LISMORE's diverse business community has the opportunity to achieve valuable recognition from their peers again this year with entries for the Lismore Business Excellence Awards now open.
This year there are two new categories, 'Community and Social Services' and 'Hair, Beauty & Well-being', in a list of 13 awards which include Best New Business, Business of the Year, and the People's Choice categories.
The awards ceremony is on Saturday, August 23.
Lismore Chamber of Commerce executive officer Elise Taylor said local businesses made a big contribution to Lismore and the awards were a chance to celebrate that - and enjoy getting dressed up for the occasion.
"Lismore is so lucky to have such a unique and eclectic make up of businesses," she said.
"Above all else, the night itself is a celebration of the entire business community.
"We actually have a lot of people who come along on the night who don't enter but just to support each other and enjoy a great night."
For those who do decide to enter, Ms Taylor said it was well worth the time spent to apply.
"By simply completing the entry criteria, businesses will review their past 12 months. It's an opportunity for entrants to look over their business; to see where they are excelling and where there may be room for improvement," she said.
"It is also an opportunity to put their business name up in lights."
This year's major sponsor, accounting firm Crowe Horwath, is offering a free copy of its Survive and Thrive in Uncertain Times guide to all businesses who enter.
Cath Bashforth, Crowe Horwath marketing manager, said the event was important to the Lismore community.
"As a firm we strive to assist local businesses to become successful, so recognising that success is vital."