Public can now nominate Hamilton firms to vie for CBD business awards

Luke and Chrissy Houghton of Hamilton's Cream Eatery, which won the 2021 Hamilton CBD Association Best of the Best award.

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Luke and Chrissy Houghton of Hamilton’s Cream Eatery, which won the 2021 Hamilton CBD Association Best of the Best award.

You can now nominate your favorite local business for this year’s Hamilton Central Business District Awards.

The added civic engagement has come from the Hamilton CBD Association’s ‘Love the Centre’ campaign to get people back to the central city as the country adapts to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The public can nominate companies for the first time,” association CEO Vanessa Williams said Wednesday.

He said the move was to help spur people’s reactivation of CBD.

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The awards, which have been running since 2010, recognize business excellence and show the evolution of the city centre.

But last year’s awards ceremony was postponed until early this year due to Covid-19 protocols in place.

Nominations for the actual 2022 awards now opened this week, with winners to be announced at an as-yet-undisclosed location on October 12.

Nominations for the awards, sponsored by Spark Business and Mediaworks, can be made via lovethecentre.co.nz.

Hamilton CBD Association chief executive Vanessa Williams says business awards are important for local business morale

Kelly Hodel/Things

Hamilton CBD Association chief executive Vanessa Williams says the business awards are important for local business morale “especially in these challenging times”.

Categories include Best Promotion, Best Innovation, Best Established Business, Best New Business, Favorite Experience, Best Place to Eat and Drink, Best Shopping and Best Customer Service.

There is also a public good category for companies that provide benefits to the community.

“We really want to recognize those who do the public good,” Williams said.

Normally, nominations for the awards average 70-plus a year, but Williams hopes opening things up to the public will help garner more.

“We’d love to be over 70 again. But we’re hoping for even more as we’re now open to the public.”

The awards were important to local businesses “especially during these difficult times,” Williams said.

“It’s really about celebrating and recognizing why people come to our downtown.”

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