Who are the judges?
The judges are an independent panel of business owners, business professionals and government representatives from the Shoalhaven and surrounding regions.
How are they appointed?
The Shoalhaven Business Chamber and the Chair of Judges jointly appoint the judges.
Who is the Chair of Judges?
The Chair of Judges is Raj Ray. Raj has been appointed by the Chair of the Shoalhaven Professional Business Association, Steven Bayer.
How many judges are there?
Two judges per category
- Judges meet to eliminate conflicts of interest and sign confidentiality agreements
- Judges are assigned to categories
- Judges review and score all entries in their category
- Judges determine their category finalists
- Finalists are contacted and announced
- Interviews are undertaken
- Judges choose their category winner
- Judges meet to determine Business of the Year
- Winners’ names are provided to the Shoalhaven Business Chamber for announcement at the Awards Gala
What are judges looking for in your written entry?
The judges are initially looking for the questions to be answered. Providing information that is not related to the question is not helpful. Your responses must also clearly demonstrate excellence by your business.
Interviews will take place between Thursday 26 July and Tuesday 14 August, typically at the finalists’ place of business. Finalists will be announced on 26 July so this is the earliest that judges will be able to start contacting finalists to set up interviews. Interviews take between 30 and 60 minutes.
Franchise business owners
Please note that if you are a franchise business, the judges will be looking for information that demonstrates extraordinary success in the execution of your franchise model and/or unique initiatives, strategies and other successes that are directly attributable to your local team and that set your business apart from competitors and other local organisations. This approach aims to fairly recognise a franchise’s dedication to excellence while acknowledging the advantage a franchise structure offers from an operational and support service perspective.
What are the judges looking for during interview?
The judges will be looking for entrants to clearly reinforce information provided in the entry. They will also ask questions that are not part of the written submission to learn more about your business and give you the best chance at demonstrating why you should win your category.
How finalists are selected
Finalists are selected based on the score from their written entry.
How winners are selected
Winners are selected by judges scoring the written submission as well as responses provided in the interview.
How Business of the Year is selected
Outstanding business category winners that also meet the additional criteria for Business of the Year will be put forward as a finalist. Each judge presents their case as to why they feel the business they are putting forward deserves to win. Once the shortlist is determined, judges vote by secret ballot.
What are the distinguishing features of the Business of the Year?
In addition to being a standout business when compared with the other category winners, judges will also be looking for:
- Demonstrated growth
- Industry success
- Financial sustainability and solvency
- Strong examples of inclusive initiatives that go beyond basic compliance
- Strong examples of social responsibility
- Businesses that cultivate an attitude of contribution to the Shoalhaven business community
How does the audit process work?
The judging process is overseen by an independent team of auditors from the Shoalhaven Professional Business Association.
Receiving feedback on your entry and interview
If you would like feedback to be provided on your entry and your interview, please contact your judge directly.