The line-up of finalists for the Daily Echo-backed Dorset Business Awards has been revealed. Thirty different judges worked hard to shortlist the 127 entries received down to 30 finalists.

Finalists stretch from Christchurch to Dorchester and from Bridport to Ringwood and companies of all sizes are listed side by side in the annual search for the county’s top business performers.

The Dorset Business Awards, organised by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, recognise and reward excellence, innovation and success. The competition, which was founded in 1994, allows the best of the region’s businesses to showcase achievements and benchmark their successes against firms of all types.

Winners of all 10 categories will receive their Awards at the glittering Oscar-style Awards Gala Dinner, hosted by comedian and actress Debra Stephenson at the Lighthouse Poole on Thursday 29 November. The finalists are as follows (in alphabetical order):
Apprenticeship Training Award sponsored by Superior
Aish Technologies Ltd, Poole
Goadsby, Bournemouth
Scissors Franchise Company Ltd, Bournemouth

Business Engagement with the Community Award, sponsored by J.P. Morgan
AFC Bournemouth
Darren Northeast PR, Bournemouth
Norfolk Royale Hotel, Bournemouth

Business Woman of the Year Award, sponsored by Barclays
Dorset Catering Company Ltd, Beaminster – Claire Perry
My Carry Potty, Bournemouth – Amanda Jenner
Rock Recruitment Specialists Ltd, Bournemouth – Angela Fletcher

Dorset Tourism Award, sponsored by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Liz Lean PR
Bellissimo Weddings and Events, Bournemouth
Harbour Hotels, Christchurch
Poole Museum Service, Poole

Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Bournemouth University
3 Sided Cube, Bournemouth – Duncan Cook
Active Research Ltd, Poole – Phil Whitehurst
Astute Ltd, Bournemouth – Paul Woods

Hays PA of the Year Award
Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel – Elaine Dickinson
Poole Harbour Commissioners, Poole – Annie Willats
Queen Elizabeth’s School, Wimborne Minster – Carly Rose

KPMG and Lloyds Bank Company of the Year Award
J&G Environmental Ltd, Blandford Forum
LV=, Bournemouth
Organix Brands Ltd, Bournemouth

Nuffield Health Excellence in Customer Service Award
Bournemouth Churches Housing Association (BCHA), Bournemouth
LV=, Bournemouth
Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Dorchester

Princecroft Willis Family Business Award
Allum & Sidaway Jewellers, Dorchester
Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors Ltd, Wimborne
R J Balson & Son, Bridport

Retail Excellence Award, sponsored by the Dolphin Shopping Centre
Allum & Sidaway, Dorchester
Beales Department Store, Poole
Doris & Daisy, Wimborne Minister

Peter Scott, chief executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says: “The judges were tremendously impressed by the standard of entries throughout the categories. Each entry was proof, if it were ever needed, that despite the challenging economic climate in which the UK finds itself, Dorset still has plenty to shout about.

“Businesses of all sizes are continuing to succeed and we look forward to celebrating and recognising their success at the Awards Gala Dinner evening in November.”

The Awards are also backed by the south’s leading radio station Wave 105, and supported by the Dorset Echo. To purchase tickets for the Gala Dinner please contact Shirley Ewart on 01202 714812. Tickets to the Awards Gala Dinner 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).