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March 3rd, 2011

2011 Telstra Business Awards-

Australians are urged to celebrate the nation’s best small and medium businesses by nominating them for the 2011 Telstra Business Awards.

Entries are open  for the Awards program in its 19th year of recognising excellence in business. It is bigger than ever in 2011 with the introduction of two new Awards, the Telstra Regional Business Award and the People’s Choice Award.

For the second year, entrants in the Awards can elect to receive a 70-page Business Health Check, an independent report that assesses a company’s performance against best practice and can help in identifying opportunities for growth.

For finalists and winners, the Awards offer accolades, public profile and the privilege of joining an exclusive national business alumni. Winners will share $500,000 in overall cash and prizes.

Deena Shiff, Telstra Business Group Managing Director and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, said the Awards were the best way to recognise the contribution made by small and medium businesses.

“Many are built on adversity and overcome obstacles – as communities across Australia face immense challenges such as rebuilding after the recent natural disasters, small businesses are making an enormous contribution,” Ms Shiff said.

“As Australia’s longest-running and most prestigious national business Awards, they play an important part in supporting the development of this diverse sector. The Awards celebrate not just success in business but also the skills and innovation needed to breathe life into an emerging business idea.

“Nominating businesses for the Awards shines a light on the courage, persistence and sheer hard work behind their achievements as well as opening entrants to a unique evaluation process that provides a ‘health check’ of invaluable insights that can help them grow and thrive.

“Winning a Telstra Business Award often catapults a business on to bigger and better things, with previous winners expanding across the country and overseas.

“The state and territory Telstra Regional Business Award is a chance to highlight the success and importance to local economies of regional businesses while the Telstra Business Awards People’s Choice Award will allow customers and supporters to vote for their favourite businesses and recognise the service, values, innovation and other strengths that the businesses offer,” Ms Shiff said.

Mr Peter Lilley, co-founder and CEO of the 2010 Telstra Australian Business of the Year, stratsec, said winning the Award was a fantastic honour for the company that provides independent information security consulting and testing services. The win has been followed by stratsec’s acquisition by British information security company BAE Australia as well as new cyber security opportunities for stratsec in South-East Asia and the Middle East.

“The reputation boost and recognition in international markets afforded by that kind of independent Award is incredibly important,” Mr Lilley said.

The 2011 Telstra Business Awards have six Award categories:

1. Business Owner Micro-Business Award – For businesses with five employees or fewer.

2. MYOB Small Business Award – For businesses with more than five employees but less than or equal to 20 employees.

3. Panasonic Australia Medium Business Award – For businesses with more than 20 employees but less than or equal to 200  employees.

All entrants will be considered for the following two specialist Awards:

4. AMP Innovation Award – For businesses that have successfully introduced an innovation.

5. Yellow Pages Social Responsibility Award – For demonstrated leadership and contribution by a business to the environment, people, education or the community.

6. Telstra Regional Business Award – For businesses in each state and territory located outside the metropolitan areas of the capital cities.

The  People’s Choice Award is open to all submitted entrants in the Telstra Business Awards. It gives the Australian public the opportunity to vote for their favourite businesses via the Telstra Business Awards website from early April.

To nominate and enter go to telstrabusinessawards.comor call the Telstra Business Awards Team on 1800 262 323 between 9am and 7pm AEST Monday to Friday. Entries close at 5pm Eastern Standard Time on Monday 4 April 2011.

Category Awards are offered in each state and territory, and an overall state or territory winner is selected from the category winners.

Winners of state and territory categories are then eligible to take out national categories, with the overall state and territory winners eligible to win the 2011 Telstra Australian Business of the Year, which will be announced at a gala event in Melbourne on 26 August 2011.

Media contacts:
Kathryn McFarlane    0419 850 201      Telstra
Marcela Balart             0422 483 371      Lighthouse Communications Group

Received & published by Henry Sapiecha

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