Entries are now closed for the annual Dorset Business Awards, in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo, and the judges are deliberating over who will be crowned the Dorset Business Award winners of 2016.

Organised by the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the prestigious business awards programme is looking for winners across 11 categories;

• Business Engagement with the Community Award, sponsored by J.P. Morgan
• Creative and Digital Impact Award, sponsored by Liz Lean PR and The Arts University
Bournemouth (AUB)
• Emerging Business Award, sponsored by The Training Room
• Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Bournemouth University
• PKF Francis Clark Family Business Award
• Lester Aldridge and Santander Company of the Year Award
• Nuffield Health Excellence in Customer Service Award
• Retail Experience Award, sponsored by the Dolphin Shopping Centre
• Team of the Year Award, sponsored by TeamJobs
• UK Health Insurance Investing in Dorset Award
• VoIP Unlimited Business Engagement with Education Award

Backed by the south’s leading radio station Wave 105, the Awards has welcomed three new categories to its roster this year. Four new firms have come on board as sponsors, including two past winners – TeamJobs, 2015 Lester Aldridge and Santander Company of the Year Award winner and The Training Room, 2014 Business Growth Award winner.

A team of three judges will analyse each entry form against the individual award criteria set out for each award category. Judges have until Friday October 7 to shortlist three finalists for each award, a total of 33 from the submitted entries.

The “Meet the Finalists” drinks reception on Monday November 14 will see the finalists of 2016 network with fellow finalists and awards sponsors. The overall winners will be announced at the Ice Kingdom themed Awards ceremony at the Windsor Hall in the Bournemouth International Centre on Thursday November 24.

Stuart Dixon, Head of Events and Marketing at Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, organisers of the DBA, says: “Our Awards campaign strives to shine a light on the companies across the county that are leading the way as innovators in their industry. This year we have been delighted to be inundated with entries from all sectors, proving that Dorset is full of dynamic firms, large and small, looking to highlight their achievements to the wider community. Our judges have a big challenge ahead of them to narrow down their entries to just the one winner.”

Tickets purchased for the black tie Awards Gala Dinner cost £85 + VAT (Chamber members), £95 + VAT (non-Chamber members) or £800 + Vat for a table of 10 (Chamber members) or £900 + VAT (non-Chamber members). To book places please call the DBA team on on 01202 714800.