Have you put in your nominations for The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business Awards 2017? If not you need to act soon as the deadline of September 8 is approaching.
Organised by The Hunts Post the highly-regarded awards celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and since its conception has recognised the best and the brightest in the district's business community.
The awards ceremony will take place at the Burgess Hall, in St Ives, on November 3 and all winners will be announced on the evening.
There are 12 award categories and businesses can enter up to three categories:
Small Business of the Year
Open to businesses across the district employing typically 10 people or fewer.
The judges are looking for firms that have shown that the size of the business is not a measure of success. For those wishing to enter this category you must be able to show performance against business plan and proven success in adapting to market movements.
Retailer of the Year
This category focuses on the sales performance of a retailer through the Huntingdonshire area whether the firm has a shop front or is entirely based online. Judges will be looking how companies develop a relationship with the consumer along with measures taken to distinguish the business from others.
Business Person of the Year
For this award judges will be looking for those who have made an outstanding contribution to the success or survival of the company whether it is a business owner or a manager. Individuals are able to nominate themselves or be nominated by their employers or colleagues
Employer of the Year
This category is looking to find businesses which demonstrate strong commitment to staff through incentives or benefits and how employee performance has an influence on the business. Judges will also be looking for information on the firm's induction process and staffing numbers.
Business in the Community
This award is designed to recognise significant achievement and major contribution to local communities without the expectation or direct commercial benefit. In this category judges will be looking for evidence of community benefits and why the business embarked on supporting the local area.
The Innovation Award
Entrants should show how they have introduced new ideas, techniques or technology into the organisation or marketplace or how creative ideas are being turned into business success stories. To enter judges will be interested in the impact that the idea or product has had.
Employee of the Year
For this category individuals may nominate themselves or be nominated by their employers or colleagues. The judges will be looking for an outstanding contribution not only to the organisation and its success, but also to colleagues' welfare and enhancing the working environment and customer experience.
Business Development Award
Judges will reward businesses that can demonstrate a proven ability to improve performance or prospects through making the most of opportunities available. As a part of the entry criteria, companies will need to demonstrate how the business has developed and what the plan of action was.
Training and Development Award
This award will recognise organisations or individuals who treat training and development of staff as a priority and provide it to a high standard. Judges will want to see the firm's training and development programme and how it has benefited the business.
New Business Award
This category is open to any company of any size, including sole traders that have been set up since January 1, 2016. It does not have to be registered for VAT. As a part of the entry criteria businesses will have to demonstrate the strength of business model and it may have been modified to reflect economic circumstances.
Online Innovator of the Year
This category highlights the achievements of those who have embraced the opportunity to develop their business through the use of online tools. You should be able to demonstrate a good internet site and a strong, innovative online presence through social media, with examples of how this has improved or affected your business.
Apprentice of the Year
To be considered for this category the applicants will need to demonstrate how they have exceeded expectations, how the apprenticeship has shaped their career, personal life, confidence and self-esteem and any obstacles the person has had to overcome.
Entrants to any of the categories are also in with a chance of winning two judges' awards which are picked from the finalists. The first is the Business of the Year accolade, and the second is a Judges' Award, for a business that didn't win its category but that judges felt showed great potential.
INFO: Businesses can go to the dedicated awards website and enter online or download an entry form from www.huntsbusinessawards.co.uk.