Benjamin Clark was the region’s Young Business Person of the Year in 2018. Photo: Supplied.

Awards a springboard for local jeweller

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It has been a big year for jeweller Ben Clark.

His company Benjamin Black Goldsmiths, which was founded in 2012, has its eyes on the future. But it was Ben’s win of Young Business Person of the Year at last year’s Nelson Pine Industries Chamber of Commerce Business Awards that was a great feather in his cap.

“It was really great to be nominated,” says Ben. “A lot of people comment on it. It’s just a really well-run event.”

He says, being a small business, there are a lot of arms to it, which he and co-owner Amy Cunningham have to do themselves.

But that has not held them back. Instead, they are currently at Auckland Fashion Week checking out potential new people to work with.

“Over the year we have been expanding into more stores around the country and getting into the corporate market.”

Their apprentice Joel Whitwell also got the highest marks in his apprentice certificate.

“Amy and I have just been doing a lot of meeting planning for the future,” Ben says. “We just want to keep expanding and really focussing on the market from around New Zealand. It can be limited in Nelson but if you can push through then there are big gains to be had.”

Chamber chief executive Ali Boswijk says that it is easy to nominate someone for Business Person and young Business Person of the Year.

“Award criteria for the nominees suggests that they exhibit qualities that inspire our business community,” she says. “They may have their own business or work within an organization that has excelled within their industry or inspired others in innovation and/or business excellence.”

Last year’s winners were Pic Picot for Business Person of the Year, and Benjamin Clark, Young Business Person of the Year for those aged 35 and under.

To nominate someone, go to www.commerce.org.nz. Nominations close Monday 9 September. Voting of the finalists will then open to public vote on Tuesday 1 October on the Chamber of Commerce website and using the Nelson App.