Deadline is here for our awards

WINNERS Team of The Year Award winners, YOU, at the 2011 awards
WINNERS Team of The Year Award winners, YOU, at the 2011 awards
The winning team - from left: Oscar, Benjamin, Rain and Alex

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TODAY is the final day for firms in The News’ readership area to enter our Business Excellence Awards.

It’s not too late to add your firm’s name to the list, but you have to get your skates on.

The deadline expires at midnight tonight, and we have been inundated with entries to the new-look awards for 2012.

Our aim is to celebrate what’s great about our local businesses, especially as the awards will be once again held against a background of economic uncertainty.

During the past 12 months the business pages within The News, and our quarterly magazine The Business have been full of your success stories – and what better way to tell the world than to win an award for your hard work?

The News’ editor Mark Waldron, who will be one of the judges on our panel of business experts, said: ‘The awards are now bigger than ever before, with each category winner for the first time going on to regional awards, organised by Johnston Press.

‘This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to showcase what they do, and to tell our readers exactly why they deserve recognition – especially in today’s economic climate.

‘What do you have to lose?’

Once again the awards have been sponsored by one of our biggest local success stories, BAE Systems.

And this year the awards now feature 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 expanded to include firms which have been dedicated to improving their green credentials. And for the first time, each of the winners in our 12 categories will go head to head for the chance to be crowned overall Business of the Year.

To enter is simple: go to and simply fill in the application form and email it to