Search begins for the leading light of West Suffolk business

Paul Sinha will present the awards evening on October 14 ANL-140703-111636001

Paul Sinha will present the awards evening on October 14 ANL-140703-111636001

It is time to make your nominations for the fifth Bury Free Press Business Awards so the individuals and companies who excel can get the recognition they deserve.

The winners of the Bury Free Press Business Awards 2016 will be named at an awards evening, hosted by Paul Sinha of The Chase, at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds on October 14, the final day of the 10-day West Suffolk Business Festival.

Sponsors of the Bury Free Press Business Awards 2016 ANL-160730-133806001

Sponsors of the Bury Free Press Business Awards 2016 ANL-160730-133806001

There are awards aimed at individuals from apprentices and trainees, through those going the extra mile in customer service to the executive whose peers feel deserving of Business Person of the Year 2016.

The prestige of the awards is recognised by our sponsors, many of whom have been backing them since the first year and some of whom are past winners.

There is nothing to stop you entering your own business, but it will be fellow business people who will decide the winners of each award.

To enter, or for more information regarding sponsorship opportunities, visit http://burybusinessawards.weebly.com (no www) or you can contact the Johnston Press Midlands Events team on 01536 506123 or et.exhibitions@jpress.co.uk

This year’s categories are:

Business Person of the Year

Sponsored by Ensors Charterd Accountants, this Business Award was created to recognise the business personality who best represents achievement and longevity.

Synonymous with his or her business sector in the area, the award acknowledges the winner’s sustained achievements within the business community during a distinguished career.

2015 winner: Michelle Buxton of the Toolbox Group.

Contribution to the Community

The Portcullis Group sponsors the award which recognises a business or business person who has made a positive contribution to the local community, making an extra effort to bring the community together, or those who go out of their way to help others or a charity. The award is for those who make an outstanding contribution to the community, or improving the locality for the benefit of everyone.

2015 winner: Jacobs Allen.

Employee of the Year

Nominees for this award, sponsored by West Suffolk College, will have gone the extra mile in their job to achieve something amazing, or overcome adversity in their professional life and continued to deliver an excellent service. The person should be a role model to their colleagues.

2015 winner: James Sawyer of Whatley Lane Estate Agents.

Business of the Year

We and sponsors Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerce are looking for an outstanding business whose growth, ambition and quality of management has enabled it to out-perform its peers financially, and for a company that has delivered on a compelling business strategy.

2015 winner: Newmarket Racecourse.

Best New Start-Up

The Suffolk enterprise agency Menta backs this award for new businesses with big ambitions. It is for businesses that have been trading for less than three complete financial years. Judges will be looking for the ‘X Factor’ of a new idea or a new business concept.

2015 winner: Vanguard Communications.

Apprentice/Trainee of the Year

The W S Training sponsored Apprenticeship Award challenges top apprentices across the area to come forward and show how apprenticeships have made a real difference to their organisation and careers. The award will recognise apprentices or trainees who have made a significant contribution to their workplace.

2015 winner: Lotty Richardson of IFF (GB) Ltd.

The West Suffolk Award for International Trade

St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath Councils put forward this award for businesses that have embraced international trade whether through imports or exports or a combination of both. The business can demonstrate that such trade contributes to its currently and on going growth strategy.

2015 winner: Sealey Group.

Green/Environment

The judges are looking to celebrate those organisations and individuals undertaking genuinely unique work that can be emulated by the wider business community and serve to drive green growth. As such each entry will be judged against three over-arching criteria: innovation, applicability and competitiveness.

2015 winner: Precision Marketing Group.

Customer Service

This award, first won in 2014 by Prezzo waiter Kevin Wilcox who died in February, recognises individuals and teams who have demonstrated exceptional customer service and follow through by delivering ‘above and beyond’ customer expectations.

This award recognises staff and teams that have a passion for meeting and attending to customer needs and consistently providing exemplary, quality service.

2015 winner: L Fulcher Funeral Directors.

Independent Retailer

How have you developed the store over the past 12 months to better meet the needs of shoppers, and what were the results? Why did you take this approach. What was the most significant improvement you made? What makes your store stand out from the competition?

2015 winner: Croasdales Chemist