One of the Hunter's oldest awards nights will not go ahead in 2020 due to the COVID-19 situation.
The Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards - which were established in 1993 - have been cancelled.
Facilitated by the Hunter Region Business Hub, the awards are usually held in September, alternating between Cessnock and Maitland venues each year.
Hunter Region Business Hub general manager Kerry Hallett said it was a difficult decision to cancel the awards, but she hoped they would return with a bang next year.
"With no idea of when the current COVID-19 situation will resolve - whether it's weeks or months and what that might look like short-term - and with the enormous stress The Hub and all of our Hunter businesses are experiencing, the board of The Hub have made the decision to cancel the awards," Ms Hallett said.
"This decision wasn't taken lightly but rather in the knowledge that no-one can really showcase their business to its full potential at the moment, judges can't visit and we may not be able to present our worthy winners with their trophies and share their accolades with us and their peers at our awards evening.
"The Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards will be back in 2021 to recognise and celebrate our region's great businesses including those who have strived for excellence and resilience under extreme conditions."
The event was first held in 1993 as the Cessnock-Kurri Kurri Small Business Awards; and eventually became known as the Lower Hunter Business Excellence Awards after encompassing the Maitland and Dungog shires.
In 2007 the awards were renamed the Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards and were opened to businesses throughout the entire Hunter region.
Stay tuned to huntervalleyhub.com.au for more information on the 2021 awards.