Entries for a prestigious awards ceremony celebrating the best of business across North Hampshire have opened.

The Inspire Awards, which have been running for over 15 years, celebrate companies of all shapes and sizes who have made a difference.

And in the most challenging of years for businesses up and down the country, the people behind the ceremony are hoping that the glitzy final will still go ahead - either at the end of this year or in early 2021.

"Often when people think of Inspire, they think of the awards evening and all its glitz," Felicity Edwards, managing director of organiser Destination Basingstoke, said. "Inspire is an awards programme, not just a good night out, and the most important part of the programme are the businesses themselves and the hard work and passion that makes them award winning."

The programme recognises a range of businesses, including awards for business of the year, employer of the year, innovation excellence and young business person of the year.

Additionally, the Gazette-sponsored Digital Technology award will be handed out.

Felicity continued: "At this difficult time, with all businesses facing fall out from Covid-19, it is especially important to recognise those moving forward and offer a chance to celebrate and showcase their successes.

"We would like to encourage customers of businesses, friends, relatives and colleagues to recommend great businesses to enter."

Last year's ceremony, which attracted over 500 people and represented more than 180 businesses from across the North Hampshire region, was held in November at the Hampshire Court Hotel.

To see the full list of awards up for grabs, or to nominate, go to www.inspirebusinessawards.co.uk.