ALL SMILES: Lismore small business owners Nick and Kylie Fuad said they were thrilled when they were nominated for three national awards.
ALL SMILES: Lismore small business owners Nick and Kylie Fuad said they were thrilled when they were nominated for three national awards. Contributed

Couple finalists in three national awards

FOR Lismore small business owners Nick and Kylie Fuad, being told they were finalists for one My Business Awards category was exciting enough, but the couple said they were "delighted” when they received the news that they are finalists in three categories.

Kylie said the national awards are highly competitive so "being selected in three different categories is a huge achievement for a small business in a regional area”.

The Fuads own several domestic and international house-sitting and house swapping websites, which they run from a Lismore office with a staff of six Northern Rivers residents.

The couple said being finalists in three categories against many larger city-based businesses is a "dream come true”, especially as they are nominated for Workplace for the Year for 2019.

"We are committed to providing an inclusive, flexible and family friendly work environment for our amazing staff,” Kylie said.

"We love living in the Northern Rivers and feel very proud to be one of many hardworking regional small businesses achieving great things.

"To have our little office a finalist for Workplace of the Year in National Awards is simply incredible.”

Their website Aussie House Swap is one of the top three finalists for Travel and Tourism Business of the Year, but according to Kylie and Nick, the most surprising nomination was for the couple themselves, who have been named finalists for Regional Business Leader of the Year.

Kylie said as life and work partners, they have worked together to turn two small websites into a portfolio of seven, while raising two children, three cats and a dog in the Northern Rivers.

"Our travel model is sustainable and environmentally friendly,” she said.

"We believe in what we do and hope our success translates into more people pooling their resources in order to travel. This is what the true sharing economy is all about.”

The awards ceremony will be held on Friday, November 15 at the Star Casino, Sydney.

"Hopefully we'll be bringing home a trophy or three to decorate our Magellan Street office,” she said.