The Daily Echo-backed Dorset Business Awards are searching for the best family-run businesses in the region.


The Family Business Award, sponsored by Princecroft Willis, will celebrate the achievements and contributions of family businesses that make an impact on the Dorset business community.


Dike & Son Ltd in Stalbridge was recognised in 2011 with the Princecroft Willis Family Business Award.  Founded in 1851 as grocers and bakers, the Dike family has developed the business into the largest independent supermarket in the south west, selling produce from more than 100 Dorset and Somerset-based growers, makers and bakers.  Now in the hands of the fifth generation, there are currently two generations of the family involved in the business.


Talking about winning, Andy Dike, managing director of Dike & Son, says: “Winning this Award was a truly momentous occasion for my mother and I, one which I shall never forget.  It was an honour and a privilege to receive such an accolade, and it felt only right to dedicate this prestigious award to my late father who had such fantastic foresight and was so instrumental in taking the business to where it is today.


“I will certainly be encouraging the sixth generation to enter this category again if, or hopefully when, the opportunity presents itself and they show an interest in working in the family business.”


2012 Award is open to all family-run companies which have a BH/DT postcode or are based in Dorset.  Judges will be looking to recognise a family firm that is innovative, adaptable and has a healthy culture in place.


Princecroft Willis Family Business Award checklist

Entrants should include:

  • Longevity
  • Number of generations the business has survived
  • Family involvement in the business in terms of numbers and generations
  • Involvement in the local community
  • Family succession plan
  • Profitability


Nick Love, Family Business Partner at Princecroft Willis, comments: “For any business, entering awards requires time and energy, but the investment can return dividends, both internally and externally. This Award aims to celebrate the work and achievements of the region’s fantastic family businesses and we would urge all family firms to enter and gain the recognition they deserve!”


The Awards are free to enter and entrants can submit an entry via or print off an entry form and submit a paper-based entry. The closing date for entry is Friday September 14.


The Awards are also backed by the south’s leading radio station Wave 105 and supported by the Dorset Echo.  For further information about the Awards or to purchase tickets for the Gala Dinner on November 29 please contact Shirley Ewart on 01202 714812.


Sponsor profile – Princecroft Willis

Princecroft Willis is the largest independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisers in Dorset and West Hampshire. The firm has a team of specialists who cover corporate finance, estate planning, corporate tax planning, IT services and VAT planning.


Princecroft Willis believes that family businesses form the cornerstone of local industry and a large proportion of its client base are family enterprises. Its specialist services focus on helping them to grow and develop, building on the success of the founder while structuring innovative ways to hand that success on to future generations.