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Calling Tradies: Entries Open to the 2024 Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards


Entries have officially opened to the 2024 Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards – the nation’s only recognition awards programme dedicated to spotlighting trades-based small business operators from all corners of every Australian state and territory.

From builders and bricklayers to arborists, architects, engineers, commercial cleaners, plumbers, painters, locksmiths, electricians, gardeners, landscapers and surveyors, the Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards is deliberately diverse in terms of the breadth of represented trades.

This year marks the second consecutive year of the Awards, created to celebrate and inspire the nation’s most innovative, dynamic, and top-performing tradies.

Especially relevant this year as the nation grapples with a housing shortage and urgent need for more skilled tradespeople, the Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards pertinently pays tribute to the vital role of small businesses in the trade sector as the backbone of the nation’s construction industry, and a significant contributor to Australia’s overall social and economic prosperity.

Moreover, the Awards recognise trades-based small business owners’ invaluable contributions to their local communities and to their fields of specialty – including their encouragement of future generations of Aussie tradies.

Featuring more than 50 award categories and five individual categories – Apprentice Champion, Champion Tradie, Small Business Trades Entrepreneur (aged over 30), Young Small Business Trades Entrepreneur (aged 30 and younger) and Trades Champion Leader – online entry to the 2024 Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards is FREE and will remain open until 5pm (AEST) on Thursday 4 July 2024.

Recent data indicates that almost two million tradies are actively employed in Australia, but according to various industry bodies, hundreds of thousands more are needed to keep pace with Australia’s housing demand. Furthermore, figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that the vast majority of Australian small business owners are tradies.

“Small business owners in trade industries are crucially important to Australia. Their contributions to this country are simply astronomical and so, it’s in the interests of all Australians to recognise the champions of this sector and in doing so, consider how we can better support them so they can continue to support us,” says Steve Loe, Awards Founder and Managing Director of Precedent Productions – a small business in its own right – which coordinates the Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards.

 

An independent national survey recently commissioned by Precedent Productions found that more than half (63 per cent) of small business owners work more than five days a week. The survey also found that challenges associated with staff hire, productivity and high costs of operation are especially impacting trades-based small business owners; with those in the construction industry in particular challenged by matters of industry uncertainty. “You never know what’s around the corner in the construction industry,” one respondent said.

Spanning hundreds of small business owners from every Australian state, the survey also found that:

- 45 per cent of Australian small business owners feel that it is now harder to meet customer-related outputs or delivery deadlines than pre-Covid.

- 71 per cent feel that they are subject to too much regulation, pay too much tax and are hindered by government more than they’re supported.

- 61 per cent feel they do not get enough government support to take adequate action on matters such as climate change, cyber security, innovation, and local manufacturing. However, the vast majority (74 per cent) would rather purchase supplies from an Australian manufacturer or supplier, even if it meant paying more.

- Almost a quarter (22 per cent) have implemented Artificial Intelligence (AI) into their operations, with a further 39 per cent seriously considering doing so in the near future.

“The Australian trades sector is arguably amongst the most complex, but it’s also among the most innovative, resilient and certainly hardworking,” says Steve Loe.

“A career in trades typically means early starts, long days, and exhausting labour; and for owners, this is in addition to all the pressures that come with running a small business. It can be a taxing career and those who perform to a high standard ought to be acknowledged in a big way – which is what these Awards are all about.

“From regional and rural areas to the suburbs and capital cities, owners from all parts of the country are encouraged to enter the Awards – free of charge – as we strive to celebrate the tradies behind the small businesses that contribute so significantly to our national economy and help to shape their local communities in so many meaningful ways,” adds Mr Loe.

The Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards judging criteria covers several areas including customer service, quality of products, staff training initiatives, environmental sustainability and community contribution. The independent judging panel is comprised of 30 representatives of a variety of trade industries.

Eligible small businesses must be based in Australia, be a Trade Retail or Service Business provider with no more than 40 employees, or a Trade Manufacturing Business with 100 employees or less.

The 2024 Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards shortlisted finalists will be announced from July and will culminate in a National Presentation Evening Gala Event to be held on Friday 23 August 2024 at Sydney’s The Star.

For more information and to submit an entry form, visit: championawards.com.au/trades.

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