Previous winners have spoken of their excitement – and hopes of winning – ahead of the next Business Excellence Awards.
The awards are now in their 17th year and are due to take place at the Portsmouth Guildhall on February 10.
They celebrate and recognise good business practice across 15 categories ranging from Apprentice of the Year up to Large Business of the year and Lifetime Achievement.
A launch event was held at Tiger Tiger last week to encourage businesses to get involved by either entering or sponsoring this year’s scheme.
Many past winners attended the launch, including husband and wife Simon and Liz Kelly, from Solent Mobility Centre, in High Street, Lee-on-the-Solent.
The centre was short-listed for the Community Contribution award last year and it was highly commended in the Best Team category.
Liz said: ‘We are always hopeful and we are very pleased to take part in it every year.’
Simon said: ‘It is great to see some recognition for the team who all work so hard.’
Family-run business Somerville Stone, a stonemasons in Eastney, is hopeful of a win this year. It was short-listed in the Retailer of the Year category last year.
Darren Somerville said: ‘I went for the first time as a guest a few years ago and saw how great the event was, so entered last year.
‘We are going to enter again this year as it is such a good scheme. We are already looking forward to it.’
As well as opportunities to enter, businesses have the opportunity to sponsor the event and see their brand associated with the prestigious event.
Pat Smith is the enterprise development manager at the University of Portsmouth, sponsor of the Small Business category.
She said: ‘We’re delighted to be supporting the awards and recognising the great contribution of small businesses to the regional economy.’
Lucy Grey, senior associate at Trethowans, this year’s headline sponsor, said: ‘We are urging many companies to nominate each other, but also put themselves forward for one of the categories.
‘The awards aim to reward standards of service, encourage competition and recognise excellence. We are trying to entice out hidden gems in the region.
‘We all work hard, but everyone should be proud of what they have achieved. This is an opportunity for businesses to share their success stories.’
To sponsor e-mail email@example.com