Many businesses in Dorset are family-owned, stretching back for generations, and the Sponsors of the 2013 Dorset Business Awards, in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo, are set to recognise and celebrate the exceptional contribution family businesses have made to the County’s economy, history and culture.

Over the years, the Princecroft Willis Family Business Award has generated a prestigious list of winners from across the county, from Christchurch to Burton Bradstock, Wimborne to Ringwood and Dorchester to Stalbridge, and the award Sponsor- Princecroft Willis are searching to acknowledge another family business in the 2013 Awards.

The Award will acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of a family business which has made an impact on the Dorset business community.

Last year’s winner was Allum & Sidaway in Dorchester.  Founded in 1942 as a small watch and clock repair business, the firm is now a successful retailer of fine jewellery, watches and gifts with premises in Shaftesbury, Dorchester, Ringwood, Gillingham and Salisbury.  Now in the hands of the fourth generation of the Allum family, there are currently two generations involved in the business.  Through these generations the family has successfully diversified and invested in both its business and team, leading to the creation of a strong family brand supplying designer jewellery with five exceptional stores.

Jason Allum, Managing Director of Allum & Sidaway, said: “Winning the Family Business Award was an honour and exciting experience.  I am really proud that our business is an independent, founded by my great grandfather, and now in its 71st year. Over the years we have developed the business and expanded our ranges of fine jewellery collections and desirable brands and this Award was a recognition of our success story and I am sure will inspire us to continue to flourish.”

Jason adds: “As our family have lived in Dorset for many generations, we love our County and this made winning this Award particularly special.  There have been many benefits to winning a Dorset Business Award.  We have gained some wonderful publicity, positive sales and respect within our local communities, plus the whole experience has been motivational.   We certainly hope to build on the momentum of winning!”

The Award is open to all family-run companies which are based in Dorset with a BH or DT postcode.  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: “Since we introduced this category to the Dorset Business Awards in 2006 we have seen some terrific entries, ranging from a family business founded as far back as 1535 and in the hands of the 25th generation to others employing over 300 people and exporting worldwide.”

He adds: “Looking back at our award entrants reminds you that family businesses play a significant role in both the Dorset and national economy and they remain at the heart of our community.  The past few years of financial downturn hit these businesses hard, so this Award serves as a great opportunity to celebrate the hard work and effort family businesses have put in to stay successful and strong during tough times.”

The Awards are also backed by the South’s leading radio station Wave 105 and are free to enter.  Entrants can submit an entry via or print off an entry form and submit a paper-based entry. The closing date for entry is Tuesday September 10. Entrants do not need to be a member of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

For further information about the Awards, sponsorship opportunities or to reserve tickets for the Gala Dinner which will take place at the Lighthouse, Poole, on Thursday November 28 please contact Shirley Ewart on 01202 714812.  

Sponsor profile – Princecroft Willis

Chartered accountants and business advisers Princecroft Willis offer a real alternative for entrepreneurial businesses.  Based in Dorset and Hampshire, 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 these firms to grow and develop, building on the success of the founder while structuring innovative ways to hand that success on to future generations.