On November 18 Ferndown Golf Club opened its doors to the finalists and sponsors of the Dorset Business Awards to host an exclusive celebration to mark the penultimate stage of the 2013 competition.

Sponsored by the Dorset and South Wiltshire Local Network of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Meet the Finalists event saw 30 finalists representing a range of industries, from manufacturing and retailing to hospitality and technology, get together ahead of the Gala Dinner to applaud their success on reaching the finals and find out about the Awards ceremony at the Lighthouse Poole taking place on November 28.

Peter Scott, chief executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says: “We wish to thank the Dorset and South Wiltshire Local Network of the IET for supporting this important occasion.  The Meet the Finalists event was a fantastic opportunity for our sponsors to raise their glasses and make a toast to this year’s firms and business people who have made it onto the shortlist.  We look forward to announcing the winners at the Awards Gala Dinner, which will be hosted by BBC South Today newsreader Laura Trant, at the end of this month.”

The 2013 finalists (in alphabetical order):

Apprenticeship Training Award sponsored by Superior – 

Aish Technologies, Poole

Bias Technology Support Limited, Poole

Kingston Maurward College (Hospitality Department), Dorchester

Business Engagement with the Community Award, sponsored by J.P. Morgan –

Blondz Hair, Weymouth

Motcombe Community Shop Ltd, Shaftesbury

Winning Smiles (Gillingham) Ltd

Business Woman of the Year Award, sponsored by Barclays –

Doris & Daisy (Maria Leese), Wimborne

Folk (Jo Cruickshanks), Poole

LoveLove Films (Georgina Hurcombe), Bournemouth

 Dorset Tourism Award, co-sponsored by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Liz Lean PR –

Highlands End Holiday Park, Bridport

The Green House, Bournemouth

The Grove, Bournemouth

Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Bournemouth University –

Beales Gourmet Ltd (Tony Beales), Poole

C4L  (Matt Hawkins), Poole

Ratio (Marc Biles), Bournemouth

 Hays Employee of the Year Award –

BOFA International Ltd (Shelagh Clyde), Poole

Christchurch & East Dorset Partnership (David Hopkins), Christchurch

Lewis-Manning Hospice (Maria Tidy), Poole

KPMG & Lester Aldridge Company of the Year Award –

Atlas Elektronik UK Ltd, Winfrith Newburgh

Churchill Retirement Living, Ringwood

Health-On-Line, Bournemouth

Nuffield Health Excellence in Customer Service Award –

Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors Ltd, Wimborne

Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC), Poole

The Green House , Bournemouth

Princecroft Willis Family Business Award –

DJ Property, Weymouth

D Stewart & Son Ltd – “Stewarts”, Christchurch

RJ Balson & Son, Bridport

Retail Excellence Award, sponsored by the Dolphin Shopping Centre –

Animal, Poole

Fab Frocks of Westbourne

The Body Shop, Poole

The Awards, in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo, are organised by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and also backed by the south’s leading radio station Wave 105.  The Gala Dinner Awards ceremony takes place at the Lighthouse, Poole, on Thursday November 28.  To purchase tickets for the Awards Gala Dinner please contact Shirley Ewart on 01202 714812.  Tickets cost £85+VAT each or £800 + VAT for a table of 10 (Dorset Chamber members) and tickets cost £95+VAT each or £900 + VAT for a table of 10 (Non-Dorset Chamber members).