FOR some it is the highlight of the year – a chance to celebrate 12 months’ of hard work.
For others, it is an occasion to remember small triumphs, a year well done, and a chance to look at the year ahead.
But whatever the reason, the Business Excellence Awards night is always an occasion not to be missed.
And that’s especially true now that The News has linked up with our sister publications in Sussex and launched the Southern Business Awards.
It means that all companies which win categories in our own awards are automatically shortlisted for our prestigious regional awards.
Last year’s winner of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure category, the Eastney Tavern, pictured, was highly commended in the Southern Business Awards.
And other winners, such as Affinion International, Non-Stop Engineering, David Luckett and Jamie’s Italian, all went on to win their categories in the regional competition.
Editor of The News Mark Waldron said: ‘It’s fantastic to have seen so many businesses from our area go on to be acknowledged like this on a regional stage. We knew these businesses were special when they won our own excellent awards.
‘To have them go on to win this is a testament to their success.
‘Honouring businesses like these, which are smiling triumphantly in the face of recession, is exactly why The News’ parent company, Johnston Press, is running these awards, but first they need to enter our Business Excellent Awards to be in with a chance of winning the big prizes.
‘We want to see as many business as possible to enter the awards. We want the postman – or our inbox – to stagger under the weight of entries.
‘We know there are a lot of companies working very hard indeed to make themselves a success, and we want to hear about them.
‘This is not just for big Portsmouth firms - our awards are open to every single business run in every corner of The News readership area, from Park Gate to Fontwell, from Clanfield to Droxford, and all points in between.’
BAE Systems is on board with awards once more
BAE Systems has once again agreed to sponsor The News Business Excellence Awards.
This year, the awards were launched from bridge of the navy’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Still being built in a production hall at the naval base, her bridge is being made of components supplied by local firms large and small, assembled by BAE Systems in the home of the Royal Navy.
So what better location to launch our awards, which honour all those companies which help make the region a success?
BAE Systems’ ships commercial director Nigel Stewart said: ‘Between 60 to 70 per cent of most of our projects come from our supply chain – other manufacturers in the area – and all we do is pull it all together.
‘So while there are 10,000 people working on this aircraft carrier, for every job here there are 2.5 people in the wider community working on it as well. ‘And that’s why the aircraft carrier is a great project to launch the awards from.
‘We want all businesses to get in touch, enter the awards, and show us what they’re doing out there and let’s celebrate the successes and achievements in the Portsmouth area, and show everyone how strong we are.’
Local businesses should shout about their triumphs
WHEN Jamie Williamson took over the Portsmouth franchise of Driver Hire earlier this year, he knew he was going to have to work hard.
He inherited a firm that was not well known in the area, and one that needs to work with others in order to flourish.
Now, Jamie sponsored the Overall Business of the Year category, he is encouraging all firms to take part in the awards.
‘Businesses can look to much at the negatives.
‘People need to celebrate their successes.
‘There are many, many good businesses that do many, many good things and should promote themselves and say “this is what we’ve done”.
‘It’s also a good way for firms to look at companies which win and take on board some of what they do in their business.
‘Look at Wiggle, which won last year. What a great success story that was.’
How to enter
Whether you’re a tiny engineering firm, a multinational defence contractor, an online retailer or anything in between, The News Business Excellence Awards 2013 has a category for you.
To enter is simple.
Just go to portsmouth.co.uk/community/awards/business-awards and click on the link to download the entry form.
Have a read of the criteria and pick the category – or categories – which you think best suit your business.
Then, email the completed form to email@example.com.
Sometimes, however, companies like to send in bound copies of their award entries.
That is acceptable, but the judges ask that at least six copies are supplied by the deadline.
To send applications by post, send them to Emma Judd, editorial department, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth, PO2 9SX.
All entries, received either by post or email, should reach The News no later than midday on Monday, December 17.
Judges will received all copies of nominations in advance of the judging day, which will be taking place in the New Year.
A full set of terms and conditions, as well as the entry criteria for each of the categories, is included within the nomination form.