Award Categories


Overall Business of the Year

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The judges will select the Business of the Year from the winners of the other categories.

Large Business of the Year (25+ employees)

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Purpose: To recognise a business for outstanding achievements in growth, turnover and profitability, clear vision and plans for the future, consideration of international markets, innovation and creativity and overcoming challenges. Criteria: The judges will require proof of financial performance, innovativeness and the firm's recent past to determine the quality of the entrants.

Medium Business of the Year (10-24 employees)

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Purpose: To recognise outstanding performance by a company having a workforce of 24 or fewer and which is based in or has a significant presence in The News circulation area. A clear vision and plans for the future, consideration of international markets, innovation and creativity and overcoming challenges. Criteria: Winning characteristics could be: a successful turn-around of a struggling or slow-moving company; successful exploitation of innovation; excellence in setting up a major new operation and bringing it into production at a high level of efficiency; pioneering new markets; remarkable growth in size or profits. In a sentence, the judges are looking for something special for all to admire and from which all can learn. Judges will require proof of financial performance.

Small Business of the Year (0-9 employees)

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Purpose: To recognise outstanding performance by a company with a workforce of 9 or less and has been operating for two years or more. Who have sustained success throughout their time of trading? Demonstrating a growth in profits, overcoming challenges with clear plans for the future. Criteria:  For this category, the judges will be looking for a business that are capable of producing a quality product/service whilst remaining committed to great client/customer service, as well as demonstrating innovation and marketing acumen. Judges will require proof of financial performance.

Start Up Business of the Year (trading no longer than 2 years)

Sponsored by University of Portsmouth Purpose: To recognise those businesses which have gone from 0 to 100mph in two years. Criteria: The successes should speak for themselves and the judges will be looking for evidence of rapid expansion, niche-filling, excellent turnover or job creation – or all of the above. Those trading for more than two years can not enter this category.

Business Personality/Achievement of the Year

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Purpose: To recognise an imaginative and creative manager or employee whose individual contribution to the success of a business has been outstanding or who has demonstrated inspired leadership. Criteria: The judges will look for evidence of improvement to the company directly attributable to the entrant plus testimonials from within and/or without the organisation.

Retailer of the Year

Purpose: To recognise any retailer, large or small, which is making big noises in the retail world. Criteria: The judges will be looking for evidence of what sets a retailer apart from its competition, either in terms of its achievements, its best practice, or its success.

Green Business of the Year

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Purpose: An award for a business or organisation, irrespective of its size or sector, who can demonstrate environmental awareness and responsibility in all aspects of its work and output. Criteria: Judges will be looking for a company that embraces sustainability and green principles throughout the business. The use of suppliers who have the same principles. Proof and evidence will need to be provided to demonstrate the advantages and gains while adopting green policies. This category is not open to businesses or organisations who undertake green activities as a core business.

Employer of the Year

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Purpose: An award for a business that has great staff relations, good staff retention with excellent training and who cares for their employees. The best company to work for! Criteria: The judges will look for evidence and testimonials that confirm all of the above.

Apprentice of the Year

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Purpose: To recognise any apprentice who has gone that extra mile and exceeded the expectations of their trainer or mentor Criteria: The judges will be looking for inspirational stories of young learners, exceptional achievement and, in particular, they will be looking for entrants to demonstrate commitment to their personal development and progression through learning, ability to overcome obstacles and barriers in learning or at work, inspirational qualities and attainment of high standards.

Team of the Year

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Purpose: To recognise an outstanding performance by a team of three or more employees, who either usually work together or did so for a special project or task. Criteria: The judges will be looking for evidence and/or testimonials that confirm the entrant's' ability to work cohesively as a team, sharing a common understanding that leads to attainment of defined goals that make a real difference to the business.

Community Contribution

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Purpose: To recognise a dynamic contribution to the local community or a commitment to the environment by a company based in or having a significant presence in The News circulation area. This category is not open to businesses or organisations who undertake community activities as a core business.

Criteria: Entrants will be able to show a clear mission - either in a one-off venture or in an ongoing commitment - to helping and/or improving their local community or the environment. The initiative can be anything that would help improve people's lives and enhance the relationship between the company and the community in which it is based. The contribution might be monetary, or involve the provision of resources and expertise.

Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure

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Purpose: To recognise any business that puts the Portsmouth area on the map as a great place to live and visit Criteria: The judges will be looking for evidence of a business's contribution in attracting new visitors to the area or its excellence within the hospitality and leisure industries. Please provide the last three years figures and indicate if actual or projected.

International Development of the Year

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Purpose: To recognise businesses which can demonstrate the importance of exporting and developing an international presence to the success of the business? Criteria: Judges will seek evidence that the business has achieved significant sustainable growth by opening and/or exploiting new markets outside of the UK. Nominees must show the impact exporting has on growth and profitability, the markets they are operating in and a clear strategy for the countries they have chosen. Please also outline plans for further export development and what you see as the challenges to achieving those plans.

Customer Service Award

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Purpose: To reward those companies or particular staff within an organisation that goes above and beyond the call of duty for their customers. Criteria: : The nominations can be made by customers, employers, employees and members of the public who think they've been given service that stands out from the rest .

Lifetime Achievement Award

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The winner of this category is chosen from nominations from the public and our judges.