Men's mental health a focus for Illawarra's top business

Picking up four awards on one night at the IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards provided plenty of reasons to smile and celebrate for His Boy Elroy on Friday.

But when Business of the Year co-owner Lachlan Stevens was accepting the accolades he did not forget the impact coronavirus is having on so many in the community. And what one initiative has meant for His Boy Elroy and its growing customer base.

Mr Stevens said the small bar and eatery's business and social media success was also driven by the community, the His Boy Elroy team and the Illawarra craft beer collective.

"And what underpins it all is Bar Stool Brothers," he said.

"We have 600 men who are passionate about men's mental wellness. And we are forever grateful as an organisation to those guys who have supported us through COVID. We owe a debt of gratitude to those people in that group who have supported us and we will continue to support them into the future."

Lachlan and Selena Stevens accepting Illawarra Business of the Year Award

Mr Stevens said having more than 600 members now involved in the men's mental health initiative was amazing and said a lot about the Wollongong and Illawarra community. He said going into COVID-19 he was determined for His Boy Elroy to be seen as a great business that stood up and not only survived the pandemic but helped the community grow stronger through the challenges it presented.

Mr Stevens said he has wife Selena Stevens to thank for her role in helping him get into the business and backing him all the way.

"The person who has supported me and His Boy the most is Selena. I want to say thank you to you personally. Selena supported me through my military career, she supported me through my transition out of defence and into tourism, she supported me purchasing His Boy Elroy and she has supported me through COVID".

Mr Stevens said it was impossible to express how significant the award was for him, his wife and the team at His Boy Elroy because they know it has been achieved with the help of the community and they don't take that for granted.

"We have three core values at His Boy Elroy. They are loyalty, community and authenticity."

Mr Stevens said the recognition was an opportunity to look back on the last year-and-a-half with pride.

"16 months ago we were told we didn't have the necessary business experience to successfully run His Boy and now we are up on this stage. And it is thanks to Selena, the community, Bar Stool Brothers and the His Boy Elroy team. It has taken your buy-in and resilience for us to get where we are today."

All the winners at the 2020 IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards

  • IMB Bank Business of the Year - His Boy Elroy
  • Access Law Group Inspiring Business Leader - Adam McMahon, of Dignam Real Estate
  • Age Matters Inspiring Employee Award - Novica Blazeski, of Home Instead Senior Care Wollongong
  • Dapto Leagues Club Excellence in Customer Service Award - Joint winners - Easy Agile and Ericom
  • Wollongong City Council Excellence in Innovation & Adaptability Award - His Boy Elroy
  • NSW Ports Excellence in Import and Export Award - Itree
  • Bluescope Excellence in Sustainability Award - Burnetts On Barney
  • Port Authority of NSW Excellence in Digital Service Delivery Award - His Boy Elroy
  • Peoplecare Excellence in Workplace Culture Award - Winner - FinoComp - Highly Commended - Mercer Administration Services Wollongong
  • Illawarra Mercury Resilience in Micro Business Award - Dr Olga Lavalle & Associates
  • WIN Network Resilience in Small Business Award - His Boy Elroy
  • University of Wollongong Resilience in Business Award - IOH Injury & Occupational Health

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This story Men's mental health a focus for Illawarra's top business first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.