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Surrey Business Awards: Celebrating the Best in the County

Business award ceremonies are a fantastic opportunity to receive recognition and celebrate being part of a local or regional business community. In the leafy county of Surrey, we’re lucky to have the Surrey Business Awards

About the Awards

This stellar event is now in its third year and brings together the best of the county’s business community. It’s not just for Fortune 500 companies, businesses of all sizes can take part. 

The first event took place in 2018, and the award ceremony quickly gained traction in the business company. This was seen in 2019, when the event brought together 400 business people for a gala awards night at Epsom Downs Racecourse. Entrants had been whittled down to 56 finalists, and the businesses represented 23 towns in Surrey, demonstrating the far-reaching interest in the business awards. 

The glittering awards ceremony included a drinks reception and a sumptuous meal, and the evening was hosted by the comedian Mark Dolan. It was an outstanding success, and paved the way for something even more spectacular in 2020.

Why You Should Enter

You may have considered entering an awards ceremony in the past, but not realised the full potential for being part of such a prestigious event. Indeed, there are many benefits to entering for a business award. These include: 

Publicity

Given the press attention that surrounds business awards, they’re a great opportunity to improve brand awareness. The marketing and PR associated with being involved in the awards is excellent in itself, let alone the publicity around winning, or even just making the shortlist.

Recognising achievements

Yes, we judge our success by our profit margins, and business growth, but it’s also an amazing boost to receive an accolade from your peers. Awards ceremonies recognise and reward hard work and success, and are an amazing opportunity to put your business in the spotlight and give your employees the recognition they deserve. Also, who doesn’t love a night out at an awards ceremony? Even if you don’t win, it’s still a great team bonding exercise and is fantastic for morale.

Gaining a business edge

Winning a business award acts as an excellent third party endorsement for your business and will definitely give you a competitive edge, as you’ll stand out from the crowd. Even just being nominated for an award, or making the shortlist, is also a fantastic accolade that can be used when pitching to new customers. 

Networking

We really can’t stress the importance of maintaining and expanding a strong business network. An awards event provides an excellent opportunity for some business networking; it’s a place where you’ll be able to connect with and meet like-minded business owners. 

If all this has tempted you, then it’s time to consider entering the Surrey Business Awards. Here’s how you can enter, including information on the categories and deadlines: 

Categories

Businesses can enter up to three categories. Here’s the list to choose from:

  • Company of the Year

You can’t actually enter this category directly. This overall winner is picked from the pool of businesses entering two other categories: Large Business of the Year and SME of the Year. 

  • International Business of the Year

This award is for Surrey-based companies that have a strong import/export trade record. The business should also have strong ties with a country outside the UK. 

  • SME Business of the Year

If you’re a SME with an annual turnover of £500,000 to £5 million then this is the award category for you. The business should also be at least 3 years old and, of course, have an operational base in Surrey.

  • Professional Services

This is for companies that work in the professional services sector, such as law firms, marketeers, recruitment consultants, accountants and actuaries. Entrants must be able to demonstrate a strong financial performance and excellence in their field. 

  • Growth Champion of Surrey

This award is for Surrey-based businesses that have seen exceptional growth this year. 

  • Employer of the Year

This prestigious award category is sponsored by Surrey Business School, at the University of Surrey. It’s open to employers of all size who encourage employees to reach their full potential. 

  • Large Business of the Year

In order to enter this category, you have to have achieved an annual turnover in excess of £5 million. Once again, the business needs to at least 3 years old and have an operational base in Surrey.

  • Chamber Member of the Year

This award is sponsored by Surrey Chambers of Commerce. It recognises a member who has been actively engaged with the local business community.

  • CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Excellence

The CSR Excellence Award is designed to recognise businesses that excel in areas such as sustainability, reduction of carbon footprint, employee well-being and philanthropy. 

  • Start-up of the Year

Setting up a new business is a challenge, and this award seeks to recognise the impact successful start-ups have on the sector in which they operate. You’ll need to have been trading for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 3 years to be eligible for this category.

  • Charity of the Year

To enter this category, the charity must be registered in Surrey and be able to demonstrate the positive and worthwhile impact it has on society. 

  • Best Customer Service

This is open to businesses from all sectors, and recognises a dedicated commitment to delivering outstanding customer service.

  • Business Innovation of the Year

This category celebrates outstanding innovation – be that a new product or a new process system. It’s open to any business that’s either based in, or conducts the majority of its business, in Surrey.

  • Businessperson of the Year

Company Directors, business owners and senior executives can all apply for this award. It celebrates outstanding achievement that’s contributed to the success of a Surrey-based business.

  •  Tourist Attraction of the Year

In this category, judges are looking for tourist attractions that develop and enhance the tourism experience in Surrey. 

Deadlines and Announcements

The deadline for submissions usually takes place at the end of July/August. The shortlist is announced in the autumn and the awards ceremony takes place in November. Keep an eye out here for announcements regarding this year’s event.

The Judging Panel

The business awards attract some big sponsors. The judging panel is no exception and includes local and large business experts. The panel includes representatives from companies including, Heathrow Airport, NatWest, RSM, Surrey Business School, Moore Kinston Smith, Sandown Mercedes Benz, Surrey Business Magazine, The Ken Blanchard Companies, Surrey Chambers of Commerce, Hart Brown Solicitors, Partridge Muir & Warren, projective and Mazars.

While 2020 to date hasn’t gone quite like any of us would have expected, we look forward to hearing how this year’s Surrey Business Awards proceeds. Whatever the outcome, we’re sure the business awards will come back stronger than ever, to celebrate the best businesses in the county.

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