The Princecroft Willis Family Business Award will honour family companies contributing to the rich business history and heritage of Dorset at the 21st Dorset Business Awards, in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo.

The category seeks to acknowledge and recognise the achievements of Dorset-based, family-owned businesses. Entry is open to all family-run companies which are based in Dorset with a BH or DT postcode.

Winner of the 2014 award, managing director of R J Balson, Richard Balson, said: “It has been fantastic to win the award in our 500th year. We have won many awards over the years, but the DBA is one for the family and staff. It has been great to show off our prestigious award in the shop window, and the subsequent press and publicity has been an added bonus.

“It’s great to enter, to know that you are among the top businesses in the county. We have met some lovely people on our journey and made new friends, personally and professionally.”

Entering is free and becoming a finalist or a winner offers a great sense of pride, together with an official recognition of the valuable effect the company has on the vibrant economic landscape of Dorset.

Judges of this category 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
• Financial performance in the last three years

Nick Love, Family Business Partner at Princecroft Willis, said: “In a county rich in culture and history, not only are family businesses essential to this local economy, they also play a defining role within their local communities.

“This award looks to honour businesses that have that certain special ingredient; staying power, and embody the crucial role that family business plays in the lifeblood of Dorset. The winning entrant must meet a number of criteria that examine the core of the company.”

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 Friday September 11. 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 Bournemouth International Centre on Thursday November 26 please contact Lorraine Hubbard on 01202 714810.

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.