Nominations for this year's Southern Highlands Local Business Awards have closed.
Precedent Productions Managing Director and Awards founder Steve Loe said an exceptional number of nominations had been received for this year's awards.
"Every year the Southern Highlands community throws its support behind local businesses by nominating them for the awards," he said.
"This year's response has been outstanding, which goes to show what an amazing community Southern Highlands is.
"We have received thousands of nominations for businesses in over 30 categories, particularly via our website."
"The Southern Highlands community is known for being particularly close and for supporting fellow locals, which is what makes it such as great place to live and work," Mr Loe said.
The awards team has already started work on the mammoth task of counting the nominations to find the most popular businesses in each category before notifying those who have been chosen as finalists.
Anonymous, impartial judges will then visit each finalist to assess their services from a customer's point of view.
Judging criteria include: range of products, value for money, business and staff appearance, service quality and customer relations.
Finalists can also submit information about aspects of their business that an anonymous visitor may not see, such as customer testimonials and references.
"Being a finalist in the Local Business Awards can provide a huge psychological and practical boost for the hardworking goods and services providers of the Southern Highlands," Mr Loe said.
"So we are particularly grateful to this year's sponsors, without whose support the Southern Highlands Local Business Awards would not be possible.
"We are proud that year's major sponsors NOVA Employment and Flower Flower and support sponsors, Wingecarribee Shire Council, Service NSW and Boral Cement have thrown their support behind the local business community.
The achievements of all finalists will be celebrated at a gala awards dinner and presentations evening to be held on Wednesday 4th September at Mittagong RSL Club.
The presentation evening sees the announcement of all category winners as well as the Business of the Year and provides an exceptional networking opportunity for all businesses, sponsors and dignitaries involved.
For more information about the Local Business Awards, call Precedent Productions on 8363 3333 or visit www.thebusinessawards.com.au.