Toni Hunter, a long-serving judge at the awards, said the regulations brought in because of the coronavirus outbreak meant it was unlikely that the judges would be able to visit entrants in person - something they really enjoyed doing. “We could do it by Zoom or something like that,” said Toni, who works for accountants George Hay, which is a sponsor of the awards. Toni said the lockdown had brought incredible challenges for local firms to face and urged them enter the awards which provided a shop window for companies to display their talents, including the flexibility required to tackle coronavirus head-on. She said the awards were important because they not only enabled businesses to be rewarded for achievements amid their peers, which they did, but they also gave firms the chance to show off their talents to prospective employees as well as customers. “Huntingdonshire has got to compete with places like Cambridge and London when it comes to employment, especially in the tech and bio fields, and the awards can help people show what they do and get their names out there,” Toni said. She said the lockdown inevitably meant the awards would be different for both entrants and the judges. Toni said : “Everything is a challenge at the moment and this is an opportunity for the small local businesses to show the agile way they work.” But she said the small size of many local businesses meant bosses were often feeling the pinch because they did not receive any Government funding which had longer term implications for trade in the district. “We have got a lot of small company directors in this area who are not receiving any support at all,” Toni said. The said the awards also showed that Huntingdonshire was a good place to do business and that the awards night in November was near enough to Christmas to herald the festive celebrations - although this year the fun element could be a bit more muted. “For many firms it is a chance to go out and celebrate as well as celebrating their achievements,” Toni said. The annual awards, now in their 23rd year, are designed to recognise achievements by firms across a wide range of categories, the criteria for which are available on the dedicated awards website, to be found through a link on the Hunts Post’s home page. In addition to these categories, the judges will also have the opportunity to make their own awards on the night, including Business of the Year and the Judges’ Award, which cannot be entered directly, Entries for the 2020 award have to be made by the deadline of 5pm on September 2. They can be made through the website at www.huntsbusinessawards.co.uk and the ceremony takes place at the Burgess Hall, St Ives, on November 6.