JUDGES are now looking for the best businesses in the district for this year’s Winchester Business Excellence Awards (WBEA), organised in partnership by the Hampshire Chronicle, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Winchester BID.

This year’s Large Business of the Year title, sponsored by Winchester City Council, will be presented to an outstanding business organisation with more than 15 full-time employees that demonstrate excellence.

A spokesman for the council said: “From our historic city centre, home of the ancient capital of England, to our bustling market towns, we are home to 115,000 residents.

“With a rich heritage and beautiful countryside, we have over six million visitors every year. With two universities and over 7,000 businesses we are an important seat of learning and business.”

“The city council provides a range of services every day to ensure our district is a great place to live. Keeping the streets clean, looking after open spaces, providing affordable housing are all part of our role.”

Nominations by either the businesses themselves or someone else, can now be made.

The other categories are:

Young Business Person Award;

Social Enterprise Award;

Business Leader Award;

SME/Independent Business Award;

New Business Award;

Digital Innovation Award;

Eco-business Award;

Service Excellence Award;

The Millennium Egg will continue to be awarded by the city council to the organisation or individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the area.

The Business of the Year Award will be given to the overall winner chosen by the judges from all of the category winners.

A culminating ceremony will be held to announce the winners, taking place on Thursday, June 6 at the University of Winchester.

The awards have long been recognised as a key date, and WBEA finalists will receive two tickets to the awards ceremony and dinner.

Once received, nominations will be considered by the judging panel and may be subject to a ‘mystery shopper’ visit and a Natwest health check.

The winners of each category will receive £250 of advertising in the Hampshire Chronicle or on Hampshirechronicle.co.uk.

To nominate, enter online at winchesterbusinessawards.co.uk.

Alternatively, send a 100-250 word email to wbeawards@localiq.co.uk, including the category, business name, address, website, contact name and telephone number.

Closing date for nominations is May 6.