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“Thank you” – New award recognises businesses helping customers

June 16, 2020 Accolades No Comments Email Email

Australians have flooded CHOICE with stories of generosity and community spirit as the consumer advocate recognises Australian businesses for acts of COVID kindness with The Shinys – the opposite of the advocate’s annual Shonky Awards.

“The Shinys are about saying thank you to people, who despite going through their own unique challenges during COVID-19, have used their businesses to help the community,” says Marg Rafferty, CHOICE Managing Editor.

“With over 700 nominations spanning from the suburbs of Perth to Bruny Island the winners of the Shinys went above and beyond to help their communities through COVID.”

Shinys winners – Big Brand Awards

NRMA – assisting essential workers and vulnerable community members

Greater Bank – credit card relief for struggling customers

“The NRMA and Greater Bank chose community interest over their bottom lines with these initiatives and that’s why they’re being recognised with The Shinys,” says Rafferty.

“Greater Bank in particular set the standard for Australian banks when it came to credit cards and hardship. Most banks gave little or no help to credit card customers – Greater Bank offered a six month pause on repayments and interest, making sure customers weren’t in a worse position at the end of the lockdown period. NRMA used their resources to support frontline health care workers and vulnerable members of the community.”

Shinys winners – Local Champion Awards

Hotel Bruny, Bruny Island, Tasmania

The George Harcourt Inn, Nicholls, ACT

Busy Bee Deli, Como, WA

Daughter in Law, Melbourne, VIC

While businesses of many kinds were represented in the nominations, small food and hospitality businesses really shone.

“With their businesses facing the biggest disruption of a lifetime, hundreds of small hotels, delis and restaurants across the country fed our essential workers and stepped up for people experiencing homelessness and unemployment,” says Rafferty.

“These small businesses from across Tasmania, Western Australia, the ACT and Victoria kept their communities fed and The Shinys are their communities saying thank you.”

Honourable mentions

Supermarkets

Nearly 100 nominations were for supermarkets, with Coles, Woolworths, ALDI, IGA and other smaller grocers being commended for their response to the COVID-19 situation. Praise for prioritised opening for vulnerable members of the community was the main theme and many expressed gratitude for the caring behaviour of individual staff at many stores.

Pharmacies/chemists

More than one nomination recognised their local pharmacist for not just delivering medications, but making sure community members were able to receive other essentials safely while self-isolating.

Setting the standard

One of the overarching themes to emerge from the nominations was a determination by Australians to reward the businesses that stood by their communities. Time and again, nominators told us about the newfound commitment to supporting those who supported them saying they were “a life support system in our time of need. We will not forget”, “they will get my business in future but in the meantime I truly am grateful for their generosity” and “I will always buy from them now.”

CHOICE Managing Editor Marg Rafferty is available for interview.

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