The CN Group Business Awards 2015, a celebration of Cumbria’s most enterprising, innovative and dynamic businesses and business people, have been launched.
The climax is a black-tie dinner and awards ceremony at Carlisle Racecourse on October 21.
But the benefits to the winners in terms of publicity, prestige and the boost to staff morale last long after the Champagne bubbles have gone flat.
David Helliwell, editor of The Cumberland News and the News & Star, said: “The awards are a great way to focus on business successes across Cumbria.
“They always uncover a wealth of talent and innovation that reminds us of all the great things going on in our factories, depots and offices.
“As ever we want to showcase the very best of the county and, for that to happen, we need people to make sure those entries come in.”
The awards are free to enter and are open to any business trading in Cumbria.
There are 15 categories to suit enterprises of all types and sizes covering manufacturers, service businesses, new businesses, innovation, training, exporters, community involvement, environment, tourism, use of digital and social media, customer service, social enterprises, and rising stars, as well the coveted ‘businessperson of the year’.
New for 2015 is a specialist agribusiness category for businesses operating in agriculture and food production.
Entrants can put their names forward in any number of categories.
Previous entrants and winners are welcome to enter again. All shortlisted entries receive coverage in CN Group newspapers and websites.
As well as The Cumberland News, these include the News & Star, Whitehaven News, Times & Star, North West Evening Mail and the business magazine and website in-Cumbria.
Cumbria Business Growth Hub and Rural Growth Network is the main sponsor for the second year running.
Rob Johnston, chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce – the lead partner in the Growth Hub – said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be sponsoring the CN Group Business Awards 2015 and to be involved with such a prestigious event.
“We have a wide range of really fantastic businesses in Cumbria, often working away quietly with little or no recognition.
“These awards are a great opportunity to highlight and celebrate some of those businesses.
“With such a range of categories I’d encourage everyone to take a look and get their application in. You have to be in it to win it.”
He added: “Cumbria Business Growth Hub is all about helping businesses to grow and become more competitive.
“It’s about supporting business success so it’s an absolute fit with the CN Group Business Awards and the award categories have real resonance with the aims of the Growth Hub and the support on offer.
“Added to this, the Growth Hub is at its heart a business community and these awards are about the business community celebrating business success.
“Through the Growth Hub we’re already working with hundreds of great businesses across the county.
“I’d encourage businesses that aren’t yet linked into the opportunities the Growth Hub offers to give us a ring or visit www.cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk.”
The judging panel is still being finalised but will include Mr Johnston and Julian Whittle, business editor of The Cumberland News and News & Star.
All finalists get two complimentary tickets for the awards dinner.
Businesses can enter online at www.cnbusinessawards.co.uk – alternatively, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Alison Sisson on 01228 612617 to ask for an application form. The deadline for entries is Monday August 3.