You may only apply to enter only one category – with the exception of Export*. Read the descriptions below and select the category that most accurately depicts your business activities and the area in which you have had the most success in your business over the past 12 months.

Ask yourself:

  • What category would my customers think I am in?
  • Who are my competitors – and which category are they in?
If you are still unsure, we recommend that you select a likely category and then move on to answering all the questions – you can change your category before you submit your application. After you have completed your answers, review your category selection and consider if it still feels like the most appropriate choice based on what you have written about your business.

Within each category there will be a winner for**:

  • Small Business – 0-10 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees including principal(s).
  • Large Business – 11 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees including principal(s).
  • Based on ‘How many people do you employ, including contractors’

* If you export internationally and those activities generate more than 30% of your business revenue, then you may enter the Export category in addition to your main business category.

** The SCBA committee reserves the right to only award one winner in an overall category if there are fewer than 5 finalists in both the large and small categories.

The following category explanations and business types are provided as a guide to assist you in selecting the most appropriate category to enter – you can also look at our past winners / finalists in each category for reference:
Accommodation (Tourism)

A business engaged in the provision of short-term accommodation and associated services.

  • Hotels, Motels & Resorts
  • Bed & Breakfast Accommodation
  • Self-contained Short Stay Apartments
  • Caravan and Camping
Advanced Technology

Any business that develops proprietary advanced technologies that are either commercialised as an offering to customers or used in-house in the production of novel goods and services by that company.


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Autonomous systems
  • Robotics
  • Bioengineering
  • Nanotechnology
  • Software as a Service
  • Quantum computing
  • IOT
  • Augmented/Virtual Reality
  • Web3
Building & Construction

A business engaged in the preparation of land, and construction, alteration and repair of buildings and structures and other real property. This category includes mobile and temporary housing, shipwrights and other permanent structures and construction.

  • Building Services
  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Suppliers and Contractors
  • Town Planning and Surveying
Business Services

A business providing services to other businesses, service providers, vendors, buyers and/or contractors. May include services such as lead generation, sales, customer service support, property management, inventory management, recruitment, HR, design, advertising, marketing, IT, bookkeeping, insurance, PR, administration, communications and business development.

  • Recruitment, employment and HR consultants
  • Graphic, web and interior design 
  • Real estate sales and property management
  • Advertising, marketing & PR companies
  • Bookkeepers and tax accountants
  • Insurance providers and underwriters
  • Administration services
  • Event planning and management
  • IT and communications providers
  • Commercial research and business development
Clean Technology

A business based on any process, product, or service that reduces negative environmental impacts through significant energy efficiency improvements, the sustainable use of resources, or environmental protection activities.

  • Architecture and green building designers
  • Producers / Distributors of Green building materials
  • Providers of renewable energy (solar) and energy efficiency (LED lighting)
  • Engineering and scientific consulting services
  • Green accounting and marketing services
  • Cleantech water management
  • Ecologically sustainable waste management
Creative Industries

A business engaged in the generation and commercialisation of individual intellectual property, creativity, talent, ideas, knowledge and information as products or services. 

  • Craft and Visual Arts
  • Fashion design 
  • Videography, Film, Television and Radio
  • Music and performing arts
  • Writing and Publishing
  • Software, Smartphone applications and Video games
Education & Training

A business or organisation providing courses, programs, products or services to facilitate learning, education and training, or corporate, professional, vocation or community development (does not include primary or secondary schools).

  • Education
  • Training
  • Tutoring
  • Skills-based programs
  • Professional development
  • Coaching
  • Online courses
  • Community education
  • Educational resources (books, toys, games)

A business providing access to a place of interest that people visit for its natural, cultural or historical value, its inherent beauty, or for leisure, adventure or amusement, including natural and built attractions, festivals, events and exhibitions, or guided tours and transfer activities in, around or to places of interest.

