More than 130 guests gathered on 8 May in the Yarra Room of the Melbourne Town Hall to celebrate the Business 3000+ Awards 10th Anniversary.

Since 2004, the Business 3000+ Awards Program has annually recognised and celebrated the achievements of small and medium sized businesses within the City of Melbourne that contribute to the vibrancy and commercial success of our city. Over the past decade, 40 businesses across all industry sectors have won a Business 3000+ Award for their achievements.

The evening kicked off with drinks, canapés and live music – a very ‘Melbourne’ buzz. It provided a great opportunity to network with past winners, key partners, and the Melbourne business community, as well as a rare chance to chat informally to dignitaries who influence decision making within the business sector.

Guest speakers


The formal part of the evening commenced with a short address from Bruce Roberts. Crowe Horwath is a valued principal partner of Business 3000+, proud to support small business in Victoria. The company specialises in helping organisations plan, grow and implement financial needs, and is ranked one of the top 10 global accounting networks. It is known for delivering quality services in more than 100 companies.


The Honorable Russell Northe MP – Minister for Energy and Resources and Minister for Small Business for the Victorian Government – spoke about the value and contribution small business makes to Victoria. He is committed to ensuring small businesses are well supported in the economy. As Parliamentary Secretary, Russell had previously been involved in championing Small Business Victoria’s regional visits, and played an ongoing important role in the Small Business Mentoring Service.


Deputy Lord Mayor Susan Riley said that small businesses account for 83% of all businesses in the municipality of Melbourne:

“In the last six years alone our economy has grown by more than $21 billion and we’ve created over 76,000 jobs, despite being 200 times smaller than Greater Melbourne, with 40 times fewer people, and our municipality accounts for 28% of the Greater Melbourne City Council.

We have become a magnet for business. There are now around 16,000 businesses up and running in the municipality. And we have become a magnet for people. The latest figures show that our population grew by 10.5% in the last financial year. That makes the City of Melbourne the fastest growing municipality in the country.”

Susan thanked everyone for their contribution, and reinforced the Melbourne City Council is proud to be a Business 3000+ principal partner.


STREAT is social enterprise that helps the homeless. A former Business 3000+ Award Winner, it provides almost 5,000 days of training and work experience to over 100 local street youth. Many have gone on to further education or found their first job. Two trainees from that first class are now fully qualified chefs. This is truly inspirational story. If you need catering for your next function, give STREAT a call.


From humble beginnings with one store in Melbourne, Flight Centre now has 2,600 stores and 16,000 staff worldwide. With retail statistics showing a growth in online sales, it was interesting to hear that internet sales only account for five per cent of Flights Centre’s sales.

Geoff Harris, Co-founder of Flight Centre, philanthropist and former Vice President of Hawthorn Football Club gave us some valuable insight on business leadership for his 30 years experience. Find them on our homepage – with a new tip updated every week.

What did our guests say?

“Enjoyed the diverse range of people there and met some new and interesting people. I got some great pointers from Geoff Harris, especially on including the staff when things are tough. Geoff said he asked the staff for their input and came up with new trading hours for the company – for example, starting shifts at 7am and working late shifts to suit their customer’s needs. Great idea!”

– Lachie Pitman, Aussie Home Loans

“Enjoyed the buzz of the room. Great to hear entrepreneurs talking to and encouraging small business. It was refreshing, and filled with hope and optimism.”

– George Bej, The Laminex Group

“I was able to meet like-minded business people at the cocktail party, and build the profile of my organisation at the same time. A great opportunity to connect.”

– Anthony Cavanagh, Ganbina