NORTH Link and partners hosted the 2020 Northern Business Achievement Awards Grand Finale online event on Thursday 3 December. Industry leaders and local government from six municipalities in Melbourne’s north attended the online event that recognised achievements of SMEs from the region in a difficult year impacted by COVID-19.

Thomastown cheese producer Floridia Cheese was awarded Business of the Year, while 12 more awards were handed to businesses who demonstrated business excellence, growth and competitiveness in 2020.

Floridia Cheese General Manager Rosalba Portella was proud of her family and the team for the achievement “The Montalto family owners of Floridia Cheese are delighted to be the recipient of three NBAA Awards, including the Business of the Year award. The achievement wouldn’t be possible without the team effort from our dedicated and hardworking team. We’re humbled and proud to receive this award which recognises the passion and commitment of our family that continues through the third generation of Montalto’s. We’d like to thank the City of Whittlesea for our nomination and the NBAA.”

Floridia Cheese has received industry support through Melbourne’s North Food Group. Managed by NORTH Link, MNFG provides the food and beverage industry with domestic and international opportunities while helping to build business capabilities.

Chris James, Executive Director NORTH Link said “COVID-19 has made this year very difficult for everyone, particularly our local businesses. These awards gave us the opportunity to recognise the persistence and resilience businesses have shown this year, which makes us very proud of our community”.

Clare Bowditch, musician, broadcaster, actor, entrepreneur and best-selling author was the guest speaker who spoke of her experiences this year and gave attendees a performance.

Other winners included:

  • Business of the Year: Floridia Cheese
  • Customer Service Award: Sealane Group
  • Human Resources Award: Sage Business Group
  • Innovation and Enterprise Award: Posture Balance
  • Export Award: Floridia Cheese
  • Sustainability Award: Ben Hutchinson Landscapes
  • Industry Education Award: Dulux Australia
  • Workplace Diversity Award: Mocopan Coffee
  • Philanthropy and Community Service Award: Moon Rabbit
  • Best Start-up or Microbusiness Award: Blue Pear Pantry
  • Outstanding Initiative in Manufacturing Award: Glenroy Bakery
  • Technology and Design Innovation Award: Ultralift Australia
  • Chair’s Award: Repurpose It
  • Student Placement Employer of the Year Award: Floridia Cheese
  • Placement Student of the Year: Pallavi Martolia

The awards align with NORTH Link’s drive for economic development, marketing and promotion of Melbourne’s north, by recognising local business achievement, encouraging innovation and providing valuable networks and opportunities for enterprise growth and development.