from the Pahiatua Service Centre
or can be downloaded below (click image to download).