Entries are now open for Newcastle-under-Lyme’s premier business competition – with two new categories introduced for 2014.
Business Boost is open to small and medium sized businesses in the Newcastle Borough Council area.
Cash prizes are up for grabs in the annual competition which judges businesses on their potential for growth.
Judges spend time with the finalists to assess and help develop business plans.
A retail award is being introduced for the first time as Business Boost joins forces with the Newcastle-under-Lyme Town Centre Partnership.
Shoppers are being asked to nominate retailers in which they have enjoyed a high quality customer experience. Entry forms are available to complete at http://www.businessboostawards.org.uk/best-for-customer-experience-nomination-form/
The second new category is a Social Enterprise Award. Entries are being encouraged from businesses who can demonstrate that they have clear social, charitable or community objectives and generates most of its income through trade.
The new categories will run along the prestigious Impact on the Borough and Entrepreneurial Spirit awards. Other awards include the Judges’ Special Award and an Apprentice Award, sponsored by the Aspire Realise Foundation, which will part fund two apprenticeships at two winning companies for a year.
Business Boost is run by a committee of volunteers from local business, Keele Science and Business Park and Newcastle Borough Council.
Main sponsors are Keele Science and Business Park, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council and the Aspire Group, with further contributions from Rydale Roofing, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, and Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.
The first stage of the entry process must be completed by 3 August, 2014, visit www.businessboostawards.org.uk to view the application procedure.
Julie Mirowski, Director of Rydale Roofing, said: “Winning Business Boost in 2010 gave our business a confidence boost and we used the prize money to help kickstart our new solar energy division. We are delighted to come back as competition sponsors this year as we recognise the contribution Business Boot can give to aid jobs and growth in Newcastle borough.”
Bernard Lovatt, Chair of the Business Boost panel, said: “Business Boost is unique to Newcastle-under-Lyme and provides a platform for growing businesses.
“Entrants get the opportunity to work with business advisors and feedback shows that Business Boost can help in many ways. It helps small businesses to focus on producing a business plan that works, promotes links with other businesses in Newcastle-under-Lyme and progression to the final gives businesses a confidence boost and recognition.”
The 2014 winners will be announced at an evening awards ceremony on Thursday, 9 October.
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