Best in the business

The Times Business Awards are back for 2023 with esteemed broadcast journalist Nick Ferrari as the event’s guest host. Lilly Croucher takes a look at what’s to come and reveals more about the categories and how you can be part of one of the best nights of our borough’s social calendar on March 30


The Times Business Awards returns for its sixth year this spring with a popular LBC radio presenter now confirmed as the guest host.

Media personality, Nick Ferrari will be presenting the prestigious awards which are put on by SO’s sister publication the Times of Tunbridge Wells in order to celebrate our brilliant business and entrepreneurial community. The event is taking place on March 30 in the Victoria Theatre at Salomon’s Estate in Tunbridge Wells and promises to be another amazing night.

Since they began in 2016 the Times Business Awards shine a spotlight on those businesses – both big and small, new and established – who are really making a difference in our borough and beyond.

Over the years the winners’ gala evening has been hosted by a slew of famous names including former MPs Michael Portillo and Edwina Currie, Radio 2’s Ken Bruce and Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton du Beke.

And although they were unable to take place during 2020 and 2021 due to lockdown measures the awards certainly made a dramatic return in March 2022 with over 200 attendees eager for the opportunity to network again. Last year’s event was hosted by TV personality and journalist Eamonn Holmes who went down a storm with guests chatting and agreeing to selfies!


“For 2023 there will be two brand new Times Business Awards categories. They are for Green Business and Charity of the Year”


The awards are open to everyone from multimillion-pound businesses to independent entrepreneurs and small start-ups. And if any of them are lucky to be shortlisted then companies can buy tickets to the finalists’ black tie gala night to celebrate their achievements and that of the wider business community.

With ten categories to choose from, the winners of each one will be recognised on stage as the best in what they do. Entries are open now and include Creative Business of the Year, Best Company under 25 employees and Best in Food & Drink.

For 2023 awards there will be two brand new categories. They are for Green Business, which will recognise companies who are environmentally conscious by using eco-friendly initiatives such as localising supply chains or reducing energy usage.

And the second will be for Charity of the Year award where charities and not-for-profit organisations will be honoured for the positive and vital role they play in the local area. Judges will be looking for impact, sustainability and imagination.

Entrepreneurs will also be recognised with Start-up Business of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year. While other awards will celebrate the diversity of local businesses including sectors such as hospitality, creativity and tech.

Applications are now open and are free to enter. The closing date however is February 20 so with just a month or so left you don’t have long to get your entry in to be in with a chance of winning one of these coveted awards.

Good luck!

Entry forms will be available at


Times Business Awards Categories:

Start-Up business of the Year Award

Companies which were founded in the past two years that are going from strength to strength


Creative Business of the Year

This is a strong sector for Tunbridge Wells, covering the creative, design, marketing and PR firms that have made our town their home.


Entrepreneur of the Year

An entrepreneur is more than just a business person. Entrepreneurs turn their idea into opportunities and may run more than one company.


Green Business of the Year

This new award category will recognise companies for their commitment to the environment, whether through reducing energy usage, ‘localising’ their supply chains or any other green initiatives.


Charity of the Year

In this new award category, judges will assess the charities and not-for-profit organisations which play such a positive role in the life of our area, looking for impact, sustainability, and imagination.


Best in Food and Drink

This award is for the local companies producing or serving truly remarkable food and drink. Entries are welcome from fine dining restaurants, gastropubs, simple cafes and food and drink producers. The category is open to any company which can demonstrate how it puts Tunbridge Wells or its local area on the map courtesy of its gastronomic excellence.


Best Family Business of the Year

The judges will be looking for the businesses that best demonstrate how running a family firm has added significantly to its competitive advantage. The winner will need to show how being a family business has had a positive impact on its achievements.


Best Business 1-25 employees

This award category is for the companies with a workforce of up to 25 which have maintained consistent growth and strong financial performance, both in meeting customers’ expectations and supporting its employees’ welfare and growth.


Best business 26+ employees

Consistent growth, financial performance and an engaged, positive workforce are just some of the criteria that set these companies apart from other medium to large businesses in the area.


Outstanding Business of the Year

This award will reveal which company demonstrates the best combination of growth, ambition and quality of management in the area. The ‘outstanding’ company will have delivered on a compelling business strategy, while developing its employees’ skills and looking after staff.

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