Make time over Bank Holiday weekend to nominate a worthy firm for a Mercury Business Award

The winners at the Mercury Business Awards 2016
The winners at the Mercury Business Awards 2016

There’s just a week left to put yourself or a business you’ve been impressed by for a Mercury Business Award.

There’s just a week left to put yourself or a business you’ve been impressed by for a Mercury Business Award.

Already dozens of entries have flooded in for our 10 categories but we are particularly seeking nominees in three categories which are: Business Innovation; Great Taste and Best Social Enterprise.

Content editor Kerry Coupe said: “The aim of our business awards is to give businesses across our area the opportunity to celebrate the fantastic achievements that we know happen every day but often go unnoticed.

“So if you’ve been umming and ahhing about whether to enter then there’s no better time than now! It promises to be a fantastic night and everyone at the Mercury is really looking forward to it, so why not get involved?”

The awards will be held at Greetham Valley Hotel, Golf and Conference Centre on Friday, November 10, and will be the 12th of their kind.

Our category sponsors so far include Hegarty Solicitors, the Larkfleet Group, South Kesteven District Council, Duncan and Toplis, Chattertons Solicitors and Greetham Valley.

We’re also supported by Rutland Radio - the night will be hosted by its breakfast presenter Rob Persani - and Viking Signs.

Businesses can put themselves forward to potentially win an award but readers can also nominate. Perhaps you have been impressed by customer service, been ‘wowed’ by a meal in a local restaurant or feel an independent retailer deserves special recognition.

These awards are all the more special for the Rutland and Stamford Mercury, as it will be the first event organised under the new ownership of Iliffe Media- and this year we’ve launched a dedicated website, to make it easier than ever before for readers and businesses to nominate.

After the closing date - just a week away on Friday, September 1 - a panel of judges will consider all applications and draw up a shortlist of three in each category, all of which will be invited to the fabulous dinner and presentation evening at the Greetham Valley Hotel, Golf and Conference Centre, on Friday, November 10.

Guests will arrive to a Champagne reception before sitting down to a three-course dinner. The awards presentation will follow.

To enter visit www.mercurybusinessawards.co.uk

Events and sponsorship coordinator Sharron Marriott is also looking for more sponsors.

She said: “We’re thrilled that some of the area’s best businesses are already supporting our awards with sponsorship, without which these awards just would not happen.

“But we’ve got a couple of opportunities remaining and the awards really do offer the chance to have a great deal of exposure via a three month brand campaign both online and in print, as well as the chance to attend the black-tie ceremony and network with other business leaders in the community.”

To find out more about sponsorship opportunities or for details of how to purchase tickets, e-mail sharron.marriott@iliffepublishing.co.uk.

Best new start up (Sponsored by Hegarty Solicitors) Has your business been a roaring success in its infancy? Has it exceeded all your expectations or is it exactly on the right track, looking strong and with excellent prospects for the future? You may be a one-man band looking to expand, or you may have started at a larger scale and already proved your ideas would work. This award is open to companies in business for up to three years from the date of the launch (Friday, July 7, 2017).

Business Innovation: (Sponsored by South Kesteven District Council) This award will go to the organisation that can best demonstrate an ability to create, grow and develop innovations or processes that improve commercial performance or the prospects of the company.

Best Social Enterprise: (Sponsored by The Larkfleet Group) This award is new for this year’s Mercury Business Awards and is open to charities and social enterprises who can demonstrate significant commercial and social impact of their activities. Judges will want to see clear evidence of commercial awareness and innovative strategies that complement the altruistic aims of the organisation.

Best Independent Retailer: This award celebrates the shops which truly make the Mercury area special and will be judged on financial performance, product and store innovation as well as excellent customer service.

Employee or Team of the Year: This award is to celebrate dedication and commitment to the business. The title will go to the employee or team who always go the extra mile and exceed expectations within their company. The judges will be looking for an employee or team who can demonstrate how their attitude, commitment and dedication to their job has delivered significant benefits to the company

Businessperson of the Year: (Sponsored by Duncan & Toplis) Businessperson of the Year: Another new award, the winner will be an individual who stands out from the crowd, has an entrepreneurial spirit, demonstrates outstanding achievement and inspires others around them. The winner of this award will have been instrumental to the success of their business, growing the reputation of both their business and the area in which they operate.

Best Customer Care: This award will recognise the firm, irrespective of size or sector, that can prove it really does put the customer first. Has your business excelled to help one customer in particular or perhaps you have introduced new ways of working to help every customer? The organisation must have objectives for high quality customer service and clear methods of monitoring and evaluating standards. And the winner will know that their customer care really is first class because for the first time ever, the shortlisted entrants will be put out to a public vote - so the customer chooses who wins!

Great Taste Award: This award is for a local hotel, restaurant, café, pub or takeaway that can demonstrate outstanding creativity, customer service and top quality dining and food in the Rutland and Stamford Mercury readership area and once the shortlisted entrants have been chosen by our panel - the winner will be voted for by our loyal and hungry readers!

Business of the Year (small): (Sponsored by our hosts Greetham Valley) This award is open to a business trading for more than three years with up to 20 employees and which is able to demonstrate excellence and innovation in its field, management with the ability to drive the business forward and funding arrangements and investment plans for the future of the business. It must show it understands its market, has arrangements to respond to change and can demonstrate why the business should win.

Business of the Year (large): (Sponsored by Chattertons) This award is open to a business trading for more than three years with more than 20 employees that can show evidence of business growth, a commitment to the local community, a business strategy and vision for the next three to five years, proven success and achievement during the past two years, management with the ability to drive the business forward and a genuine commitment to its staff.

How to enter/make a nomination

Any business within the Mercury’s news coverage area - which includes Stamford, the Deepings, Bourne and Rutland and surrounding villages - can enter from now until the deadline of 5pm on August 25, 2017. Readers are invited to make their nominations before the same deadline. To nominate visit www.mercurybusinessawards.co.uk to complete an online form.

Once the judging panel has chosen its shortlist from the nominations provided, the finalists will be notified. They will each be paid a visit by the judges for interview, to allow judges to decide the winner and runners-up. Finalists will each receive two complimentary tickets to the awards event.