South West businesses are being encouraged to enter a new awards program celebrating small and medium-sized entities using innovation to drive the nation forward. The Telstra Best of Business awards will highlight businesses with fewer than 200 employees making waves across eight categories — building communities, championing health, embracing innovation, promoting sustainability, outstanding growth, accelerating women, Indigenous excellence and progressing Australia. Telstra consumer and small business group executive Michael Ackland said the awards celebrated people making a positive impact within their community and industry. “We hope by creating this new program, we will lead a national conversation and shine a light on businesses that are making a meaningful contribution to Australia and provide them with the recognition they deserve,” he said. Previous business awards winner Treendale Pet Medical veterinarian Rob Hill encouraged people to enter to benchmark themselves against other businesses. “The whole process acts as a compass to let you know which areas need to be improved on and provides a level of self-reflection that as busy business owners, we sometimes forget to allow for; and it’s a lot of fun,” he said. Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Kristy Gillian said the awards were a great opportunity for businesses to learn and grow. “Awards like the Telstra Business Awards are a fantastic opportunity for small and medium businesses to go through the process that gives them the opportunity to showcase their business and how far they’ve come,” she said. “It’s an incredibly valuable process that would give them exposure to other businesses,” she said.Enter at telstrabestofbusinessawards.com.