THE second annual Queanbeyan Business Excellence Awards have been cancelled this year due to a total lack interest.
Despite spending more than $4000 promoting the event organisers didn't receive a single entry in any of the six major categories.
Organising committee treasurer Graham Coddington told The Age he couldn't explain the sudden exodus.
In its inaugural year, the awards attracted close to 20 entries, with at least three in every category.
"It was so positive the first year and we thought it would be bigger this year. We don't have an answer yet for why it wasn't ... " he said.
"We thought they were important for two reasons. Firstly, to promote Queanbeyan business and show there are some excellent businesses here. And secondly, it allows business owners to take a look at and assess their business and see how well they do things."
Committee Chair Sue Whelan was also at a loss to explain the lack of interest.
"I'm not quite sure why, but we didn't get enough entries this year ... " she said.
"I think it's just the general retail and economic situation. I think people are just more concerned with making sure that everything's travelling along ok rather than entering awards."
The concept was a joint initiative of the Queanbeyan Development Board and the Queanbeyan Business Council. While its organisers are disappointed by this year's result they say the concept is far from dead.
"They've been postponed. We're going to have them next year," Mrs Whelan said.
Mr Coddington agreed but said before any plans were made they would first need to assess the situation.
"If Queanbeyan businesses don't want awards there is no point in running it but we plan to run it next year ... (but first) we need to assess the interest and lack of interest this year," he said.
"We'd love to get feedback from business owners on whether they want the awards and if so what do they need from us? Do we need to make it easier to enter? What can we do to make it more attractive? What is the best way to get the message out there?"
When The Age caught up with Bill Campbell - managing director of Northfork Chemicals, last year's Queanbeyan Business of the Year - he had no idea the situation was so dire.
He said his company still supported the awards and that the only reason they didn't enter this year was to give other local businesses a go. If he had realised nobody entered, he would have definitely made a submission.
Mr Campbell believes the Awards are an opportunity to draw attention to local enterprises and let them shine. However, he agreed with Ms Whelan about why submissions may have been lacking.
"A lot of companies are doing it tough at the moment and are more focused on running their businesses than filling in the forms," he said.
Mr Campbell hoped the awards would back next year and if they were Northfork would definitely be entering.
"We believe it is a great thing for the local area and businesses," he said.