The only limit to enter the awards is the limit of your imagination

Rae Bryden, manager at Joules in Gunwharf Quays, who was the Manager of the Year winner and was runner-up in the Fashion Store of the Year category at The News's Retail and Leisure Awards in 2016.  Picture: Sarah Standing (170883-5016)

Shortlist revealed for The News Retail and Leisure Awards 2017

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THE entries might be coming in thick and fast, but we want to see even more applications for next year’s Business Excellence Awards.

With the clocks having just gone back, why not use that extra hour to download the application form and choose which category or categories your business should enter?

Because every single firm in and around the Portsmouth area will find something for them.

It doesn’t matter if you run a bakery in Wickham, an ironmongers in Rowlands Castle, a multinational in Portsmouth, or an online superstore from a bedroom – there is a category that would suit your business.

The News editor Mark Waldron said: ‘That’s one of the great things about The News’ Business Excellence Awards – there is a category for everyone.

‘For example, for our innovation category, innovation doesn’t necessarily mean invention – you could own a shop that’s found a new way to attract customers. Or you could be a an IT firm that’s found a new service to offer.

‘Really the only limit to the types of submissions we’ll accept is the limit of the imagination of those filling in the forms.’

Not only could your business be in with a chance to win our award, and be featured in our pre-awards and winners’ supplements, but if you win you’ll go through to the Southern Business Awards, run by our parent company Johnston Press.

Last year’s winner of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure category, the Eastney Tavern, was highly commended.

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.

Mr 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.’

See the panel opposite for details of how to enter the Business Excellence Awards.