After much deliberation and spirited debate, the Finalists in the 2013 Dorset Business Awards, in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo, have been chosen.

Judging panels for each Award category spent hours working through 134 entries in order to produce the final shortlist of companies.

Organised by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and also backed by the South’s leading radio station Wave 105, this year’s Awards generated significant interest from within the region’s business community and entries came from a diverse range of organisations in the area.  There are Finalists stretching from Gillingham to Weymouth and Ringwood to Bridport and the names of the winners will remain a closely guarded secret until the glittering Awards Gala Dinner at the Lighthouse Poole on Thursday November 28, hosted by BBC South Today newsreader Laura Trant.

Peter Scott, Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says: “This year’s Awards have drawn an unprecedented number of entries and we are amazed by the exceptional level of growth, success and entrepreneurship the entrants have displayed.

“Sponsors of the Dorset Business Awards would like to thank all the businesses that took the time and effort to enter this year and wish all the finalists the very best of luck.”

The 2013 finalists (in alphabetical order):

Apprenticeship Training Award sponsored by Superior

  • Aish Technologies, Poole
  • Bias Technology Support Limited, Poole
  • Kingston Maurward College (Hospitality Department), Dorchester

Business Engagement with the Community Award, sponsored by J.P. Morgan

  • Blondz Hair, Weymouth
  • Motcombe Community Shop Ltd, Shaftesbury
  • Winning Smiles (Gillingham) Ltd, Gillingham

Business Woman of the Year Award, sponsored by Barclays

  • Doris & Daisy (Maria Leese), Wimborne
  • Folk (Jo Cruickshanks), Poole
  • LoveLove Films (Georgina Hurcombe), Bournemouth

Dorset Tourism Award, co-sponsored by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Liz Lean PR

  • Highlands End Holiday Park, Bridport
  • The Green House Hotel, Bournemouth
  • The Grove Hotel, Bournemouth

Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Bournemouth University

  • Beales Gourmet Ltd (Tony Beales), Poole
  • C4L  (Matt Hawkins), Poole
  • Ratio (Marc Biles), Bournemouth

Hays Employee of the Year Award 

  • BOFA International Ltd (Shelagh Clyde), Poole
  • Christchurch & East Dorset Partnership (David Hopkins), Christchurch
  • Lewis Manning Hospice (Maria Tidy), Poole

KPMG & Lester Aldridge Company of the Year Award

  • Atlas Elektronik UK Ltd, Winfrith Newburgh
  • Churchill Retirement Living, Ringwood
  • Health-On-Line, Bournemouth      


 Nuffield Health Excellent in Customer Service Award 

  • Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors Ltd, Wimborne
  • Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC), Poole
  • The Green House Hotel, Bournemouth

Princecroft Willis Family Business Award

  • DJ Property, Weymouth
  • D Stewart & Son Ltd – “Stewarts”, Christchurch
  • RJ Balson & Son Ltd, Bridport

Retail Excellence Award, sponsored by the Dolphin Shopping Centre


  • Animal, Poole
  • Fab Frocks of Westbourne
  • The Body Shop, Poole

To celebrate reaching the penultimate stage of the competition all Finalists have been invited to an exclusive drinks reception at the Ferndown Golf Club on Monday November 18 ahead of the glittering Oscar-style Awards Gala Dinner.