The annual quest to find the region’s “best and brightest” businesses begins this month with the eagerly-awaited launch of the 2015 Monmouthshire Business Awards (MBAs).
Dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the Welsh business community, the MBAs are supported by Monmouthshire County Council and celebrate local business excellence across all industries.
Unlike similar schemes, the MBAs are free to enter and are open to businesses of all sizes that can demonstrate “innovation, talent and enterprise”.
Previous winners have included a mix of start-ups and sole traders, in addition to some of the county’s largest and most influential organisations.
This year’s launch event – hosted by former ITV Wales broadcaster Hywel James – takes place on Thursday, 14th May at the St Pierre Country Club in Chepstow.
The event, from 6pm-7.30pm, is an opportunity for local businesses to network and to meet guests including senior members of Monmouthshire County Council, category sponsors and representatives from Welsh Government.
Tickets to the launch are free but must be booked in advance by emailing email@example.com
Awards founder Janet Harris yesterday urged local businesses – especially those new to the Awards – to claim their place at the launch event.
“The Monmouthshire Business Awards are about giving local businesses the chance to shout about what they do – and to receive recognition for their efforts,” she said.
“There is at least one category applicable to every business in the county, and we hope that businesses large and small will grasp this opportunity by joining us at the launch and by entering this year’s Awards.”
Since their launch in 2012, the MBAs have attracted nearly 1,000 entries producing nearly 200 finalists and 50 winners.
More than 1,000 people, including a range of celebrities, have celebrated their achievements at the glittering awards ceremonies, which are fast becoming a highlight of Monmouthshire’s social calendar.
Last year’s dinner attracted 210 guests including Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science & Transport, Welsh Government, Simon Gibson OBE, Chief Executive of Wesley Clover Corporation, Bob Greenland, Deputy Leader at Monmouthshire County Council, Peter Fox, Leader at Monmouthshire County Council, and Celtic Manor Resort CEO Dylan Matthews.
Martin Lewis, whose Usk-based heating start-up company Homeglow Products won ‘Most Promising Start-Up’ last year, said the accolade has helped “bring public attention” to his business.
He said: “Winning an MBA has helped Homeglow to grow with confidence on a regional and national scale, and we are using our success in our advertising and business cards as well as on our new website.
“The MBAs continue to be a big success in raising the importance of local businesses and their contribution to the prosperity of the county and its environs. I would urge everyone to enter.”
This year’s Awards feature 11 categories: Company Demonstrating Sustained Growth; Excellence in Marketing; Innovation in Business; Young Entrepreneur; Best Green Business; Hospitality, Travel and Tourism; Excellence in Technology Innovation; Excellence in Retailing; Responsible Business; Most Promising Start-Up, and Judges’ Choice Award.
For the first time, the Excellence in Retailing award will be open to online retailers, reflecting the growing importance of E-commerce in Monmouthshire.
The MBAs are backed by title sponsor Monmouthshire County Council plus category sponsors including Hicks Logistics, Celtic Manor Resort, Monmouthshire Housing, Spectrum Internet, REID Lifting, Interserve, Acorn and Coleg Gwent.
Paul Matthews, Chief Executive of Monmouthshire County Council, said: “The Monmouthshire Business Awards represent an attractive opportunity for businesses in the county to showcase their success.
“These awards are an invaluable chance for people to raise the profile of their organisation, to attract new customers, and to enhance their reputations.”
Businesses wishing to attend the MBA 2015 launch event should email firstname.lastname@example.org. For details about how to enter the 2015 Monmouthshire Business Awards 2015, visit www.monbizawards.co.uk