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Horowhenua Chronicle - 2021-11-26

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Business, Innovation winners revealed

News

Rosalie Willis

Three awards were won by the overall winners of the Ka¯piti and Horowhenua Electra Business and Innovation Awards. Taking out the supreme award, Electra Business of the Year, was Paula’s Home & Living, also winning the Retail and Innovation Award categories. “I was so relieved to have won the big one, the overall Electra Business of the Year,” owner Paula Lynch said. “We’ve entered a few times before, won the retail award twice, but I really wanted to win the overall one.” Following the bold move to take the awards night online due to alert level restrictions, Business Ka¯piti Horowhenua Inc chairman Brendan Duffy said, “We applaud those businesses that were brave enough to put themselves forward for this year’s awards during what has once again been a challenging year. “We recognise the energy and commitment it takes to complete an entry alongside navigating a business through such changing landscapes. “Our congratulations go to all of our entrants, we loved watching the winners’ faces live on screen at our virtual event.” Paula watched the livestream from her home in Paraparaumu Beach with her and her team enjoying catering from Party Perfect. “Winning the innovation award was surprising,” Paula said. “After starting out in Levin in 2006 and coming to Ka¯piti in 2008, it’s been 15 years of effort. “I’ve done it all, grown it all on my own, and created a good business with the most amazing team. “The commitment of the team through everything we’ve gone through — between us all, we deserve this award.” Buying a furniture store in Levin did well until a recession hit shortly later. Letting that store go, Paula set up another one in Levin, this time in her own name. Setting up in Ka¯piti in 2008, the store at 25 Epiha St has been through a flood, earthquakes and most recently Covid-19. “It’s great to have a woman owneroperator here in Ka¯piti who has created a robust, solid business.” With the application form for the awards taking her four weeks to put together, Paula’s attention to detail shone through to the judges. The judges said, “Founding owner and managing director Paula, is determined to be a winner. “Her application covered just about every eventuality for addressing how her innovative business model can satisfy customers and grow revenue while also being environmentally sustainable.” The judges said her business is well placed for the current population growth, with her application including detailed performance metrics. Other winners included Ka¯piti Youth Support who won the Not for Profit, Community and Public Services award and the Ka¯piti Top Shop award for their op shop on Ka¯piti Rd. Programme manager for the awards Charlotte Tollervey said, “2021 once again provided us with a challenging environment to run events but we have loved the fact that this also provided us with an opportunity to be innovative and bring the event to our business communities in an accessible and inventive way. “The online event has meant that we have been able to engage with a host of local businesses and viewers that may not have attended the live event, making it more accessible and sharing the news of our 2021 winners even further. A huge congratulations to the 2021 winners.”

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