With entries now open (July 2) to the region’s premier business competition, the Dorset Business Awards, the race is well underway to find best of Dorset business.

More than 130 of the region’s business people, dignitaries and press from across the county attended the launch of the 2012 Daily Echo-backed Dorset Business Awards, sponsored by Breeze Volkswagen, which took place at the Victorian Barn in Woolland, near Sturminster Newton, in June.

Organised by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the seventh year running and also backed by one of the south’s leading radio stations, Wave 105, and supported by the Dorset Echo, the Dorset Business Awards is anticipating an Olympic year for entries as Dorset firms look to celebrate skills, achievements and innovation in business.

The 10 categories open for entry are:
• Apprenticeship Training Award sponsored by Superior – NEW CATEGORY
• Business Engagement with the Community Award, sponsored by J.P. Morgan – NEW AWARD SPONSOR
• Business Woman of the Year Award, sponsored by Barclays – NEW CATEGORY
• Dorset Tourism Award, sponsored by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Liz Lean PR
• Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Bournemouth University
• Hays PA of the Year Award – NEW CATEGORY
• KPMG and Lloyds Bank Company of the Year Award – NEW AWARD CO-SPONSOR
• Nuffield Health Excellence in Customer Service Award – NEW AWARD SPONSOR
• Princecroft Willis Family Business Award
• Retail Excellence Award, sponsored by the Dolphin Shopping Centre – NEW CATEGORY

The Awards are free to enter and entrants can submit an entry via www.dorsetbusinessawards.co.uk, sponsored by RT Media, or print off an entry form and submit a paper-based entry. Businesses of any size and operating in all industry sectors that fulfil the criteria are encouraged to put themselves forward for one or more of the 10 accolades.

Peter Scott, chief executive of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says: “The Dorset Business Awards is now an integral part of the county’s events calendar and forms a key part of celebrating the achievements of businesses throughout the region.

“We have seen the event get bigger and better year after year and were hoping that 2012 will be the best yet. With some new categories added to this year’s awards, we have opened up opportunities to more businesses across the region and we are looking forward to honouring their successes.”

Entry is open until Friday September 14 and submissions can be made via www.dorsetbusinessawards.co.uk. The awards are free to enter and entrants do not need to be a member of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Awards campaign will culminate in a prestigious gala dinner ceremony on Thursday November 29 at the Lighthouse, Poole. For further information please contact Shirley Ewart on 01202 714812. Follow the Dorset Business Awards on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DorsetBizAwards, join the Facebook fanpage http://facebook.com/DorsetBusinessAwards and LinkedIn http://bit.ly/DorsetBusinessAwards.