JUDGES have been hard at work deliberating over which businesses should be awarded honours at the upcoming Business Excellence Awards.
But businesses waiting to hear the results of The News’ awards will have to wait a little while longer to see if they have done enough to clinch a coveted honour.
A panel of experts, including Maureen Frost, from Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Lucy Gleisner from the awards’ lead sponsor Trethowans, Sue Ball from Verisona Law and Mark Waldron, editor of The News, spent Wednesday at The News’ head office in Lakeside discussing all the entrants for this year’s awards.
They were joined by representatives from each category sponsor, who had visited and interviewed the short-listed candidates.
Mark said: ‘It is such a difficult day but such an enjoyable day too and it is an honour to be able to read about the incredible businesses we have in our area and learn about what they are doing on a daily basis. However, all the entrants are so good this year, it has been very hard to make any decisions.'
Lucy, a partner at law firm Trethowans which has sponsored the awards for the past three years, said: ‘It is very tough this year. You have a view about who will win on paper, then that all changes when you hear from the category sponsors who have been out and visited the businesses.’
Sue said: ‘It has been really interesting and enjoyable as you learn so much about so many businesses in the area.’
Maureen, who has been involved with the awards since they first started 18 years ago, said: ‘There have been some interesting and different entrants this year. It is nice to be able to focus on the positives and listen to stories that you don't usually hear.’
Emma Judd, from BAE Systems, gave her feedback to the judges about her visits to the entrants in the Community Contribution category.
She said: ‘We had a great time visiting all the entrants and we are thrilled to be sponsoring this category for the third year. It is a really good awards and it is a credit to The News.’
The awards hold prestige among the business community and past winners say it has brought them further success and given their firms’ reputation a boost.
The winners of 15 categories – ranging from Start-up of the Year to Large Business of the Year, also including honours for apprentices, business personalities and lifetime achievement – will be announced at a black-tie ceremony at Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday, February 1.
The evening – compered by BBC’s Nick Wallis – is expected to see hundreds of people from a wide range of businesses attend to celebrate.
The night has sold out, with more than 400 people due to attend. However, for any late ticket enquiries email event organiser Liz Parker on email@example.com