Region cleans up in awards again

THE South West, was prominent again at the WA Small Business Awards – boasting eight finalists, with two going on to become WA winners.

Paterson’s Landscaping of Bunbury was named the Best Business with fewer than twenty employees in WA.

Kevin Coote of Craven Foods in Bunbury was named the 1999 WA Entrepreneur of the Year. Kevin Coote’s business and personal success was first reported in Business News on 14 October.

One of Mr Coote’s colleagues said he had all the hallmarks of success, be it in business, sport or community work.

Paterson Landscaping owner Malcolm Mallaby said he had turned his hand to landscaping after working as a sales rep and area manager for a food company.

His company has grown well beyond its early days as a husband and wife operation.

“One of the most frightening days of my life was when I took on my first full-time staff member. I realised then I had another family to support,” Mr Mallaby said.

Leschenault Business Enterprise Centre, through its Business Grow program, helped entrants present their businesses to judges.

Leschenault BEC manager Alison Lannin said she was delighted the South West had featured so well again at the State level.

In 1995 the South West achieved seven out of eighteen State finalists and two out of four State winners.

In 1996 the region achieved five State finalists and again secured a State winner, and in 1997 the region had eight finalists and a State winner. Last year businesses from the region won six finalist prizes and the overall WA Business of the Year.

“This year’s result has made this the fifth year in a row the South West had achieved success far in excess of the proportion of businesses we have in our region,” Ms Lannin said.

“These awards offer encouragement to the extremely valuable small business sector who provide both employment and services across the region, often without recognition.”

Mr Coote said the secret to success was providing good service to customers.

“No matter what business you are involved in, the principles are the same. It just comes down to providing good service,” he said.

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