A SEARCH for the cream of Hartlepool’s business world is under way with organisers saying: “Let’s make the awards even better than in previous years.”
The 2012 Hartlepool Business Awards were officially launched yesterday with a prize fund of £12,000.
It will culminate in a glittering prize ceremony at the Borough Hall on Thursday, May 17, next year. First, though, comes the search to find the best in town business.
Ten category awards will be contested as well as the overall prize of Business of the Year, which was won this year by J&B Recycling.
Hartlepool Mail advertising director Chris Grieveson, who is a member of the awards committee, addressed delegates at yesterday’s launch at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience.
He said: “We want to get 100 businesses to enter.
“Last year 105 businesses registered their interest and that was finally whittled down to 66 entries for judging.
“We need to get 140 businesses registering an interest so that we can get 100 for judging this year.”
The contest has attracted £34,000 of sponsorship and Mr Grieveson said: “Without that support the event could not happen. That sort of support is a magnificent effort and a tremendous gesture coming off the back of the trading conditions of the past 24 months.”
He praised this year’s entrants as “excellent examples” of the town’s entrepreneurial strength and said: “There are no changes this year in the judging or the required criteria.”
He said that all firms need to do is “make sure their application stands out”.
Awards co-ordinator John Megson said: “The good news is that the Hartlepool Business Awards are continuing in an extremely difficult economic climate.
“They are a reflection of the continuing support and generosity of the business fraternity.”
Mr Megson urged firms to enter and praised businesses in Hartlepool which had survived the economic downturn.
He said: “To continue in business in these economic times is a success story in itself.
“Our objective is to maximise the number of entries for the 10 categories and encourage businesses both large and small.”
The search for entries is open now and continues until next March with judging starting in April.
Anyone wanting to enter can do so via the Hartlepool Mail website at www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk or via www.hartlepoolbusinessforum.co.uk/awards.htm
● See below for full awards details.
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