The Herald's Business Awards 2013
THE Herald's prestigious and popular Business Awards are launched today – giving Plymouth the opportunity to celebrate the success of its firms and business people.
Nominations are being sought for the awards, which will culminate in a black-tie ceremony at the Holiday Inn, on the Hoe.
The awards will once again celebrate the best in Plymouth business with at least 13 awards across at least 11 categories. And if the past two years' awards are anything to go by, competition is likely to be fierce, with many top city businesses in contention.
Categories in the business awards, for companies inside The Herald's circulation area, include for best retailer, innovator, customer care and service, green business, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, manufacturer, entrepreneur, and tourism/hospitality business.
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And they will be topped with the traditional awards for business of the year, which this year will go to three firms, one small, one medium and one large, and lifetime achievement.
Firms and organisations sponsoring individual awards include the Drake Circus Shopping Centre, Plymouth City Centre Company, txtNation, First Great Western, Plymouth Better Together, Plymouth University, Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, City College Plymouth, Wrigley, and Plymouth Citybus.
Nominations can be received from today. They must be made on line at the special Business Awards website at www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/businessawards. The nomination process is open until Friday, March 1.
A panel of business experts will be recruited to prepare a shortlist of nominees and decide winners. Nominated businesses will be profiled in The Herald before the awards night on Thursday, April 25.
In 2011 and 2012 the awards were considered a huge success by the dozens of firms, individuals and organisations that attended the ceremonies.
In 2011, Boringdon Park, in Plympton, hosted a spectacular event, compered by TV star Angela Rippon, at which Estover-based manufacturer Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd was named Business of the Year, and Keith White, managing director of jewellers Michael Spiers, won the lifetime achievement award.
And there was an equally glamorous get-together last year when former That's Life presenter Esther Rantzen and Herald columnist David FitzGerald presided over a memorable evening at the Holiday Inn, at which mobile billing company txtNation won the Business of the Year honour and Peter Vosper, managing director of the Vosper Group car dealership, was celebrated for his lifetime achievement.
Ian Wood, editor of The Herald, said the 2013 awards were sure to be just as exciting and enthralling, celebrating much that is great about Plymouth.
He said: "The Herald Business Awards present Plymouth with an annual opportunity to celebrate and reward businesses and individuals who are helping to drive this wonderful city forward, economically, culturally and socially, towards its goal of becoming Europe's premier waterfront destination.
"During the past two years the awards have highlighted the vast range of Plymouth's enterprises, across the manufacturing and service sectors, and lauded many of the city's prime success stories.
"Working in partnership has been critical to much that has been achieved in Plymouth already, and will be crucial in shaping its future."
Greg Lumley, centre director at Drake Circus, which is sponsoring two awards alongside Plymouth City Centre Company, said he was delighted to be supporting this year's awards and added: "We are pleased to be joining forces with the City Centre Company to celebrate all that is best about retail and customer service in Plymouth."
There is still the opportunity for firms, organisations and individuals to sponsor a business award, with The Herald able to add further categories. To be involved, contact Gemma Mulcahy, The Herald's head of events, on 01752 765589 or by emailing GMulcahy@swmg.co.uk
CELEBRATION OF ALL THAT'S BEST IN PLYMOUTH
THE Herald will celebrate the best in Plymouth business with at least 13 awards across at least 11 categories. All firms and individuals must have been in business for at least two years and judges will look at turnover, profitability, growth and plans for development – and may ask for supporting information, such as accounts and documents.
Business of the Year: The Herald is sponsoring this award, which this year, in a departure from tradition, will go to three companies of different sizes, in a bid to reflect the diversity of enterprises operating in Plymouth. There will be awards for firms with up to 25 employees, for 26 to 150 staff, and for firms with more than 150 workers. But they must each have had a positive impact on the city's economy.
Retailer of the Year: Sponsored by Drake Circus Shopping Centre and Plymouth City Centre Company, the winner will be a business which understands and meets the needs of shoppers and maintains high standards in a challenging time for the sector.
Innovator: Last year's Business of the Year txtNation sponsors this award, for a company or individual who has made a significant impact perhaps through the successful launch of a company, revival of an existing one, or by developing and marketing a new product or idea, or by diversifying.
Customer Care and Service: This will go to a business which has shown a commitment to continuously improving customer service. Also sponsored by Drake Circus Shopping Centre and Plymouth City Centre Company.
Green Business: First Great Western is sponsoring this category, for a firm which has shown outstanding concern for the environment, perhaps by reducing emissions, waste or noise, adopting more efficient transport policies or using raw materials effectively.
Corporate Social Responsibility: This will go to the business which has made a contribution to the community, maybe reflected in facilities it provides, the number of people it has helped or the scope of its interest. Sponsored byPlymouth Better Together.
Social Enterprise: Plymouth University is sponsoring this category, which will reward a businesses with primarily social or environmental objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested in the business or the community, rather than needing to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.
Manufacturing Business: Sponsored by City College Plymouth, it will be won by a company whose primary business is manufacturing and which has shown strong financial performance, investment, job creation and product innovation.
Entrepreneur: Wrigley is sponsoring an award for an individual who has been instrumental in the success of a business.
Tourism/Hospitality Business: ponsored by Plymouth Citybus, for a business specifically involved in tourism or hospitality, able to demonstrate how it has increased visitor numbers and contributed to the marketing and popularity of Plymouth.
Lifetime Achievement: The accolade will go to a man or woman who has made a considerable, profitable and lasting contribution to business over at least 20 years. Sponsored by Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.