THE launch of the 2018 Winchester Business Excellence Awards got underway with a drinks and canapes reception for the district’s best and brightest business people at the Holiday Inn.
During the evening, organised in partnership by the Hampshire Chronicle, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Winchester BID, guests learnt more about the competition, gained networking opportunities and heard from the 2017 Business of the Year winner Iain Steel from Richard Steel and Partners on what it meant to them to win the award.
The award is once again working with Simplyhealth Professionals, who are the principal sponsors of the event and also category sponsors for Business of the Year.
Catherine Turness, executive director of Winchester Business Improvement District, announced there was to be a new category for 2018 called the Winchester City Council Digital Innovation Award. Judges will be looking for evidence of innovative technology being used by businesses, which could include use of apps, virtual reality and even drones.
The other categories this year are:
* The University of Winchester Charity of Social Enterprise of the Year,
* Winchester BID Independent Business of the Year,
* The Breeze Service Excellence Award,
* Paris Smith LLP New Business of the Year
* Small-Medium Enterprise of the Year.
Maureen Frost, executive director of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “It always gives me great pleasure to see the number of people who enter these awards.”
Iain Steel, of Richard Steel and Partners, said the funeral directors were “ honoured and delighted” to have been recognised by the awards, and that it had given the business confidence to enhance Chesil House where there will be a new chapel with a post-funeral reception facility.
He added that even just from attending the award ceremony last June, he made three contacts with Citizens Advice, The Little Kitchen Company and those behind the revamp of St Maurice’s Covert in Winchester, which he would not have made without the awards.
“If you are deciding whether to put your business forward – do so,” he said.
The closing date for entry is Friday, February 23. Businesses are able to nominate organisations or enter the awards themselves to showcase their success. The awards scheme will culminate in a ceremony on June 1 in Winchester’s Guildhall.
Source: Daily Echo