We are Focus HR, and we are your people and culture consultants. We help businesses build winning people, winning cultures and winning teams, and we are incredibly proud to be the naming rights sponsors for the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards for 2020.

We were overwhelmed when approached by the Chamber to be the naming rights sponsor.  We thought it was too big for us and wondered if we could step up to take on this prestigious banner.

But when we thought about it, there was really only one answer.  We were being asked to be a part of celebrating small business, of helping our business peers to high-five themselves for seeing through a tough year, and being given the opportunity to be able to give back to a business community that has supported us since day one.

There are 16,000 small businesses in Toowoomba. 95% of those are small businesses and when you look at the statistics it almost feels like a miracle that we exist at all, with 30% of businesses failing in their first year and only 25% surviving past five years. And the two key reasons are cashflow and people or resources

Small business is our world and it is worth celebrating. It’s been a tough year for everyone – if we weren’t impacted in our own business, we had friends or family that were, or saw our valued suppliers or clients taking a hit. But through all of that, the amazing thing to watch has been the robustness, resilience and loyalty of the Toowoomba business community.

We feel it is so important to celebrate (in fact one of our key values – the one I personally enjoy the most – is ‘we work hard and we celebrate harder’). And it is so important to recognise what businesses have achieved – now more than ever

This year ‘excellence’ may not be about growth, or amazing financial achievements – it may be a story of resilience or a business reinventing itself to avoid closure and keep its people employed. Small business is the backbone of the Australia economy and particularly so in Toowoomba – we believe that small business owners should be celebrated. And that’s why, even though we are only a small business ourselves, we were proud to take up the BEA banner.

We are excited about the new direction of the BEA’s under Todd’s guidance – the new, simplified application process, the rigour that is being added through site visits, the promise of quality feedback to all applicants so that, win or lose, the application process will add great value and of course, the plans for a new look, Covid-safe event.  Another opportunity to work hard and celebrate harder!

For us it is all about people. Focus HR has always been about people – about HR. But in our own journey we’ve grown so much. We’ve gone from a pure focus on being an outsourced HR provider, to being a consultancy that not only empowers businesses to have great people practices, but also enables curious and courageous leaders, and builds bold strategies for robust businesses.

Since 2011, we’ve helped over 300 companies locally, interstate and even internationally become stronger, more resilient organisations through their people, leadership and strategy. The BEAs recognise all of these things.  This is what small business in Toowoomba is built on and what we stand for.

You heard me right at the start say we help build winning businesses – well now it’s our chance to recognise and pay tribute to all of our great local businesses.  We hope you apply this year and we look forward to seeing you on the 12th of December.

Naomi, Alistair and the Focus HR team.