Is your business a winner?

Look North's Clare Frisby presents the 2011 Reporter Series Business Awards at the Gomersal Park Hotel. The Winners. (d28101187)
Look North's Clare Frisby presents the 2011 Reporter Series Business Awards at the Gomersal Park Hotel. The Winners. (d28101187)
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IT’s that time of year again when, despite the doom and gloom of a double-dip recession, we celebrate our best businesses.

The sixth Reporter Series Business Awards will take place on October 25, and this year features two new categories – Business for the Digital Age and Retailer of the Year, which will be voted for by our readers.

The Black-tie awards ceremony, which once again will be held at the Gomersal Park Hotel, will celebrate our local firms and reward employees who really deserve a pat on the back.

This is our chance to showcase the best of enterprise in North Kirklees and South Bradford – but we can only do it with your nominations.

All you have to do is fill out a simple nomination form, available on our websites, giving us some basic details about your business.

We will feature as many entrants as possible in our papers, the Dewsbury Reporter, Batley and Birstall News, Spenborough Guardian and Mirfield Reporter.

Once all the nominations are in we will let our readers know which businesses have been shortlisted, and we will feature full coverage of the main event and, more importantly, the winners.

All of this can be fantastic publicity for your business.

We are looking for businesses of all shapes, sizes and ages.

Perhaps you are just one person who has made a dream a reality, or a whole team of people working together to create something truly special.

As in previous years, the event is generously sponsored by Specsavers, and the awards ceremony will be hosted by BBC Look North’s Clare Frisby.

Fill out your nomination form today. Fill it out online, or download it and send completed entries to Kate Wobschall, deputy editor, Reporter Series, 17 Wellington Road, Dewsbury, WF13 1HQ.

The closing date for nominations is August 31. Winners will be determined by a panel of independent judges before the ceremony.

The categories are: Entrepreneur of the year

Yorkshire has a fantastic reputation for producing and encouraging entrepreneurial spirit. We are looking to celebrate the achievements of an individual who has made a big impact with either a concept or an idea within a business in Kirklees. It could be a fledgling enterprise or an established business with a fresh idea.

New business of the year

The winner will be an organisation that began trading after April 2011, which is achieving its goals through a mixture of hard work, good customer service, planning and a determination to succeed.

SME of the year

The small and medium sized enterprise award will go to a company employing fewer than 25 people. The judges will be looking for the winner to boast a reputation that belies its size or a firm that punches above its weight in a tough marketplace. The winner is likely to have gone the extra mile to stand out from its competitors.

Larger business of the year

The winner will employ more than 25 people and will have displayed excellent performance or leadership in the last 12 months. The award will recognise businesses that lead their field and set a good example to other firms.

Retailer of the year

Let’s shout about some of the fantastic local retailers on and off the high Street. Successful nominations may come from independent retailers or a local branch of a national chain. We want you to tell us why you’re contributing to the local retail economy. Perhaps you’re providing something extra on the high street by fantastic local customer service or you offer a unique or unusual product.

Business for the Digital Age

Has embracing new technology in an innovative way brought you new business? Or is your business about providing digital technology to others to improve their service or bring in new customers? We want to know abut fresh ideas for enhancing business through new technology or businesses emerging out of the latest technological advances.

Innovation Award

Have you had a great idea which you have turned into a business or an idea which has helped an existing company to stay afloat or even to expand? We are looking for innovations of all kinds – so long as they have helped a business. The could be ideas which have become a commercial success, or have helped the environment or which have allowed a company to diversify.

Investing in the Future

Do you invest in people? Do you offer training, staff development or apprenticeships? A business is nothing without its skilled employees who bring something special to the workplace. The winner of this award has to show its commitment to getting the best out of its workforce and investing in their futures.

Business or Business person of the Year

This award recognises someone who has made a big impact within a company or as an individual in the business world. It could also be given to a company which is making a name for itself in the area, or has contributed significantly to the local economy.

For an entry form, please email kate.wobschall@ywng.co.uk.