Hunter hotelier Stephen Hunt has been named Business Leader of the Year in 2021 by Business NSW.

The Outstanding Business Leader award recognises an “inspirational business leader who demonstrates outstanding entrepreneurial spirit, strategic business direction and innovative ideas, whilst providing leadership to the new generation”.

Hunt, who heads up Hunt Hospitality, recently won the Hunter Region local division award for his efforts in overcoming the challenges as a hospitality business in the global pandemic.

“As every industry was forced to pivot and innovate to deal with the fallout from the pandemic, these awards showcase the businesses that excelled in very challenging times,” Business Hunter’s CEO Bob Hawes said.

Hunt said of the win, “The award reflects the tenacity and ‘never say die’ attitude of my team to not only work through the Covid pandemic but to thrive on the other side. The ability of the team to keep up with the changing legislations whilst planning ahead for more favourable trade conditions has been outstanding.”

Hunt, who oversees 300 employees and six venues in the Hunter region of NSW, says he seeks to blend entrepreneurial spirit with local businesses to create a community that places heart at the centre of good business. He was awarded for:

– Overcoming the challenges and business pressures of COVID-19

– During the height of the pandemic with over 250 employees stood down, Hunt Hospitality only lost one employee across the then five Hunt Hospitality venues.

– Innovation goals including the launch of ‘Shoeless Jack’: a small bar franchise and industry companion.

– Value perceptions to create an award-winning team culture and measurable results in upskilling and supporting staff.

– Attitude towards sustainable growth through fostering shared knowledge and creating business opportunities to promote team’s professional development

– Active community leadership through providing counsel to local sporting clubs, charities, organisations and governments.

Hunt Hospitality was also recently placed Top 3 in the Australian Financial Review’s Most Innovative Companies Award in the Entertainment, Tourism, Retail and Hospitality sector.

Business NSW is an independent, not-for-profit organisation.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *