THIS year’s Winchester Business Excellence Awards (WBEA) was launched today at a breakfast event at the new functions venue of Chesil House, with catering provided by The Little Kitchen Company.

Nominations can now be made to be considered by a judging panel, that will announce three finalists in each category.

Winners will be announced at the official ceremony on June 6 at the University of Winchester, organised in partnership by the Hampshire Chronicle, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Winchester Business Improvement District (BID).

Businesses in the district can either be nominated or nominate themselves, and may be subject to a ‘mystery shopper’ visit or a Natwest health check.

Winners of each category will receive £250 of advertising in the Hampshire Chronicle or on the Chronicle website (

This year’s overall Business of the Year award, sponsored by Simplyhealth, will be chosen from the shortlisted businesses in each award category.

Simplyhealth are also working as the main sponsors of the event.

The company offers private health cover for individuals, couples, families, and corporate health plans, and is used by more than 3 million people across the UK.

Caroline Coleman, managing director of Simplyhealth, said: “For over 30 years, Simplyhealth has played an active role in the Winchester community and economy, and we are delighted to sponsor the Business of the Year award.

“Since 1872 we’ve been helping individuals, families, employees and pets to access the healthcare support they need through our health plans, charity partnerships and by being a voice in healthcare. Today we’re delighted to be the UK’s leading provider of health plans, Denplan payment plans and pet health plans.

She continued: “The Simplyhealth Business of the Year award recognises one outstanding company that has demonstrated excellence in developing its business and has implemented a sound business and financial plan that runs in conjunction with a clear marketing strategy.We are looking forward to receiving this year’s applications and reviewing the fantastic businesses across the city.”

This is the list of the other awards and sponsors:

Business Leader – Paris Smith;

Young Business Person – sponsorship available;

Social Enterprise – HWB Accountants;

Large Business – Winchester City Council;

SME/Independent Business – Winchester BID;

New Business – sponsorship available;

Digital Innovation - sponsorship available;

Eco Business – Winchester University;

Service Excellence - Brewin Dolphin.

The Millennium Egg will be awarded by Winchester City Council to the organisation or individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Winchester area.

Entries for the awards can be made online at Alternatively, send a 100-250 word email to, stating the selected category and business name, address, website, contact name and telephone number. Closing date for nominations: May 6.