HUNTINGDONSHIRE companies now have two further weeks to submit their entries for the district's most prestigious business awards. Entries for the 12 categories of The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business awards, which are supported by Huntingdonshire District Council, can be submitted until Tuesday October 2. The judges will meet the following day to draw up short-lists for each category The original deadline this week has been extended to give busy firms the chance to complete their entries to the competition. Paul Richardson, chairman of the awards and editorial director of The Hunts Post's parent group, Archant Herts and Cambs, said yesterday: "Several companies have told us they have simply been too busy to complete their entries. "Some of them were firms we know would be serious contenders for short-listing, and it seemed a shame to prevent their being successful in the awards just because they were successful in their businesses. "We are especially keen to have a range of high quality entries this year, because it is the 11th year we have been running the awards and we have new categories and two new sponsors," he added. "We know that some local companies are finding the current economic circumstances difficult. The way they are coping with that could be an award-winning example to others. Yet many firms are still thriving in spite of the economic climate and the changes in commodity and fuel prices. Others are prospering spectacularly because of those factors. "It is just this diversity in the Huntingdonshire economy that the awards will celebrate. "And, as it turned out, holiday commitments have made it difficult for us to get the judging panel together before early October, so it was sensible to make good use of the extra time available," Mr Richardson added. The awards are open to all businesses in the Huntingdonshire area and entry is free. Entry is free and takes only a few minutes at www.cambs24.co.uk\/businessawards\/huntingdonshire. Companies and individuals shortlisted by the judges will be asked for more information, which will be accepted in confidence if necessary. Shortlisted entries can also expect some free publicity in their market-leading newspaper. All entrants are eligible to enter up to three categories (one individual and two for the company). The winners will be announced at a black tie dinner on Friday November 7 at the Burgess Hall in St Ives. The overall winner of the Business of the Year award will be chosen by the judges from the winners of the nine corporate categories among the 11 individual awards. Awards categories and sponsors are: Retailer of the Year Award, sponsored by Barford + Co, chartered surveyors Business Person of the Year Award, sponsored by Leeds Day, solicitors Employer of the Year Award, sponsored by the Luminus Group, social landlords The Innovation Award, sponsored by the Greater Cambridge Partnership Small Business of the Year, sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses, Huntingdonshire branch New Business if the Year Award, sponsored by Artisan Developments (UK) Limited Employee of the Year Award, sponsored by Anglian Water Business Development Award, sponsored by HSBC Bank plc Environment and Community Award, sponsored by the Environment Agency Training and Development Award, sponsored by Huntingdonshire Regional College The Internet Award, sponsored by Huntingdonshire District Council Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Streets Whitmarsh Sterland, chartered accountants. INFORMATION: Enter online at www.cambs24.co.uk\/businessawards\/huntingdonshire.