Entries are now being invited for the Best New Business Awards Tees Valley, which shine the spotlight on new companies in the area that are making a valuable contribution to boosting the regional economy.
Firms ranging from transport logistics to mobile communications companies and from hairdressers to cutting edge businesses have entered the awards in previous years.
The managing director of a former winner says young firms can win publicity and new customers by entering the popular awards.
Dangerous goods specialists Evolution Forwarding gained publicity and new business on the back of the winning the awards two years ago.
Based on the Skippers Lane Industrial Estate in Middlesbrough, the freight forwarding business picked up the main gong after achieving a ten-fold increase in export turnover to almost £750,000 in just two years.
Managing director Terry Goldspink recalled: “We entered the Best New Business Awards to raise our profile – and it definitely did that.
“On the back of winning the main awards, we gained some additional business in and around Teesside too, and business continues to grow month-on-month.
“On the back of a phenomenal 2014 that saw us top the £1 million mark for turnover, we’re still adding customers every week, though the economic uncertainty in Europe this year hasn’t helped.”
Terry urges other young Tees Valley business not to delay entering the BNBA awards, which offer £500 to category winners and an additional £1,000 for the overall first prize.
“The way I see it, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain,” he said.
“Winning an award – or even being shortlisted – can only be good for publicity and boost your credibility with potential customers.
“The prize money also paid for some additional online marketing, while we saw an instant upturn in interest in what we do on social media.”
Other previous winners include two Middlesbrough businesses, teaching programme Sound Training and games development company Double Eleven, Wilton-based Guardian Marine Testing, Stockton-based IT leaders Cornerstone Business Solutions and prototype company Paragon Rapid Technologies, based near Durham Tees Valley Airport.
Colin Brown, of Lighthouse Advisory Services Ltd, has organised the awards for the past 15 years as a way of inspiring and rewarding enterprise across the region.
Colin said: “It’s only right that we recognise and reward the achievements of new businesses and the enormous part they play in bringing about economic growth.”
Apart from the overall prize, award categories include Creative and Digital Media; Engineering, Manufacturing and Sustainability; Marketing and Online Selling; Retail High Street; Service; Small Business; Young Entrepreneur.
This year the main promoters for the awards are Lighthouse Advisory Services, Tees Valley Unlimited, Teesside University and Thirteen Group.
Businesses set up within the past three years – since June 30, 2012 – are eligible to enter the BNBA Awards. There is no entry fee for the awards, which take place at the Riverside Stadium. Visit www.bestnewbusinessawards.com for further details and entry forms.
• Pictured (above): Terry and Amanda Goldspink of Evolution Forwarding receive the Best New Business Award Tees Valley in 2013.