BDS have taken out the top spot in the popular People's Choice Category of the 2022 David Awards.
The David Awards celebrate small business heroes, who punch above their weight when it comes to contributing to New Zealand; our communities, families, and the Kiwi business landscape. New Zealand businesses with fewer than 10 full-time equivalent employees are eligible to enter.
The David Awards reported that for several years in a row now they have seen year-on-year improvements in the quality of entries, with this year’s numbers also equaling their record tally from 2021.
Always popular, this year there were 59 businesses from around the country entered in the People's Choice Category, which is decided by the public. Entrants had to draw attention to themselves, their brand and their product/service in order to generate votes.
On Friday 14 October, along with the winners of seven other categories, it was announced BDS had received the most votes and was the winner of People's Choice — an honour the organisation was thrilled to receive. "To have this recognition from our members, supporters and followers means so much," says Renee Blackburn, BDS Promotions person, "It's been a challenging couple of years, but our team has worked super hard to ensure our book groups felt supported and stayed connected with us and one another. We've received so many messages of congratulations since the news — it really feels like we're celebrating this win with everyone who is part of BDS!"
The David Awards judges offered their congratulations also, in a video highlighting all the category winners: "Congratulations! You obviously know how to work your networks, use your social media to get your fans raving about your business — well done!"
Winning the People's Choice Category has special meaning for BDS, says Renee. "We've been convinced of the benefits of book group for years — the way they improve literacy, promote social cohesion, reduce isolation, increase tolerance and broaden minds — but this award was a chance for people to tell us their book club is something they really value, and that's exactly what they did."
BDS currently has approximately 1,300 book groups it serves around New Zealand, equating to nearly 13,000 individual members. The organisation provides a full set of books and discussion questions to participating book groups each month so members can read the same book, then meet to discuss it. Started in 1973 with just a handful of groups, BDS now boasts a catalogue of over 1,100 books for book clubs to choose from and, according to Renee, they hope to continue growing. "One of the main reasons we entered the awards was to help spread the word about our service around the motu. As a charitable trust there isn't a lot of resource for marketing, so we need to be creative about how we reach people. We're really grateful to The David Awards for recognising the great things small organisations like ours are doing."
As winners of the People's Choice Category, BDS received a digital badge for display on their website, a certificate, and a range of prizes from sponsors of the awards. The Supreme Award went to Block Dock, a single person business based in Dunedin. All the category winners in the 2022 David Awards can be viewed here.