JUDGES in this year’s Somerset Business Awards are facing a particularly tough challenge after a record number of entries were received from companies, charities and individuals across the county.
The number of entries was up by over 16 per cent compared to last year and comes after the original deadline was extended by two weeks to help businesses balance school holidays and Brexit pressures with the challenge of putting together a potentially award-winning entry.
The awards are run by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce and this year, to mark the 15th anniversary of the awards, there were a trio of new categories plus a new black and gold logo and completely redesigned website.
Somerset cricket all-rounder Peter Trego will host the glittering awards ceremony, which will take place for the first time at the Winter Gardens Pavilion, in Weston-super-Mare, on 25 October.
Chief Executive Stephen Henagulph thanked everyone who had entered the awards and said shortlisted companies would soon be visited by the judges and sponsors to find the 2019 finalists.
The most popular categories this year were Investing in Somerset, Small Business of the Year, Young Employee of the Year and New Business of the Year. Entries came from across the county and from a wide range of sectors.
Mr Henagulph said: “These awards are the largest in Somerset and are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all that is great about our diverse business community.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see our new categories were well supported – Employer of the Year, Private and Public Collaboration and Outstanding Achievement – and I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to enter this year’s awards.
“I’m delighted we’ve had the highest ever number of entries and I’m looking forward to congratulating all the finalists and winners at the awards ceremony in October.”
Tickets for the awards ceremony will go on sale in two stages – the first is a pre-sale for finalists only, followed by a general sale to the public. More information is available on the Somerset Business Awards website at www.somersetbusinessawards.org.uk or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.