Still time to make your mark as exporting star

The North East Exporters Awards are fast approaching so be sure that your exporting success doesn't go unnoticed

Simon Lever was a guest speaker at the 2013 North East Exporters Awards
Simon Lever was a guest speaker at the 2013 North East Exporters Awards

There is still time to make sure that your exporting success gets the recognition it deserves with the honour of being shortlisted in the North East Exporters Awards.

The annual awards, which pay tribute to the region’s export stars, are sponsored by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) and HSBC.

The awards celebrate and recognise the efforts of companies that, through exporting achievements, are making a huge contribution to both the regional and UK economies.

They look to acknowledge and celebrate the strength and diversity of North East exporting, and also recognise individuals who have helped their company boost its international sales performance.

Last year entries nearly doubled for these awards, which are now recognised as the main export awards for the region.

Let’s hope that even more companies will this year prove the North East really is a region of exporters. Deadline for entry is Friday, March 21.

James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: “The North East remains the only English region with a positive balance of payments in exports.

“Our region’s unparalleled accomplishments deserve much recognition.

“That is why NECC will again be flying the flag to champion our region’s exporters, celebrating their success and, in turn, promoting our great region and encouraging more of the region’s businesses to explore new export opportunities.

“Alongside our regional partners UKTI, HSBC, The Journal and Evening Gazette, we are delighted to be hosting the 2014 North East Exporters’ Award.

“This year we will also be recognising businesses that provide support to our region’s exporters in a new Supporting Export Award.

“In addition, we have introduced a New Exporter Award to showcase some of the great success stories of North East businesses that are fresh to export.

“To make this the definitive winners’ celebration for the North East, the winners of other regional export awards will again compete alongside the winners of our export awards for the Overall Exporter of the Year, who will then represent the region on the national stage at the British Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Awards.”

David Coppock, regional director for UK Trade & Investment (North East), added: “Virtually any company can export its products and services – from single-owner operations to large corporations employing hundreds – and there are plenty of opportunities for North East businesses.

“Assistance from UKTI can take the form of one-to-one advice, seminars, workshops and events or structured services for both new and experienced exporters alike via a dedicated international trade adviser.”

And HSBC area commercial director Pat Dellow stressed: “International trade is at the heart of HSBC. As a bank formed to facilitate international trade between Hong Kong and the rest of the world, it is built into our heritage and forms a key part of our ethos today.

“That is why we are delighted to support the annual North East Exporters Awards, which recognise and acknowledge the efforts of forward-thinking individuals and companies that boost the region’s economy by taking their products all over the world.

“HSBC helped numerous North-east companies grow their international business during 2013 via our dedicated £5bn International SME Fund, which supports firms with a turnover of up to £30m.”

If you feel your company is worthy of being named one of the North East’s best export businesses, complete your nomination today at www.northeastexportersawards.co.uk

  • The award ceremony will take place at Ramside Hall Hotel, County Durham, on Thursday, May 15, and the award categories are:
  • New Exporter Award – a business that started exporting within the last two years and can demonstrate significant export success in one or more markets.
  • SME Exporter Award - A business with turnover of up to £25m that has demonstrated exceptional achievement in export.
  • Supporting Export Award - A busi-ness with turnover up to £500m that does not export itself, but plays a key role in supporting our region’s exporters to trade overseas. This can either be directly, through providing logistical support, or indirectly through providing associated services such as advice and consultancy.
  • Export Team of the Year Award, sponsored by NECC - A team working in export who can demonstrate significant added value to their business through adopting innovative techniques, personnel development, and successful implementation of the companies’ export sales strategy.
  • Mid & Large Exporter Award, sponsored by UK Trade & Investment - A business with turnover in excess of £25m that has demonstrated exceptional achievement in export.
  • Overall Exporter of the Year Award, sponsored by HSBC - The overall winner, which is chosen from the winners of the above awards, plus other export award winners in the region.

Judging criteria and eligibility

In determining the winners, judges will take the following factors into account:

  • Product range being exported.
  • Development of export strategy.
  • Percentage of growth in export sales.
  • Staff development measures undertaken (for the team award only).
  • Complexity and number of mar-kets served.
  • Company/team performance.
  • Obstacles/barriers to success.

Journalists

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