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Prospa’s 2023 Local Business Hero awards take off

Designed to honour the often overlooked heroes within our communities, the 2023 Local Business Hero Awards by Prospa celebrate Aotearoa New Zealand’s vibrant community of small business owners.

With a 40 percent increase in nominations from last year and over 1.74 million impressions across Neighbourly and Stuff, Prospa’s fourth annual Local Business Hero awards was a resounding success. 

This year Prospa partnered with Neighbourly once again to deliver the awards. Because of its connection to towns and communities across the country, Neighbourly is the perfect organisation to work with.

The awards drew 897 nominations from all corners of Aotearoa New Zealand, each business was nominated by people from within their own community. The increased entries are a testament to the fact that Kiwis are embracing not only their local small businesses but the Prospa awards, which are going from strength to strength each year.

Success in the current climate is no mean feat with inflation increasing business costs and rate hikes curbing borrowing that might otherwise be used to pursue growth objectives.

Head of Neighbourly, Sarah Moore said they were delighted to work with Prospa to acknowledge those businesses who are doing good in their community.

“It’s been a challenging few years for small businesses, and continues to be – they deserve the recognition for the role they play more than ever.”

Prospa managing director Adrienne Begbie said all the usual difficulties of being a small business had become much harder in the current economic environment.

“Given the difficult circumstances, we were touched to hear how so many of these small businesses made a positive impact on their communities.”

This year’s winner was Waikato finalist, Meg Wilson, who runs the Paws Pet Animal Welfare shops in Putāruru. Wilson received an outstanding portion of votes, making up almost 20 percent of all votes (299 in total). The three shops she established are run entirely by volunteers and proceeds are used to de-sex pets or rescue badly treated cats and dogs. Wilson has won an NZ Local Business Hero Winner Certificate, $2,500 cash, a Stuff advertising package valued at $5,000 and a Neighbourly advertising package valued at $2,500. 

Other finalists included Cam Vernon, a developer in Auckland who went above and beyond to help out in the aftermath of the floods, cafe owners Graeme and Julie Dickesen from Maungatapere, who adapted to provide takeaway options during lockdown and the staff of Ōtaki Medical Centre, for their tireless work during Covid.

Prospa is proud to back these businesses and looks forward to doing it all again next year.

For more information about Prospa’s products and services, visit prospa.com.

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