Gunnedah businesses are celebrating all round, with Ultrafleet, Mannion Group, and Riley’s Furniture and Carpet among the finalists in the 2017 New England North West Regional Business Awards.
It’s a double delight for Jacinta and Jason Mannion who own both Ultrafleet and Mannion Group. Ultrafleet is a finalist in the excellence in small business category, while Mannion Group is a finalist in the excellence in business category.
Both businesses were established in Gunnedah in 2011, with Mannion Drilling relocated from Inverell.
Jacinta kicked off UItrafleet and in six years the hire vehicle company has grown from six vehicles to 49.
"We’ve had massive growth,” she said.
“Twelve months ago, I celebrated five years and 30 vehicles.
“Things are really ramping up. I think we’re just a trusted brand now out here.”
Mannion Group has also expanded and will be moving onto a new, bigger site in September. The Mannion family has been drilling since 1918, and Jason bought Mannion Drilling from his parents in 1999. After adding new elements to the business, they renamed it the Mannion Group about two years ago.
In two years, the drilling sector has gone from five rigs to nine rigs, drilling holes for water town supply, mining and irrigation. The number of staff has also grown from an average of 10 to 24 in the past six years.
Jacinta said it was an “honour” for the businesses to be chosen as finalists.
“It is exciting,” she said.
“It’s nice to be recognised for your hard work.”
Stuart and Jodi Dolbel are no strangers to hard work, taking over Riley’s Furniture and Carpets from Cath and Frank van Dorst late last year.
The pair incorporated their existing businesses, Enchanted Events and Balloons, and Dolbel Consulting, into the Riley’s store in Conadilly Street.
From the one shopfront, the couple can offer floristry, furniture, flooring, giftware, balloons, event decorating, ladies’ fashion and a central base for Stuart to offer a grain brokerage service.
Jodi said it was exciting and an honour for the business to be nominated in the startup superstar category, alongside Goonoo Goonoo Station and Magic Electricity Box.
“It’s really with thanks and recognition to our great staff that in such as short amount of time, we’ve been able to establish ourselves as a new business,” she said.
“They’ve all had to learn really quickly and take on a lot of responsibility.
“It was sink or swim, and they swam.”
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