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By TRACEY ROXBURGH

A record number of entries has been received for the RealNZ Queenstown Business Awards.

Run in conjunction with the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, the awards have been renamed following naming sponsor Real Journeys’ rebrand last week, part of a Wayfare
group relaunch.

Chamber CEO Ruth Stokes says a total of 129 entries across nine categories were received
this year — that’s a 30% increase on 99 entries received for the last awards, held in 2018.

Stokes says the most hotly-contested category is service delivery, where 28 entries were
received, which she considers a ‘‘great sign’’ local businesses are putting the ‘‘Queenstown
Inc brand at the top of their lists, even in these challenging times’’.

There were 27 entries in the Covid resilience and diversification category, focusing on how well businesses have adapted their model during the pandemic, while 26 entries came in for the small business of the year.

Head judge John Guthrie’s about a third of the way through the judging process, Stokes says, and is ‘‘blown away’’ with the high standard of submissions, range of businesses and the initiatives they’ve put in place to keep afloat.

Stokes, too, is stoked with the level of support for the awards from the business community.

‘‘The change in focus this year to recognise and celebrate the amazing things that our community continues to develop and deliver, even in the toughest of times, has been rewarded by record levels of entries.

‘‘I am continually impressed with the strength and resilience of our business community and am very humbled by their ongoing support.’’

Finalists will be announced on October 21.

This one’s up to you

While a judging panel’s whittling down finalists in other categories, the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Mountain Scene, is all up to you.

All businesses who entered the awards are eligible to win People’s Choice — but their fate’s in your hands.

To vote, visit scene.co.nz, and click ‘Vote now’ in the awards tab.

Sign in to Google and then select your favourite three businesses — you can only vote once.

Voting closes October 18 at 4pm.

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz