Search is on for the best in business

THE 2009 Anglian Business Awards are open for entries. This year's awards, again being organised by the East Anglian Daily Times, were launched at a reception for sponsors hosted by the East of England Co-operative Society at its new Wherstead Park headquarters.

THE 2009 Anglian Business Awards are open for entries.

This year's awards, again being organised by the East Anglian Daily Times, were launched at a reception for sponsors hosted by the East of England Co-operative Society at its new Wherstead Park headquarters, outside Ipswich.

Main sponsor of the awards for 2009 is Choose Suffolk, which will also be working with the EADT in judging the overall Business of the Year title, to be chosen from among the winners of the 15 categories.

Businesses of all sizes should find at least one category to enter, with the line-up including Start-Up Business of the Year, jointly sponsored this year by the Federation of Small Businesses and the Ipswich & Suffolk Small Business Association, Small Business of the Year, sponsored by NatWest, and Medium/Large Business of the Year, sponsored by law firm Prettys.

However, businesses are free to enter as many categories as they wish, subject to meeting the entry criteria.

Other categories include: Environment (sponsored by EDF), Training & Development (Learning and Skills Council), Community Involvement (Adnams), Innovation & Technology (University Campus Suffolk), Rural Business (Suffolk Agricultural Association), International Trade (Haven Gateway Partnership), Young Business Person of the Year (Picasso HR) and Marketing (Catapult).

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Other categories include Outstanding Customer Service, Entrepreneur of the Year and Not-For-Profit. In addition to the 14 established categories, the 2009 Anglian Business Awards also include a special award as part of Suffolk Chamber's Year of Skills initiative to mark its 125th anniversary.

Speaking at the launch, Terry Hunt, editor of the EADT, said: “This is the 12th year that the East Anglian Daily Times has staged the business awards and I think I can say without fear of contradiction that never in all this time has the local - and indeed national - business community faced such a challenging economic climate.

“However, while the 'feel-good factor' certainly still remains elusive, despite some tentative signs of improvement in recent weeks, we believe that recognising and celebrating all that is best in business is even more important that usual, to offset the economic gloom and recognise the success which is still being achieved despite the challenges we all face.

“The Anglian Business Awards have always been all about delivering exactly that kind of recognition, and I am pleased to welcome back a number of established category sponsors who have supported the awards in previous years and are doing so once again.

“I am also delighted to welcome a number of new sponsors who have come on board this year, including Choose Suffolk as the overall main sponsor of the awards.”

Choose Suffolk, formerly known as the Suffolk Development Agency, has just launched a new campaign, “Why Choose Suffolk”, under which the leaders of successful organisations across the county are acting as advocates for the county, setting out the reasons why they are pleased to be based here and why potential investors should consider locating here too.

“We are confident that the Anglian Business Awards will keep up their track record and again produce some new stories of success and some new ambassadors for the region,” added Mr Hunt.

In recognition of the pressures that businesses face in the current economic climate, the process for entering the Anglian Business Awards has been streamlined this year.

Instead of entrants having to take the time to complete an entry form and compile a detailed submission for each category being entered, entry this year will be by a simple registration form. Entrants will then be contacted by the awards team to gather the details necessary at each stage of the judging process.

To receive a registration form, email events.suffolk@archant.co.uk or call Chris Grover on 01473 324559.

Details of the various categories will be featured in BusinessEast over the coming weeks and will also be available online shortly at www.anglianbusinessawards.co.uk

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