It’s now the final countdown to our business awards

JOY Bishops Printers win the Business of the Year award at last year's ceremony.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (110877-364)
JOY Bishops Printers win the Business of the Year award at last year's ceremony. Picture: Allan Hutchings (110877-364)
Chancellor Philip Hammond holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget

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THE scripts have been finalised and the presentations are being polished – it’s almost time for The News’ Business Excellence Awards to take place.

On Friday evening the best of local businesses will gather at the Guildhall in Portsmouth to find out which of them will be going home with the trophy.

For the first time this year there will also be an Overall Business of the Year prize, which will be handed to one of the category winners which the judges feel is by far and away the most inspiring and the most representative of the successes happening in Portsmouth today.

The awards will be hosted by Fred Dinenage, Meridian Tonight presenter, personality, and perhaps one of Pompey’s most famous fans.

News editor Mark Waldron said: ‘This is something we look forward to hosting every year, and this year The News’ Business Excellence Awards are bigger than ever.

‘We’ve added new categories and each of the winners will be automatically entered for the Southern Business Awards, held in Brighton in the summer.

‘It is a fantastic opportunity for firms to tell us why they’re great, and as well as reporting which have been successful in Saturday’s News, we’ll also be issuing a winners’ supplement on Thursday.’

The new categories are Apprentice of the Year, Retailer of the Year, Start-up of the year and we have a category for Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure.

We have also combined our previous categories of Business Personality and Achiever of the Year into one.

Our Community Contribution category has been expanded to include firms which have been dedicated to improving their green credentials.