Joe Andon knows the ups and downs of business in Brisbane, which comes with the territory in his line of work.
Mr Andon founded Vuly Trampolines, one of Australia’s leading trampoline manufacturers, when he was just 19 years old.
Within eight years of founding what is now an international business, he received his home town’s tick of approval when he was awarded Brisbane’s Business Person of the Year at last year’s Lord Mayor’s Business Awards.
Almost 12 months on and Mr Andon is using his award to further his business internationally.
“I think it’s a very unique and special award, there a lot of business awards that a business person in Brisbane can apply for, but this is the only one that has the stamp of approval from the highest authority in town, which is the mayor,” he said.
“When you’re doing international business, which I am doing, and you get recognised by someone like the mayor, it kind of gives you an extra level of credibility that I don’t think you would normally get from an award.
“It makes it easier to do transactions and business deals having that credibility.”
Mr Andon attended the launch of the 2017 Lord Mayor’s Business awards on Wednesday.
He said he hoped entrants would bring fresh and new ideas to the table.
“You need something fresh and exciting and something that shows Brisbane is truly becoming a great place to do business in,” he said.
“When I started business, it’s been ten years now, this city was a completely different landscape.
“There was none of the things that are there to support someone starting a new business, none of it.
“I have done business in so many cities around the world and I can see the direction that Brisbane is heading in, I think it is becoming a better city to start a new business in than other cities in Australia.”
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said in the world index of innovative cities, Brisbane had gone from 85th to 60th place.
“It really does show the underlying strength of innovation in Brisbane and we ought to celebrate, continue to encourage it and recognise it through these Lord Mayor’s Business Awards,” he said.
Cr Quirk said the 2017 Lord Mayor’s Business Awards awards brought a new category – the award for outstanding small business that would be open for businesses of up to 20 employees.
The awards, now in their 12th year, have 11 award categories aimed at honouring the excellence, success and innovation of Brisbane’s business community.
Nominations for the awards will close at 5pm on July 21 and the winners announced on October 27.
The Brisbane Times is a sponsor of the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards.