THERE are only hours to go before the best businesses in the region are unveiled.
The grand final of the North East Business Awards, organised by the Evening Gazette and its sister paper The Journal, takes place at Hardwick Hall in Sedgefield, tonight.
Just under 800 guests are due to attend the glittering black-tie event.
The Durham and Wearside, Tees Valley and Tyneside and Northumberland companies in the running for the trophies are:
Company of the Year: Frank Haslam Milan, Sunderland; Brulines (Holdings), Stockton; Wellstream International, Newcastle.
Innovation: MJS Claim, Stanley; Citrox, Middlesbrough; Jade Care International, Gateshead.
Technology: Bede X-ray Metrology, Durham; Sayu, Stokesley; i4u, Newcastle.
Small Business: Induction Pipe Bending UK, Sunderland; RS Industrial Services, Billingham; Raytec, Ashington.
Internet and ICT: CASK Media – Jobtimise.co.uk, Sunderland; Cooks and Kitchen Kitchenware, Darlington; Cockerel Software (trading as SDLT.co.uk or Courage & Co), Hexham.
Services: MJS Claims, Stanley; RS Industrial Services, Billingham; Croft Technology, Newcastle.
Learning, Training and Skills: Esh Group, Bowburn; Amec Group Industrial Division, Darlington; Parkdean Holidays, Newcastle.
Export: Stephenson Gobin Group, Bishop Auckland; Cleveland Cascades, Thornaby; Gate 7, Gateshead.
Environment: Premier Waste Management, Aykley Heads; 3M UK, Newton Aycliffe; Aesica Pharmaceuticals, Cramlington.
Manufacturing: Induction Pipe Bending UK, Sunderland; E&F Composites, Hartlepool; Responsive Engineering Group, Gateshead.
Corporate Social Responsibility: Frank Haslam Milan, Sunderland; Huntsman Polyurethanes, Wilton; Akzo Nobel, Gateshead.