Saturday 12 June 2010, 8:27PM
By Kapiti Horowhenua Business Awards

The annual Electra Business Awards for Horowhenua and Kapiti is now a hundred thousand dollar event.

Sponsorship and Event Manager, Kirsten Kilmister, says this is the income required just to break even on an event that is widely acclaimed and which culminates in a significant social function.

The awards began in 1993 and for its initial years were supported by the now disbanded Kapiti Horowhenua Business Development Board. When it was obvious the Government was going to stop the BDB the awards were handed over to a new organisation, Business Kapiti Horowhenua that first ran the event through the efforts of volunteers.

Today, board members continue unpaid but there are professional management and support services.

Sponsorship has always been an important factor. From the awards’ inception the major sponsor has been Electra, now the local power lines company and known as the Horowhenua Energy Board at the first awards in 1993.

Entry to the awards has always been free of charge. People attending the awards function pay their own way.

There are 11 categories that businesses can choose from: Sustainability (sponsored by Te Arahanga o Nga Iwi Ltd), Not for Profit, Health & Safety (sponsored by Crombie Lockwood), Customer Service (sponsored by Genoese Foods), Operational Capability (sponsored by Beach FM 106.3), New Thinking (sponsored by BNZ Partners), Regional Branding & Promotion (sponsored by Nature Coast Enterprise), Staff Development (sponsored by Whitireia Community Polytechnic), Marketing & Image Building (sponsored by The Kapiti Observer/Horowhenua Mail), Hi Growth, Export (sponsored by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise).

There are also three Excellence Awards: Small Business of the Year (sponsored by Horowhenua District Council), Emerging Business of the Year (sponsored by Kapiti Coast District Council) and the Past Masters Award for previous 'Business of the Year' Award winners.

This year the organisers secured a good number of Supporting Sponsors, mostly from the Horowhenua district, to provide cash, in-kind support or prizes: Alliance Group Levin, The Company Branding Shop, Cullinane Steele, Gen-i, Horowhenua Motor Company / HMC Kapiti, Ohau Gravels vineyard, Oxford Finance, First Actual Design Company, Xplore.Net Solutions.

The winner of this year's Business of the Year will receive an Air New Zealand travel prize, $500 worth of legal services from Cullinane Steele, wine from Ohau Gravels Vineyard and a half page business profile in the Kapiti Observer newspaper.

More information:
Chair BKH, Tony Rush .. 06 367-0332, or 027 241 6262,
Sponsorship & Event Manager, Kirsten Kilmister .. 027 284-8291,