The twenty eighth Sussex Business Awards are now open for business. Celebrating business excellence across Sussex, the Awards are the longest established scheme of its kind in the county and is the one everyone wants to win! There are seventeen trophies to be won this year three new categories The Sussex Graduate of the year (University of Sussex); The Best Employer (Morgan Sindall) and The award for Leisure and Tourism (Southern Rail). Says Adrian Alexander, Partner at Mazars: “Having supported the awards for the past three years, we are delighted to be involved once again and sponsoring the ‘Sussex Company of the Year’. It is a fantastic honour to be the sponsor of the main award.”

SUSSEX BUSINESS AWARDS 2016 CATEGORIES & CRITERIA

Sussex Company of the Year

Sponsored by Mazars

Economic output from Sussex is in the range of £37b – 2.2% of the UK total. This Award is open to businesses with more than £2 million turnover which are based in, or conducting most of their business from, Sussex and will be made to the most outstanding business in the region.

Small Business of the Year

Sponsored by Sussex Chamber of Commerce

This Award is open to any business that has a turnover of less than £2 million and has been trading for at least two years. The business must be based in, or conduct most of its business from, Sussex.

International Business of the Year

Sponsored by HSBC

Sussex has a foundation of strong growth in international trade – the UK's second international airport, a skilled workforce and a predominance of sectors with high propensity for internationalisation. Exporters contribute 60% to UK productivity (UKTI) and those new to exporting experience an average 34% increase in productivity in the first year. This Award is open to any business based in, or conducting the majority of its overseas business from, the county of Sussex.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by Platinum Business

An entrepreneur is a person who takes an idea for a product or service, considers the risks, gathers resources, and plans and implements the idea. This Award will recognise those Sussex entrepreneurs who have turned their business idea into a reality and have been trading for at least two years. The judges will be looking for evidence of professional motivation, communication skills, practical skills, resilience, leadership, maturity and integrity.

Best Employer in Sussex

Sponsored by Morgan Sindall

This award is open to employers of any size or type in Sussex who have achieved excellence in providing an environment where employees can develop their full potential, achieve outstanding success for the business and really thrive! With 1m people working in the region and employment set to grow by 5% over the next ten years this Award is more important than ever. You are welcome to support your application with staff testimonials.

Sussex Graduate of the Year

Sponsored by Sussex University

With 93% of Sussex graduates working in professional or technical jobs, the judges will be looking for someone who has a graduated from the University of Sussex in the past three years and who has made an impact on a Sussex business. The judges will be looking for evidence of professional motivation, communication skills, practical skills, resilience, leadership, maturity and integrity.

Best Customer Service

Sponsored by Checkatrade.com

Excellence in customer service is a key means of differentiating your business from its competitors. They say those with a positive experience will tell two or three others about the company whilst those a bad experience will tell up to 20! Great customer service leads to repeat business and direct benefits to the bottom line. This award will be made to the business most successfully demonstrating quality customer care and innovative customer service.

The Award for Leisure & Tourism

Sponsored by Southern Rail

There are an estimated one thousand places to visit in Sussex. From lively resorts to quiet coastal walks, from ancient castles to archaeological sites and nature reserves to theatres, cinemas, museums and art galleries – Sussex has surely got it all! This award will be made for the most outstanding achievement in the Sussex leisure and tourism industry.

Innovation in Business

Sponsored by Sussex Innovation Centre

According to a recent survey in the Greater Brighton and West Sussex area, 64% of businesses are

engaged in some sort of innovative activity and the South East is identified as being more innovative than both the UK as a whole and London. This Award will be made to the business best demonstrating outstanding innovation either by developing a new product or by introducing a new process or system to an existing business. The Award is open to any business based in, or conducting the majority of its business from, Sussex.

The Best Place to Entertain Your Clients

Sponsored by Title Sussex

Entertaining clients offers an excellent opportunity to develop relationships and increasingly plays

a crucial role in business. You want to impress, but keep matters informal and still get the business done! Judges are looking for a business or venue - it may be a restaurant, bar, sports venue, hotel or

even networking event - which offers an unforgettable experience and leaves a lasting impression on your clients.

The Professional Services Award

Sponsored by Vantage Professional Risks

Most businesses in Sussex call upon the support of the professional services in some capacity or the other - from accountants and actuaries to business consultants, recruiters, law firms and marketers. Professional services accounts for around 20% of business in the Sussex area and it is growing faster than anywhere else in the UK. Who is the best in Sussex? The judges are looking for regulated companies which work to a code of conduct. Entrants must demonstrate excellence in business management under-pinned by a strong financial performance.

Sussex Businessperson of the Year

Sponsored by Heart FM

This award will be made for outstanding achievement by a businessperson who is contributing to the success of a business based in Sussex. Directors, owner managers and senior executives are all eligible and entrants will also be automatically drawn from the submission made for company and small company of the year.

The Most Promising New Business

Sponsored by Coffin Mew

Around 9k new businesses set up in Sussex last year – and that figure is growing every year. But which one will be the most promising for 2016? For the most promising new business in Sussex. The Award is open to any company based in Sussex that has been trading for at least six months and for no longer than three years.

The Responsible Business Award

Sponsored by Checkaprofessional

Across Sussex there’s a growing trend amongst businesses to encourage collaboration amongst colleagues, customers and others to make a meaningful difference in the county. In this way they are inspiring and creating real behaviour change around the things that people care most about – and delivering positive change for themselves and their communities. Corporate social responsibility takes many forms - employee volunteering, mentoring, youth support, civic leadership, sponsored activities or simply charitable giving. This award will be made to the company or organisation that has made the most impact in their community.

FREE TO ENTER

The Award for the Most Sustainable Business

Sponsored by Wealden District Council

It has been estimated that low carbon activities in Sussex generated £2.7bn in sales and supports around 21,000 jobs and 1,550 businesses. This award will be made for outstanding achievement by those businesses for whom the protection or enhancement of the environment is placed at the core of their activities, or whose products or practices have resulted in significant beneficial environmental impact.

FREE TO ENTER

The Healthiest Workplace Award

Sponsored by Natures Way

Creating and sustaining a healthy workforce benefits everyone. It makes sense for people in our organisations to gain and maintain good health, avoid illness, recover quickly when ill, and feel good about themselves and their work environment. This Award will go to the organisation that can best demonstrate how it has worked to sustain the health and well-being of its workforce to the mutual benefit of the staff and the organisation.

FREE TO ENTER

The Greatest Contribution to Sussex Charity

Sponsored by The Argus

Who do you think has made the greatest contribution to charity in Sussex? Tell us why!

Sussex companies have until 31st August 2016 at 5pm to prepare their submissions. There is a small admin fee of £50 (ex vat) to enter one award or £100 (ex vat) for up to three entries. You can also make nominations for the Healthiest Workplace, Most Sustainable Business and Outstanding Contribution to Sussex Charity free of charge. Winners will be announced at The Grand Brighton on Thursday 1 December 2016.

www.sbawards.org.uk

@SussexBizAwards

Click here to read the complete article