Observer and Gazette Business Awards seeking best entrepreneurial talent across Chichester and Littlehampton

Bognor Branch Manager Ian Colban and his team receiving the highly commended award
Bognor Branch Manager Ian Colban and his team receiving the highly commended award

A wide array of talent from the world of business and industry is set to be marked with the Observer and Gazette business awards which returns bigger and better than ever.

Nominations are now being taken for the event, which will feature an enhanced total of 19 categories, spanning small business of the year through to the area’s lifetime achievement winner.

Building up across the next few months, the awards culminate in a glitzy black-tie ceremony which will be held at the Avisford Park Hilton Hotel on Friday, March 30.

Meridian’s Fred Dinenage is set to host the night, which has previously proved a highlight of the business calendar and a great opportunity to toast our business successes.

As the veteran broadcaster recently revealed, he has found it a privilege to be involved as compare and genuinely heartening to learn of the stories of determination emerging each year from our vibrant area of commerce.

Last year was no exception for quality entrants and there were some extremely popular choices from the wealth of entrepreneurs and companies making the respective shortlists.

Among the many winners was young achiever of the year winner Luke Mead. He started his rapidly-expanding IT firm from his bedroom in the Arundel area as a teenager and was delighted to pick up his trophy on the night. From there, he went on to success with our regional awards.

Lifetime achievement winner Rod Fabricius, former MD of Goodwood Racecourse said he felt ‘gobsmacked to have won’ and expressed his elation at having three decades of work at the venue recognised.

Beyond the nominations, there will be a significant number of corporate sponsorship opportunities for each category, which has already drawn interest from firms eager to play their part.

The University of Chichester is sponsoring this year’s overall business of the year award category. As one of the event’s key supporters, it has excelled in providing business-focused education which is being delivered through its new School of Enterprise Management and Leadership.

Sandra Coley, business development manager at the university said: “The university has a strong relationship with the business community and we see the Observer awards as a way of reaching out to companies in the area.”

As ever, we are anticipating a strong response from residents and companies across our readership, so don’t miss out on your chance to get involved. You can either nominate a worthy firm or individual, or consider taking up sponsorship, which has proved a powerful marketing tool for previous winners and those involved with the awards. They are a good way of celebrating business success in the area.”

Those who claim honours have benefited considerably in the wake of gaining their achievements and are entered into our regional Southern Business Awards held in Brighton.

n For sponsorship, entries and tickets for the awards ceremony, contact Jeanette Hockley, group events co-ordinator at or JP Events, Unicorn House, 8 Eastgate Square, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1JN. Note for all entries - can you please provide full name of nominated companies and contact details.