The business awards are back with another gala night to remember…

There are ten options ranging from Young Entrepreneur of the Year to the Service Excellence award and Creative Business of the Year, all celebrating the wealth of talent in our local area from established businesses to start-ups. 

The guest speaker at the gala night on May 30 at Salomons in Tunbridge Wells will be the face, and feet, of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Anton du Beke.

He has been a regular favourite on our TVs since 2004, when Strictly was first beamed into our front rooms. Throughout that time, Anton has released an album, written a novel, and even found time to become a father for the first time – to twins no less.

He follows in the footsteps of former politicians Michael Portillo and Edwina Currie as well as BBC Radio 2 DJ Ken Bruce who have also presented the awards.

Why enter your business?

This is a unique opportunity to showcase yourself and your company alongside some of the outstanding businesses and business people within the boroughs of Royal Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge & Malling.

You can be part of a vibrant annual awards ceremony that recognises, celebrates and promotes local business excellence.

Winning a prestigious business award will add credibility to your company, raise your profile through valuable media coverage, generate new business, inspire your staff and provide an exclusive networking opportunity for you at the awards ceremony which takes place in May at Salomons in Tunbridge Wells.

The categories:

  1. Start-Up Business of the Year Award – This award recognises new start-ups under two years old at the closing date for entries of April 24 2019 that have translated an idea into a successful business venture. They must be able to detail growth so far and show plans for the continued development and success of the venture.
  2. Creative Business of the Year – Is your business success based on innovation and creative thinking in your strategy and every day operation? This category is for any company over two years old in any sector that can demonstrate creativity as well as adding value to the success of their business.
  1. Entrepreneur of the Year – This award is open to dynamic individuals who are running their own business and are able to demonstrate significant success and drive in growing their company.
  1. Young Business Person of the Year – Entrants for this award must be aged 30 or under by the closing date on April 24 2019 and need to show they have a clear vision / strategy for their business and are committed to growing it. Areas such as increasing headcount, developing and inspiring staff, and involvement in the local business community are all good examples of this.
  1. Service Excellence Award – The winner of this category will be giving outstanding assistance and advice to those who buy or use their business or organisation’s products or services. They will be able to provide customer testimonials to support their entry.
  2. Best in Food and Drink Award – The winner of this category will be a local business that provides truly remarkable food and/or drink in the area. Whether it is a fine dining restaurant, gastropub, café, bakery, cake shop or drinks company the winner of this award will have demonstrated how they have put their town on the map. 
  1. Best Family Business of the Year Award – This category recognises those businesses that not only have the passion and commitment that comes with a company run by a family concern, but also be continually innovating to support future growth and has an equally invested and engaged workforce that understands customer expectations. 
  1. Best Business 25+ employees – This category recognises larger businesses employing more than 25 people and looks for consistent growth and strong financial performance alongside an engaged workforce and a business plan supporting innovation and future growth.
  1. Best Business 1-25 employees – Here we recognise owner-managers and small businesses employing up to 25 people that have maintained consistent growth and strong financial performance. They must understand customer expectations, have an engaged workforce and be continually innovating to support future growth. 
  1. Outstanding Business of the Year – The ultimate award of all the categories will go to the business that can show outstanding initiative, boldness and imagination in the enterprise, as well as sound management practices. The winner must also be able to demonstrate they have a clear strategy to invest in the skills and development of their staff. They will be expected to prove sustainable growth combined with a degree of commercial success that is exceptional for the size of the business.

How to enter…

The closing date for entries to the Times Business Awards is Wednesday April 24. Each category will be shortlisted to three entries. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by email on Monday April 29, 2019. Winners will be announced at the gala dinner. Tickets are available priced at £95 per person or £850 for a table of 10. Numbers are limited and based on the previous two years the award dinners will be a sell-out. To book please call Eileen Sweeney on 01892 779583.

Want to Sponsor the Times Business Awards?

  • Sponsors are guaranteed editorial coverage in both editions of Times Local Newspapers
  • Exposure to over 220 guests from the local business community at the black tie gala awards ceremony.
  • Inclusion within the extensive editorial coverage in SO Magazine.
  • Extensive coverage on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

To register your interest and receive an application form, or to find out more information, please contact us through leaving your full contact details and an indication of which category you might like to enter. You can also call Eileen Sweeney on 01892 779583.

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