Now in its third year, entries for the Sherborne Business Awards closed in mid-November and they are now with the judges. Entries and nominations for the first year of the Shaftesbury Business Awards closed in late November. Sherborne saw an increase on the record number of entries in 2021, while Shaftesbury was 20 per cent higher than the expected number for its first year.
Both sets of awards break the mould when it comes to awards events. Up until recently business awards have always covered large areas and focused on promoting large businesses rather than the smaller traders.
Said Nigel Reeve of the organisers, MW Events, ‘Local businesses and SMEs drive the economy in this country.’ he says ‘Large or small, they are the backbone of the UK economy. The idea of a series of hyper-local business awards first evolved during the first lockdown, when it was clear that small local businesses were really suffering.
‘The first Sherborne awards were one of the test areas and our idea of simple grassroots awards just seemed to take off. It’s important to us that they are always free and simple to enter, with categories reflecting the range of local businesses in the specific area.
The Shaftesbury awards are the eleventh of this type of awards to be launched by Nigel, all of them in Dorset.
‘Our funding is purely from the sale of category sponsorship. We have had over seventy local businesses supporting and sponsoring categories across all the awards to date. Without them this would not have been possible.’
The Sherborne awards ceremony is at lunchtime on Thursday, 12th January at the Oborne Grange Hotel, Oborne and the Shaftesbury awards ceremony is at lunchtime on Thursday, 26th January 2023 at the Grosvenor Arms Hotel in Shaftesbury.