Australians are being urged to nominate successful and entrepreneurial businesses from the retail sector for the 2013 Telstra Australian Business Awards.

Entries will open on 11 February for Australia’s most prestigious national awards program that celebrates the achievements of the small and medium business sector.

Will Irving, Telstra business group managing director and Telstra Business Awards ambassador, said nominating businesses early gives them time to prepare their entry and, in turn, the best chance to succeed.

“Over the past 21 years, these national awards have celebrated the best of Australia’s small and medium businesses. One of the reasons why they are so respected is the rigour of the entry and judging processes, so the earlier businesses are nominated and start their entries the better,” he said.

Jason Wyatt, CEO of Melbourne-based e-commerce business, winner of the 2012 Telstra Australian Business of the Year, also encouraged nominations and entries.

“Entering the program gives you a rare opportunity to consider the health of every aspect of your business. Then there’s the chance to be exposed to the professionalism of our country’s most esteemed business awards program, meet like-minded operators who might in turn present you with new opportunities, and even win an award that carries prestige and awareness with it,” he said.

Other recent Awards winners from the retail sector include VetShopAustralia (QLD), The Wall Sticker Company (VIC), Edible Blooms (SA), Jape Furnishing Superstore (NT) and The Bhodi Tree (ACT).

The five Awards categories are for start-up, micro, small, medium and regional businesses.

Nominations can be made at or by calling 1800AWARDS. Entries for the 2013 Awards can be submitted from 11 February until 4 April.