SMALL businesses have a chance to enter their own category of the South Coast Business Awards.

The Best Small Business trophy will be presented to a dynamic company with fewer than 25 employees and a turnover of less than £5million.

The winner will need to demonstrate all-around excellence in business and must have been trading for at least 18 months.

Backed by the Daily Echo, the South Coast Business Awards celebrate business excellence across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

They salute innovative industries, both big and small, operating in fields from food to fashion, tourism to technology, employing thousands of people, exporting around the world or helping to attract visitors to our county.

Principal sponsor Dutton Gregory and category sponsor Hampshire Chamber of Commerce invite any company whose head office is in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to enter or to be nominated.

The nominations will be considered by our judging panel and may be subject to a “mystery shopper” visit by the category sponsor.

The judges are looking for commercial success, future objectives for the growth of the business, innovation and creativity. Businesses should be able to demonstrate evidence of positive change in the last 12 months or have identified a strategy for change in the next 12 months.

The judges will be looking to announce the three finalists in each category in the Daily Echo.

All three category finalists, plus one guest each, will be invited to join their category sponsors at the awards ceremony, due to take place on November 12 at St Marys Stadium, where the winners will be announced.

The winners of each category will receive £250 of advertising in the Daily Echo or on and will also be featured in the category winners’ coverage in the Daily Echo or on

The Business of the Year Award will be nominated to the overall winner that will be chosen by the judging panel from all the category winners.

The other award categories are:

  • Innovation Excellence Award
  • Service Excellence Award
  • Employer Award
  • Entrepreneur Award
  • Business Leader Award
  • Best New Business (opened in the last two years)
  • Best Mid-Large Business Award
  • Business And The Community
  • Best Use Of Technology Award
  • Enter online here .

Businesses will be required to submit a one-page summary of accounts with their application.

The closing date for nominations is August 31.