Graphic design business wins Lord Mayor’s Small Business Award

Carol Saffer

Founder and owner of Grafico Group Damian Corney completed the lengthy application questionnaire for Lord Mayor’s Small Business Awards earlier this year.

“I thought it was worth a go and was thrilled to make it to the finalist stage,” Mr Corney said.

When his business took out the top award at a gala event on Thursday, July 21, he was excited and delighted to show it off to his team.

“It celebrates what has been a very tough past couple of years for most small businesses,” he said.

The graphic designer set up Grafico Group, a boutique wallpaper art and signage business, in his Carlton garage in 2004.

Now located in North Melbourne, the business employs an in-house team of 13, producing custom print wallpaper, mosaic tiles, vehicle wraps and premium vinyl wrap colours.

Grafico received three gold, one silver and one high commendation for projects completed this year at the recent Australian Sign and Graphics Association’s HP 2022 National Sign & Graphics Awards.

“It is overwhelming for all this recognition to come at once,” Mr Corney said.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the team at Grafico was a leading example of a Melbourne-owned and operated business that had achieved substantial national success.

 

“Melbourne’s small businesses are the engine room of our economy, and they continue to make our city the place it is today – thriving with ideas, innovation, creativity and sustainability,” Cr Capp said.

 

Mr Corney received a cash prize of $3000 in recognition of his business’s innovation, creative marketing, sustainability initiatives and long-standing connection to the City of Melbourne.

An exclusive invitation to meet with the Lord Mayor one-on-one, a certificate signed by the Lord Mayor and inclusion in a photographic exhibition as well as marketing and promotional opportunities were other items in the prize pool.

Small Business portfolio lead Cr Jason Chang said small businesses were critical to the city’s economy, created thousands of jobs for Melburnians, and contributed to the buzz for which our city is world-renowned.

“These awards celebrate many years of hard work, often building a small business from the ground up, establishing a loyal customer base and adding real flair and character,” Cr Chang said.

Homewares, clothing and accessories company MAKE Designed Objects, and local knitwear house Knovus were finalists for the prestigious award.

The Lord Mayor’s Small Business Awards also recognised the achievements of 49 Melbourne business owners operating in the City of Melbourne for more than 10, 20 and 40 years. •

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