Three Toowoomba businesses have been named as finalists in the 2018 Australian Small Business Champion AwardsExcavation Equipment (EXEQ) has been nominated for three awards in the services, business and growth categories, while General Manager Catherine Ardi is a finalist in the Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award. Toowoomba’s Focus HR and florist Blooming Gorgeous have also been nominated and will join EXEQ to represent the Darling Downs in Sydney on Saturday 21 April.

EXEQ Marketing Manager April Lancaster-Smith said that being nominated is a win regardless for EXEQ’s 20 staff members as it’s their belief in the business’ vision to deliver value to customers while building a socially responsible company for future generations. “It’s an honour to be representing Toowoomba along with two other stellar local businesses,” said April. “Toowoomba is an epicentre for great leadership and female-run businesses, so the recognition is an indirect nod to women in business. We support our local and national community by engaging in fundraising for charities such as The McGrath Foundation where we go Pink for Pinktober and other serious social issues, and to inspire individuals and other organisations to do so as well. We believe that our business model and staff work hard to produce an award- winning company that is based on the Darling Downs and making a small impact across Australia and internationally. We love supporting local business and are proud to be Toowoomba based. It is the largest awards program for small business in Australia with 43 industry categories.”

Steve Loe of Precedent Productions started the awards in 1999 to publicly celebrate the achievements of small business people. “Creating the Australian Small Business Awards seemed like an ideal way to honour the contribution that small business people make to our community,” said Steve, commenting the awards had become known as the “Oscars” of Australia’s small business sector.

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