The shortlist for the 28th annual Sussex Business Awards has been announced and hundreds of applicants have been whittled down to just forty one finalists.

Representatives from 27 towns across the county make the shortlist and 2016 is set to be a hot contest to receive one or more of the prestigious seventeen trophies. Six companies make the shortlist twice, including The Base Skatepark CIC, Stelfox, International Logistics Group (ILG), Cheesmur Building Contractors, Yelo Artchitects and The Dental Barn.

To reach their crucial decision, the judges reviewed all the entries within their categories. Candidates then go through a rigorous reviewing system, including phone, face to face and panel interviews, to determine who will be in the running for one of the most highly coveted awards in Sussex.

Taking his place as chairman of the judges for the third year in a row was Mike Herd, executive director of the Sussex Innovation centre and a previous winner of the Sussex Businessperson of the year, who commented: “The exceptional qualities of the entries really shone through, and I know a lot of worthy winners have been chosen.

“Congratulations to all the shortlist!”

Sussex Businessperson of the Year finalists have been automatically selected from entrants to the Sussex Company of the Year and the Small Business of the Year Awards, as well as direct entries. Winners will then be decided after a series of face to face interviews in front of a panel of judges.

Entries were judged by an expert panel which included representatives from Mazars, Morgan Sindall, HSBC, Southern Railway, Vantage Professional Risks, Checkatrade.com, Sussex Innovation Centre, checkaprofessional.com, Wealden District Council, Sussex Chamber of Commerce, University of Sussex, Natures Way Food, Coffin Mew, The Argus, Platinum Business Publications, Heart FM and Title Sussex.

This year’s ceremony will take place on Thursday 1st December 2016 at The Grand, Brighton and will be presented by comedian Simon Evans.

The Awards sell out each year so make sure to book your tickets soon. Buy online at www.sbawards.org.uk

The Entrepreneur of the Year

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• Neil Laughton, Laughton & Co Ltd

• Terry Nitman & Steve Hayman, Cheesmur Building Contractors

• Amber Rust, Bonieri

The Best Place To Entertain Your Clients

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• Blanch House

• Sussex Cricket

• East Sussex National

• Brighton Fringe

The Award for Healthiest Workplace

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• Legal & General

• European Recruitment

• Scout Shops Ltd

The International Business of the Year

Sponsored by HSBC

• Frontier Pitts

• Ridgeview Wine Estate

• Stelfox

The Award for Leisure & Tourism

Sponsored by Southern Railway

• The BaseSkate Park CIC

• Best of England

• Smart Performance

The Award for the Most Sustainable Business

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• The Big Lemon

• Burleys

• Green Mop Ltd

The Responsible Business Award

Sponsored by Checkaprofessional.com

• ILG

• Lovelocaljobs.com

• Wave Leisure Trust

The Small Business of the Year

Sponsored by Sussex Chamber of Commerce

• Boom Boom the Label

• Fundraising Auctions Ltd

• The Dental Barn Ltd

The Award for the Most Promising New Business

Sponsored by Coffin Mew

• The BaseSkate Park CIC

• Opun

• SourcedBox

The Award for Innovation in Business

Sponsored by Sussex Innovation Centre

• Curry Leaf Café

• PULSE.AERO

• TECO Building Products

The Award for Best Employer

Sponsored by Morgan Sindall

• Stelfox

• Yelo Architects

• ILG

The Award for Best Customer Service

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• The Dental Barn Ltd

• The Grand Brighton

• Welbeing

The Award for Professional Services

Sponsored by Vantage Professional Services

• Robinson Low Francis

• Yelo Architects

• Juno Wealth Management

The Sussex Company of the Year

Sponsored by Mazars

• ILG

• Crunch Accounting

• The Kitchen Store

• Newview Homes Ltd

• Cheesmur Building Contractors

The Greatest Contribution to Sussex Charity

Sponsored by The Argus

• Andy Cheesman, City Cabs

• Brighton & Hove Buses

• Carousel

Sussex Businessperson of the Year

Sponsored by Heart FM

• To be announced

The Sussex Graduate of the Year

Sponsored by University of Sussex

• To be announced

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