Singing the praises of family business

THERE were only four winners at this year’s WA Family Business Awards but all 27 finalists were worthy participants in this annual celebration of hard work and business success.

Their achievements were heralded at a gala award evening held on stage at His Majesty’s Theatre on July 16.

In this special commemorative edition WA Business News showcases the exciting evening, complete with photographs of winners, finalists, sponsors, friends and, of course, family.

The 2003 WA Family Business Awards was a black-tie theatrical event featuring a Phantom of the Opera rendition by Perth performers Vincent Hooper and Rechelle Carter, who sang from the stalls.

But the main performance was on stage and it didn’t take long for MC Tina Altieri to start the roll call for WA’s 27 finalists.

On a national level, Western Australian businesses responded the best of any State, with more entries in the WA awards than in any of the other State finals.

And none could champion the importance of family businesses to the State more than Small Business Development Corporation managing director George Etrelezis.

Interrupting Ms Altieri to present the Youth in Family Business, Mr Etrelezis highlighted that small businesses (a large proportion of which are family businesses) make up 96.5 per cent of all private sector business in WA and 66 per cent of those operate at or from home.

“In turn the sector employs 364,000, which is almost 50 per cent of the private sector workforce,” Mr Etrelezis said.

The importance of family businesses is reinforced and celebrated at the Family Business Awards and the preliminary job of selecting winners was a tough one.

While winners in four generation categories were announced, a further two businesses were highlighted by the judges as coming extremely close to winning.

Second generation finalist Blackbird Holdings and fourth generation finalist Richard Noble received distinguished mention from the judges.

The Youth in Family Business Award was presented to D Trandos & Sons Pty Ltd, while Fotek School Portraits won Best Family Business Employer Award.

The four generation winners, Jah Roc Furniture, Gavin Construction, D Trandos & Sons Pty Ltd, and EG Green & Sons Pty Ltd, will compete for the national award at the National Family Business Awards held in Hobart on August 23.

Let’s hope they are as successful as last year’s fourth generation winner, WD Moore and Co, which won the national fourth generation award last year.

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