Cha Cha Chocolate has been named business of the year in the Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce 2020 Business Excellence Awards.
This year’s event was held virtually across two venues to be COVID safe.
Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce president Yale Morgan said it was a great evening, well received by all.
He said the awards process had been simplified this year which had seen many deserving businesses recognised.
“What we’re looking for, while we believe all businesses are excellent, we’re just looking for those good success stories,” Yale said.
“So we made the application process more around success, resilience and how they have endured and prospered over the last 12 months.
“We identified those businesses who have reinvested back into community by way of finances, by way of support and encouragement.
“We’ve seen a lot of collaboration between business and community organisations, which is very encouraging.”
With the COVID pandemic ensuring all businesses needed to be more resilient than ever, Yale Morgan said it was a key factor in awarding this year’s Business of the Year to Cha Cha Chocolate.
Not only was owner Melanice Jacobsen able to ensure her business weathered the storm, she offered support and guidance to other local businesses.
“Through the application process there was some key points and a lot of it has focussed around how they have prospered and what they did to change their business to suit the current environment,” he said.
“And not only that but what they did to support others around them and pull the business community together.
“Instilling confidence, instilling enthusiasm – and that’s really what Melanice and Cha Cha Chocolate did.”
Posting to Facebook to say she was unable to attend the awards evening because of unexpected surgery in Brisbane, Melanice said she was thankful for the recognition.
“Business of the Year and what a year it has been,” Melanice wrote.
“It’s nice to be rewarded for the hard work we have done this year to survive.
“We love Bundaberg and we love our community.”
Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated the 2020 Business Excellence Awards winners.
“Thank you to the entire Bundaberg Region business community for your efforts throughout the year and congratulations to all award recipients,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“This recognition is well deserved.”
2020 Business Excellence Award winners:
Business of the Year – (Platinum Sponsor Bundaberg Regional Council) – Cha Cha Chocolate
New Business of the Year – (Sponsor -Triple M) – Splitters Farm
Micro / Home Based Business – The Ideas Distillery
Accommodation Business of the Year – The Burnett Riverside Hotel
Health and Wellbeing Business of the Year – Bargara Beach Holistic Centre
Personal Services Business of the Year – Companion Cremations
Professional Services Business of the Year – (Optus Sugarland) – Regional Business HQ
Community Organisation of the Year – Angels Community Group
Hospitality and Culinary Business of the Year – The Windmill Bargara
Trade Business of the Year – (Sponsor – Busy At Work) – TJS Air Solutions
Industrial & Manufacturing Business of the Year – Aletek Advantage
Retail Business of the Year – (Sponsor Bundaberg Today) – Cha Cha Chocolate
Agribusiness of the Year – (Sponsor Bundaberg Field Day Society) – Northside Produce Agency
Crush Magazine Community Spirit Award – (Sponsor Crush Magazine) – Northside Produce Agency
Childers New Business of the Year – Childers Chamber of Commerce – Insane Caffeine
President’s Award Childers – Childers Chamber of Commerce – Childers IGA
President’s Award Bundaberg – Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce – Marcus McCormick
President’s Award Bundaberg – Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce – Bree Grima
Yale said the Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce was optimistic about the future of the Bundaberg Region business community.
He asked residents to shop local and not to pressure local businesses to reduce prices or match online prices as they recover from the pandemic.
“Consider their families, the staff’s families,” he said.
“If you’ve got to pay a couple of bucks more consider it a contribution to our economic recovery.”
Yale said the success of the 2020 Business Excellence Awards was due in no small part to the efforts of Ainsley Gatley from Event Networx who coordinated the event and the livestream between the two venues.