  • Theme Parks, rides and similar tourism activities
  • Natural, cultural, built and historical attractions
  • Fairs, carnivals and themed markets
  • Scenic tours and transfers
  • Adventure and leisure tours and experiences
  • Travel and Booking Agents
  • Music and other cultural events
  • Sporting, local and regional events
  • Trade and other Expos

A business, in any industry, that exports goods/services internationally. This applies to businesses that are exporting directly or through a third party. At least 30% of business revenue must be derived from export activities to be eligible for this category.

The Export category is not standalone. You may only apply for the Export award if you submit an application for another category.

Food & Agribusiness

A business engaged in substantially earning its revenue from agriculture. This includes, but is not limited to, farming, processing and manufacturing and/or distribution of agricultural products.

  • Regionally Grown produce (supply, sales, value adding)
  • Beverage Producers
  • Confectionery / Bakery Producers
  • Dairy Producers
  • Livestock Producers
  • Seafood / Aquaculture Producers
  • Wholesale food suppliers
  • Craft brewers
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Farmers Markets
Health & Wellness

A business engaged in the provision of health and/or wellbeing services to individuals and organisations, other than professional medical and dental services.

  • Fitness centers and personal trainers
  • Health retreats and spas
  • Physical therapies and allied health
  • Gyms, Yoga and Pilates studios
  • Martial Arts, boxing and sports trainers
  • Natural therapies
  • Life coaches

A business engaged in the preparation, distribution or provision of food and/or beverages, with an emphasis on the hospitality service sector.

  • Catering services
  • Food outlets
  • Bars, cafés and restaurants
  • Hotels

A business engaged in the use of innovative technologies, tools, processes and techniques to transform materials or components into new products, by power-driven machines or by hand, involving stitching, weaving, casting, bending, joining, heating, freezing and a host of other activities. Advanced manufacturing can include production activities that depend on information, automation, computation, software, sensing, and networking.

  • Textile, clothing, footwear and leather manufacturing
  • Wood and paper product manufacturing
  • Printing, publishing and recorded media
  • Petroleum, coal, chemical and associated product manufacturing
  • Non-metallic mineral products
  • Metal product manufacturing
  • Machinery and equipment manufacturing
  • Other manufacturing
Professional Services

A business, person or organisation providing services that require high level tertiary qualifications, specialised skills, expertise and knowledge, and accredited professional certification. Usually required to hold current membership of a professional body with a prescribed code of conduct, ethical rules, and education and licensing requirements. 

  • Architects
  • CAs and CPAs
  • Civil and civic engineers
  • Lawyers and barristers 
  • Medical and dental practitioners and specialists
  • Psychologists and psychiatrists
  • Town planners

A business engaged in the sale of goods, products, commodities, wares, merchandise, etc. to end users for use, consumption, or resale through multiple channels of distribution – from a physical or virtual location.

  • Retailing (Business to Consumer)
  • Retailing (Business to Business)
Social Impact

This category is for entities that exist to intentionally address social, cultural, community and/or environmental needs and invest the majority of their revenue and profits to achieve their mission. Includes any enterprise that delivers products or services designed to be a catalyst for positive social change.

  • Social Enterprises
  • Not for Profits (NFPs)
  • Registered Charities
  • Social Entrepreneurs
  • Community Organisations
Trades & Services

A business engaged in the sale and delivery of a service to an end-user.

  • Trade services
  • Hairdressing and beauty services
  • Dry Cleaners
  • Mechanics, builders, painters, plumbers, etc.
  • Pest Control
  • Cleaners
  • Car Detailers
  • Mending and Repair Services
  • Storage, transport and logistics
  • Wedding Planners
  • Online and home-based trading businesses
Business of the Year

Each year, one Category winner is also able to take home the much-coveted Business of the Year Award. This is awarded to the business that achieves the highest overall score across all categories. The Business of the Year Award acknowledges an enterprise that not only demonstrates exceptional business success but also proudly showcases the unique qualities and essence of our fabulous Sunshine Coast region.

Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Inductees are businesses that have won three years in a row.