Business awards

Business awards

Local finalists star at business awards

Two outstanding inner-Sydney organisations beat other state-wide finalists to win category titles at the 2014 NSW Business Chamber Business Awards ceremony on 28 November.

Dean Williams (pictured below) was presented with the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the successful launch and development of his Vision Personal Training franchise in Darlinghurst in 2012, which achieved a $1 million-plus turnover within its first year.

Dean Williams

He believes that his "unique approach … combining nutrition, diet and exercise to deliver realistic and guaranteed results," has distinguished his personal training studio from competitors and is responsible for its devoted clientele. "We offer a small, friendly environment that is not just a workout space – it is a supportive community," he says.

Before launching his Vision PT studio, Dean, 24, had extensive experience in the fitness industry as a martial arts expert and physical training instructor. Encouraged by the success of his Sydney venture, he now hopes to expand his special Vision PT 'brand' to New Zealand, opening franchises across the north and south islands. 

Dean says he will be working closely with the trainers he employs in Sydney and New Zealand to help them build long-term careers in the industry.

"I received strong mentoring and positive support as I was starting out, and I see it as my important responsibility to help others too,” he says. 

Taking top honours for the fourth time in the best Local Chamber category, the South Sydney Business Chamber (SSBC) was again singled out for developing several important initiatives focusing on growth and sustainability, including Green Square Markets, Shopfront Showcase and the Redfern Festival.

SSBC evolved from the Redfern Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, incorporated in 2003.

It was agreed to adopt the new name and a new constitution at a special general meeting of members in late 2010 to reflect a growing business precinct and to recognise the benefits members could gain through supporting a dynamic business association. 

"SSBC’s role is to promote the interests of business in a rapidly changing part of Sydney," treasurer Karen Levin says. 

"Ours is the first and only chamber in NSW that acts as caretaker for 2 major village precincts – Green Square and Redfern-Waterloo. We provide business advisory services to members and the general business community.

"This includes our new mentoring program (P2P) which will incorporate relevant low-cost business advisory services and action learning – a flexible platform to improve business and financial management skills. We also develop projects which align local enterprise with community," she says.

Last year, the City sponsored the Excellence in Small Business award and a business nominated in this category, Superair Australia from Armidale, won the overall Business of the Year award. 

Eleven businesses operating in the City – 7 companies, 2 local chambers, 1 training college and a museum – were in the running for state honours after winning their respective categories at the South East Regional awards in July. 

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Last updated: Monday, 2 February 2015