Two Wellington businesses have taken home top honours in an event deemed the 'Oscars' of small business.
Jespresso cafe and biotech company Pro Agni both took home top honours in the nationally recognised Australian Small Business Champion Awards.
Jessica Gough, the owner and operator of Jespresso and staff member Jake Lynch, as well as Pro Agni's Lachlan Campbell, were all on hand at a packed gala night in Sydney to accept their awards over the weekend.
Jespresso itself went up against nine other contestants in the cafe category, coming out on top at the ceremony held on February 28.
"I'm very happy to receive the award," Ms Gough said after claiming the top going.
"It's a real bit of acknowledgement of all the hard work that's gone into building the business."
While the award was given for the work undertaken in the year prior to 2020, due to the impacts of COVID on many businesses, Ms Gough has been busy throughout the intervening period, also opening up the Arthur View Cafe in Wellington.
The business, a clean and green alternative that provides food and drinks for residents and visitors alike, has been well accepted in the town, as have Ms Gough's efforts in promoting the Buy Local or Bye Local campaign around the area.
"Wellington's really been in a period of development lately and the support of the community, the customers and my friends has really been incredible," Ms Gough said.
While Ms Gough admitted that the last year, and the effects of COVID lockdowns had been challenging, she also welcomed the new businesses flocking to the town.
Ms Gough took over the chair of the Wellington Business Chamber in late 2019 and devoted a lot of the chamber's time and effort into supporting up and coming businesses and supporting local businesses.
"What's that thing they always say? 'Australia is built on the back of small business'. I really think that's true," Ms Gough said.
She also extended her thanks to her parents, whose help both directly and indirectly has been invaluable to many of her ventures.
"I would also really like to take the chance to specifically thank my parents, their support has been invaluable in everything I've ever tried to do and every decision I've made."