The News Business Excellence Awards will be bigger and better than ever

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TODAY The News launches its Business Excellence Awards and is calling on firms large and small to get involved.

For more than a decade, The News has celebrated the very best in business and recognises the contribution of firms of all sizes in the area.

This year’s awards will be bigger and better than ever before. (Information on how to enter is below)

There are more categories and an even bigger focus on shining a spotlight on the best businesses in our circulation area – from Park Gate to Petersfield and across to Chichester in West Sussex.

For the first time, an Employer of the Year will be celebrated.

The award will be given to a business that has great staff relations and good staff retention with excellent training. It will be a business that clearly cares about its employees.

In a change from previous years, the award for Exporter of the Year has been renamed.

The purpose of the newly-named International Development of the Year is to recognise businesses which can demonstrate the importance of exporting to the success of the business.

The judges will be looking for evidence that the business has achieved significant sustainable growth by opening or exploiting new markets outside of the UK.

Nominees are invited to show the that impact exporting has on growth and profitability.

The awards’ judges are a panel made up of editor of The News Mark Waldron, business reporter Claire French, deputy chief executive of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce Maureen Frost and representatives from each of the sponsors.

Mr Waldron said: ‘The News’ Businesses Excellence Awards grow and expand – much like the firms we write about – year after year.

‘This year’s awards will be bigger than ever. We hope every company reading this will consider entering, whether as a business or choosing a member of staff who has really made an impact to nominate.

‘Whether it is an apprentice or a dedicated employee, we want to hear their story.

‘Equally, if your business has broken into other markets or is just a really top firm, we want to hear from you.

‘The News Business Excellence Awards are about celebrating the success stories of the last 12 months.’

Natalie Culver, head of communications for BAE Systems Maritime Services, said: ‘BAE Systems is the proud sponsor for The News Business Awards in 2015.

‘It’s a privilege that underlines our commitment to supporting the success of Portsmouth and the Solent region in which we have an enduring commitment.

‘The event is one of the highlights of the business calendar in the region as it is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to come together and celebrate success.

‘BAE Systems prides itself on playing an active role in the local communities in which we operate, and being part of the business community here in Portsmouth is something that is really important to us.

‘In recent years, the quality of nominations has been remarkable and it demonstrates the innovation and determination of the people behind the businesses that make Portsmouth a great place to live and work.’

The Categories

Overall Business of the Year

Large Business of the Year

Small/Medium Business of the Year

Start-up Business of the Year

Business Personality/Achievement of the Year

Employer of the Year

Apprentice of the Year

Team of the Year

Retailer of the Year

Innovation of the Year

Community Contribution

Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure

International Development of the Year

Customer Service Award

Lifetime Achievement

How to enter

For information on how to enter this year’s awards go to