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Judges share top tips as deadline looms for Somerset Business Awards 2021

There is just over a month left to enter this year’s Somerset Business Awards and past winners and current judges have been sharing their top tips to help businesses put together a potentially award-winning entry.

Businesses have until November 27 to submit their entries via the Somerset Business Awards website and with 14 categories, including three new awards, there is something for businesses of all sizes across all sectors.

Michael Cahill from main awards sponsor Albert Goodman joined fellow judge and category sponsor Ben Lee, from PKF Francis Clark, and Darryl Mitchard, Managing Director of 2019 Investing in Somerset Award winner, Glastonbury-based construction firm Melhuish and Saunders, to pass on their expert advice in a special webinar last week.

The webinar was hosted by awards’ organiser Somerset Chamber of Commerce and a recording of the webinar is available to watch online via Somerset Chamber’s YouTube channel.

Mr Cahill urged firms to take part in the awards and said becoming a shortlisted finalist could help to boost a business’s activities, as well as reinforcing the message that Somerset was a great place to work and do business.

Mr Lee said the judging process was rigorous and independent and advised entrants to make sure they met all the criteria in their chosen award category – and made the most of the attachment uploads, including videos and testimonials to support their entries.

2019 winner, Mr Mitchard, added: “Winning the award was amazing for us. It took a while to decide which category to go for having been a runner-up twice before in the Small Business Award.

“It gave our company and everyone in it the chance to come together and look how we function and focus on all the things we were doing really well. 

“I’d advise all entrants to just think outside the box. The judges were great and there was no pressure – they wanted to share our passion for what we did, as well.”

Now in their 16th year, the awards recognise and celebrate the very best of Somerset’s wide range of businesses across all sectors and are the only county-wide business awards in Somerset. They are free to enter and businesses do not need to be a member of the Chamber to take part.

Local BBC journalist and broadcaster Claire Carter will host the gala final on March 26 next year.

Awards this year are:

  • Small Business of the Year (1-5 employees)
  • Medium Business of the Year (6-25 employees)
  • Large Business of the Year (26+ employees)
  • Albert Goodman Family Business of the Year Award
  • Best Use of Technology Award
  • Charity of the Year Award
  • Employer of the Year
  • Investing in Somerset Award
  • Start-up of the Year Award (new award)
  • Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Environmental Achievement Award (new award)
  • Service Excellence Award
  • Somerset Manufacturer and Producer Award
  • Outstanding Business COVID-19 Response (new award)

Sponsors for the 2021 awards include main sponsor Albert Goodman and category sponsors TDA, Brook Financial, PKF Francis Clark, Porter Dodson, Hinkley Point C, Weston College, CETSAT, Garador, Gravity, Clarke Willmott, Elite Staffing Solutions, Teapot Creative and Clarks, together with additional sponsors BT, Newsquest and Heart.

More information about the awards and how to book a place on the top hints and tips webinar is available on the website, while updates will also be posted on the official business awards social media accounts.

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