nebusiness awards to find the best in the business

COMPANIES need to give top-quality service if they are to hold on to customers and win new business in today's challenging business environment.

COMPANIES need to give top-quality service if they are to hold on to customers and win new business in today's challenging business environment.

And the nebusiness awards, organised by the Journal and Evening Gazette in association with the North East Chamber of Commerce, are looking for the companies that can show their exceptional customer service has helped them build their success.

Last year’s winner was BT South Tyneside, a company launched in 2008 to deliver a services contract for South Tyneside Council.

It has grown to provide training and employment opportunities to residents, and has engaged closely with schools, colleges and firms to help achieve the physical and economic regeneration of the borough. The South Shields-based company has a range of clients and its operations include the customer contact centre for Tyne & Wear Fire Brigade.

There are 10 categories at the nebusiness awards, which give companies across the region the chance to show they are the very best.

The region’s biggest and most prestigious business competition highlights and rewards the success of our most outstanding firms over 12 months.

Hundreds of companies came forward to show their strength, ambition and innovation as they entered the awards last year despite the toughest economic conditions for half a century. We hope more will compete this year.

The awards give firms of every size the chance to show what makes them special and they have until December 23 to get entries in.

Since 2001 when the sub-regional heats were launched, around 2,300 companies have entered at least one of the award categories. That is a fantastic endorsement of the event and shows the awards really mean something to the business community.

And the roll call of big names which sponsor and provide more than 100 category judges gives the event credibility.

They are all senior people in the region and bring integrity, professionalism and diligence to the most important part of the business awards event – ensuring we get the right winners.

The competition will have heats to find the foremost businesses from the three sub-regions of the North East.

Judges are looking for entries from Teesside to the Borders, with competitions running for Tyneside and Northumberland, Durham and Wearside, and Teesside before the regional grand final.

Companies which have been successful in past years have found that the awards inspire pride in their workforce, admiration from the business community and raise their profile and reputation across the country.

No matter how small or large your company, no matter which sector you operate in, if you’ve achieved something you’re proud of there will be a category you can enter.

To find out more or to book a table at one of the four awards dinners, see

THIS year the Business & Enterprise Group is delighted to sponsor the Services Award in recognition of the North East’s growing and innovative professional service organisations.

The category aims to identify a service company that stands out from the crowd – delivering excellent customer experiences and having a clear vision for growth.

Alastair MacColl, chief executive of the Business & Enterprise Group, said: "Through our portfolio we now work with thousands of businesses across the UK and that’s convinced me that this country is blessed with a wealth of innovative and dynamic businesses. We have chosen to sponsor this award because it demonstrates that nowhere is that more the case, than in the North East where the spirit of enterprise is alive, well and flourishing. The nebusiness Awards provide the opportunity for us to recognise outstanding performance and encourage others to push equally as hard in the future.

"The volume and quality of entries this year will, I am certain, highlight the formidable talent that we have in the North East. Each year some of our brightest and best companies share their cases and their inspirational stories. This year will be no exception and the Business & Enterprise Group is proud to be a category sponsor at these awards."

Celebrating North East business champions

THE NE Business Awards are now in their 12th year and at their heart are the aims of recognising achievement, encouraging excellence and celebrating success.

The North East Chamber of Commerce is proud to be working with The Journal and Evening Gazette to celebrate the regional business pioneers of the past year.

As champions of regional business, NECC has three key priorities to support the region and our 4,000+ members.

NECC’s main purpose is to promote regional business and improve conditions to help businesses prosper, working closely with members to ensure campaigns address the issues directly affecting them.

Secondly, everything NECC does aims to help companies connect with customers and win business; from our calendar of networking events, to Member2Member trading and helping trade with overseas markets.

And finally, it’s about developing businesses to become better, whether through legal support and advice, cost efficiencies on essential business services to reduce overheads or helping develop workforce skills through NECC’s extensive range of training programmes.

For further information visit  

The aim of the awards

The awards aim to recognise achievement, to encourage excellence and to celebrate success.

The sponsors

The awards are sponsored by a whole host of companies and organisations. The sheer quality and the blue-chip nature of the sponsors adds to the prestige and gravitas of the awards.

The judging

Each award has a separate judging panel with an appropriate chairperson, nominated by the award sponsor. The decision of each judging panel is final and, while every effort will be made to give feedback to entrants, no specific correspondence will be entered into.

The dinners

Teesside – Olympia Building, Teesside University, March 8, 2012.

Durham & Wearside – Stadium of Light, Sunderland – March 15, 2012.

Tyneside and Northumberland – Newcastle Marriott Hotel, Gosforth Park, March 22, 2012.

Regional Final – Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield – April 26, 2012.

The categories

Company of the Year sponsored by Deloitte, Sunderland AFC, Sunderland City Council

Small Business Award

Export Award – sponsored by PD Ports, UK Trade & Investment, HSBC

Innovation Award

Science & Technology Award – sponsored by Teesside University, University of Sunderland, Hay & Kilner Solicitors

Newcomer of the Year Award - sponsored by Northern Rock

Heart of the Community Award - sponsored by Yorkshire Bank, Entrepreneurs Forum

Manufacturing Award – sponsored by ABB Engineering Services, FW Capital, South Tyneside Council

Services Award – sponsored by Business & Enterprise Group

Low Carbon Award – sponsored by Port of Sunderland

To become a sponsor contact Kirsty Tarn, event manager, on 0191 201 6072

How to enter

Companies and organisations can enter a maximum of three separate categories.

Entries must relate to activity during 2011. Awards are open to companies of all sizes and organisations with a significant presence in any of the sub-regions.

The closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday, December 23, 2011. Nominations can be made online at:

Queries can be answered by Kirsty Tarn, Event Manager, ncjMedia Ltd, Groat Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1ED.

Tel. 0191 201 6072 or email


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
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Sports Writer