It is with a heavy heart and profound empathy for the difficulty and uncertainty small businesses throughout New Zealand are currently facing that we have decided not to hold The David Awards 2020.

We know that small businesses will be facing enormous challenges and that what the future holds will differ for each of you. For some, the painful reality is that nothing will save your current business. For others, Covid-19 presents opportunities which didn’t previously exist and you may be struggling to adapt and keep up. Many will fall between these two extremes, but wherever your business sits, we have no doubt you have far bigger things on your mind right now - and rightly so - than entering awards. 

What we also know, from more than a decade of small and home businesses sharing their challenges and successes with us, is that small businesses are agile, resilient, creative and very necessary to New Zealand. Every year entrants have demonstrated how, after immense adversity, they have picked themselves up and dusted themselves off, taken a long, hard look at their situation, the challenges and opportunities, adapted what they are doing and stepped up to the mark. Their nimbleness, determination and perseverance have been invaluable in equipping them for the fray. And they have come out the other side stronger, wiser and having found ways to conquer the obstacles or circumvent the roadblocks they encountered along the way.

Like you, many of the judges and organisers of The David Awards are fighting fires in their own businesses and employment situations. We understand not only the stress of steering a business through this time of change and upheaval, but the huge toll it takes at a personal level too.

We would, however, like to share an observation with you. The high number of business failures in the small and home business sector is often cited - and misinterpreted - as a sign of how fragile this sector is. We say to you it is actually a sign of its resilience, because if one bothers to dig a little deeper the picture which emerges is not one of a business failing, but often of a business morphing into something else. Something which is built of sterner stuff and based on a little more experience.

We know you need time to evaluate, plan, tackle the challenges and even heal. In recognition of the extraordinary times we are facing together at present, we are dedicating The David Awards 2020 to all small business owners throughout Aotearoa.

And we want you to know each and every one of you is a true “David” in our eyes.

You are not alone, we know you are resilient and there is light at the end of the tunnel, whether you can see it now or not.

We salute you.

Finally, we encourage you to draw on help which is available.

Overview of support for employers and the self-employed
Overview of other financial support
Overview of some mental health support and tools here and here
Official Covid-19 information

We expect to be back bigger and better than ever in 2021 and look forward to hearing some amazing stories of triumph and fortitude then. In the meantime, be kind to yourselves and each other.

Kia Kaha.

Heather and the Team at The David Awards.

To be notified when The David Awards 2021 opens for entries, please sign up to our newsletter.

Every eligible business may enter up to three categories plus the People's Choice Award (use a single entry form). 

We know that busy business owners can't spend too much valuable time completing an entry, but our judges can't be fair and thorough without enough good, reliable, information to help them select finalists and winners. That's why the Entry Form has been kept as simple as possible with a focus on essential detail. Entering The David Awards is one of the simplest entry processes for business awards in the country - intentionally so. What's more, our judges evaluate your business itself, rather than trying to match it with arbitrary criteria for business excellence which might not be relevant to your situation. You just have to be passionate about your little business, and tell us all about it. You don't need to worry about what marks you will be allocated on a judging checklist as The David Awards don't work that way.

There are some great prizes, and even if you don't win, there are many opportunities to obtain excellent publicity and feedback on your business. So what are you waiting for? You will find some useful tips on creating a winning entry here.


The David Awards is a New Zealnd-wide national business award programme for small, micro and home businesses in New Zealand. All businesses with up to 10 full time equivalent employees are eligible for entry into the Awards. Category restrictions, for example how long a business has been trading, may apply in some instances. To keep it fair for everyone, franchisees are not eligible, but a developing franchise busines (i.e. the franchisor), with no more than 10 people working in the business, can enter.