Outstanding businesses have a chance to shine in the 2015 Kent Excellence in Business Awards which were launched last night.
Now in their seventh year, the awards are staged and produced by Kent County Council and KM Media Group.
More than 200 people attended the launch at Dickens World in Chatham Maritime, which has become the first major business event of the year.
Winning an award is a powerful and effective marketing tool for any company and picking up a KEiBA will help your organisation to stand out from the crowd, send a positive message to your customers and attract new business.
This year there are 15 categories up for grabs, including Best Manufacturing Business, Best Land Based Business and Apprenticeship of the Year. Every year KEiBA showcases the strongest, most vibrant businesses and business people from across Kent.
Whilst there are no new categories within the awards scheme this year, there is a notable change to what has been in the past the Science and/or Technology Business of the Year category.
KEiBA 2015 sees this category renamed to Technology Business of the Year. This is to broaden the appeal of the category to some of the newer technology based businesses in the county in areas such as web design, SEO, game design and software development.
We hope this category will now attract more entrants from businesses within which technology is a key element and where the continuous development of technology is a major function of the business.
Speaking at the launch event Mark Dance, KCC Cabinet member for Economic Development, said: “The KEiBA awards are undoubtedly one of the highlights of the year for the business community in Kent.
“The awards really do show off the quality of Kent businesses and demonstrate the hard work and entrepreneurial flair in action right across the county.
“It truly is fantastic that we have this opportunity to recognise and promote the successes and achievements of everything from rural firms to apprentices – showing that Kent really is open for business.”
Managing Director of KM Media Group, Richard Elliot, said “The economic environment continues to be tough, although hopefully we are all seeing some green shoots of recovery.
“It is extremely important to acknowledge and reward, through KEiBA, those businesses that have met economic challenges with innovation, drive and prudent financial management – and, of course, sheer hard work.
I am delighted to launch these awards this evening. Winning a KEiBA raises a company’s profile and reputation, boosts staff morale and retention, helps attract quality new staff and, of course, it impresses potential customers and investors.”
The positive impact of winning a KEiBA was mentioned by two previous winners who also attended last night’s launch.
Stephen Lowe, Managing Director for Elastex Ltd who won the SME Business of the Year award said: “Since winning a KEiBA award, our turnover has actually rocketed, not just because of the positive publicity and media coverage the awards generated for us, but also because of the confidence and credibility boost it gave to the Elsatex team.
“The KEiBAs are undoubtedly the showpiece business event in Kent, and is the perfect platform for us to showcase our company and brand to a diverse and influential audience”.
Ben Bartlett, Director of Bush Grub Ltd who won Start up Business of the year award last year said: “The best thing about winning a KEiBA is the credibility it gives your company. It’s opened up a lot more avenues for us, because people seem to respect a company a bit more that has gone through this process and actually come out winning.
“I would advise any business to enter, you’ve got nothing to lose”.
You can enter your business in up to four categories at www.keiba.co.uk.
Categories for KEiBA 2015 include:
• Large Business of the Year
• SME Business of the Year
• Start Up Business of the Year
• Manufacturing Business of the Year
• Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year
• Land Based Business of the Year
• Technology Business of the Year
• Business Commitment to the Community Award
• Business Commitment to the Environment Award
• Success in International Markets Award
• Employer of the Year
• Customer Service and Commitment Award
• Entrepreneur of the Year
• Young Entrepreneur of the Year
• Apprenticeship of the Year
1. To enter, your business /organisation must be based and operating in Kent and Medway (excluding London Borough postcodes i.e. Bexley, Bromley and Orpington).
2. A business can be a sole trader, a private or public limited company, a partnership or limited liability partnership, a business unit within a company or a not for profit organisation, or a charity.
3. If you are uncertain about your eligibility to enter please contact Morag Welham, Project Manager (KEiBA) on firstname.lastname@example.org
4. When you have decided which categories you are interested in click on the category heading in the left hand navigation panel to view the entry criteria and to access an entry form. This can be found at www.keiba.co.uk.
5. You will be asked to register before downloading the entry forms you require
6. The closing date for entries is 27th February 2015.
7. For a full list of the sponsors, click here