Categories and entry details for the Observer and Gazette Business Awards

AN 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 this year.

Wednesday, 4th January 2012, 6:00 am

Nominations are 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.

Nominations can be made until February 25 and the awards will be held at a glitzy black-tie ceremony 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.

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.


Start-up - Sponsored by Spofforths

The winner of this award will have shown determination, drive and passion to start and grow a successful business during tough financial times. The winner will have also demonstrated their vision to succeed and overcome many obstacles along the way.

Small Business (up to 10)

This award is open to all businesses with less than 10 employees that can demonstrate exceptional performance, growth and market leadership.

Medium Business (10-50) - Sponsored by Fontwell Park Racecourse and Conference Centre

We are looking for smaller businesses which compete with the ‘big boys’ in every way – except size. The winner will need to demonstrate a good team spirit among the employees and a strong customer service ethos.

Large Business (50+)

The winner will have a well-deserved excellent reputation in the community, a record of innovative measures to enhance employee relations and demonstrate a commitment to never fail to deliver on its promises and to meet – and exceed – customer expectations.

Overall Business of The Year - Main Sponsor University Of Chichester

This prestigious award will be given by the judges to one of the winners from the business categories above. The company that carries off this award will be chosen on the basis of being the best business that has most impressed the judges that do the best for their clients, staff and community.

Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure - Sponsored by Premier Motor Homes

Award to a business that has best demonstrated exceptional financial returns, innovation, strong growth and market leadership in the field of tourism, leisure or hospitality activities.

Employer of the Year

Award for a business that has great staff relations, good staff retention, with excellent training and who cares for their employees. The best company to work for!

Employee/Team of the Year

Award for an exceptional individual/team whose efforts and determination has made an exceptional contribution to a business resulting in a positive gain for the organisation

Young Business Person

By a young age, some people in business have made an indelible mark in their company in the local market, or in their trade on a national scale.

The winner will be someone who can demonstrate exceptional achievement or performance within their industry.

Training and Staff Development

Entrants for this category must be able to demonstrate how their business has improved through the training and development of staff. Judges for this category will be looking for what methods of training were offered and how the objectives were met.

Place to Eat

Restaurants, take-aways - all have a chance to be nominated in this category. We’re looking for the a worthy eatery providing great customer service from a quality environment with, of course, consistently fine food. Have fun making your choices!


Award for the retail business that can best demonstrate strong growth, an innovative approach to customer and employee relations together with creativity to enhance sales. This category is open to local independent retailers and to local units of national chains providing they can show how they have impacted on the local community and economy.

Manufacturing & Construction - Sponsored by Southdown Builders

Award to a company that has best demonstrated exceptional financial returns, innovation, strong growth and market leadership in the field of manufacturing and/or construction.

Going Green

Award for a businesses or organisation, irrespective of its size or sector, that can demonstrate environmental awareness and responsibility in all aspects of its work and output.


The winner – either a company or an individual - will demonstrate an exceptional ability to think outside the box, whether it is discovering better ways to work, discovering a ground-breaking product, or showing outstanding marketing abilities.

Business Personality

Outstanding businesses often require outstanding individuals with larger-than-life personalities who show drive, commitment and enthusiasm and never settle for second best, either with their products or in their relations with staff and customers. We are looking for an individual who shows tremendous commitment and innovation, with outstanding leadership and vision and the drive to deliver.

Customer Service

Award for a company who exceeds customer expectations in its service. Customer service is an essential part of any successful business. This award aims to reward and recognise a company, individual, or team, for their outstanding achievement in providing exceptional customer service.

Lifetime Achievement

This is an award to an individual who, in the opinion of the judges, has demonstrated an unrivalled record of achievement in the area for many years, showing outstanding performance within their industry, a commitment towards their staff and who demands – and delivers - exceptional customer service.

Readers Choice

Our panel of judges always find it a tough task selecting the winners. It’s impossible to please everyone and the standard of businesses entering is always exceptionally high. So the onus will be on you to vote for your No1 business from our selected shortlist.

Presentation packs

Candidates can submit a presentation pack along with their nomination form, if you choose this method, you should aim to provide three identical packs in order to aid the judging process. You may wish to enter as many categories as you wish, but you must send individual entries for each one.

It is worth bearing in mind that a well executed and carefully thought out presentation will always impress the judging panel and increase your chances of success.

Please see the categories entry criteria for the category you wish to enter. Presentation packs to be sent to Jeanette Hockley at Chichester Observer, Unicorn House, 8 Eastgate Square, Chichester, West Sussex. PO19 1JN. Contact 01243 534140 or nominate your business by visiting

Alternatively, you can enter the awards by email to [email protected]