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Debbie and John Williams of John Williams Heating Services

Search for Wiltshire’s Enterprising Business of the Year 2015 begins

Environmentally-aware businesses in Wiltshire have a new opportunity to showcase their green credentials as the 2015 Enterprising Wiltshire Awards adds two new categories to the competition.

Green Business of the Year is one of two new categories introduced in this year’s awards, which aims to highlight Wiltshire businesses’ efforts to reduce their impact on the environment – or play an active role in making the county a greener place to live.

The second new category is Best Product or Service, which aims to put the spotlight on a Wiltshire business serving its customers in an innovative or outstanding way.

The organisers, Wiltshire Business Support Service, have dropped Best Independent Retailer and Best Online Business to make room for the new categories.

Chris Simpson, director of business support at WBSS, said: “We’ve had a tremendous reaction to the awards over the last two years, which have now firmly established themselves in the county’s business calendar.

“Green business is a theme that’s been on my mind for a while. Last year, one of our entrants offered a service to juice apples for local people and communities. It’s ideas like these, which Wiltshire seems to be particularly good at generating, that we want to show to wider market.

“In the three years since WBSS was created, we’ve helped over 3,000 Wiltshire businesses further their business plans so our team of advisers has a good feel for what’s happening in the county’s business community. There’s certainly a stronger sense of optimism – people are recruiting, looking for new markets, planning ahead and thinking about investment. Those are all good signs for our local economy, so I’m hoping to find some new and exciting business ideas in our 2015 award entries.”

Green Business of the Year and Best Product or Service are two of seven award categories that make up the Enterprising Wiltshire Awards 2015. Backed by Wiltshire Council and run by WBSS, the awards open for entry this week and culminate in a gala ceremony in March 2015.

In this, the awards’ third year, entries can be made in seven categories: small business, exporter, young entrepreneur, manufacturer, start-up, best product or service, and green business. In addition, one of the seven finalists will be named The Enterprising Wiltshire Awards Business of the Year.

The awards celebrate Wiltshire’s top businesses while providing the ultimate winner – The Enterprising Wiltshire Awards Business of the Year – with a bespoke package of support and networking opportunities to help it fulfil its potential.

Winners of the seven categories will each receive a cash prize of £1,500 provided by Wiltshire Council. The Business of the Year will receive an additional £500, bringing its total prize to £2,000, but most importantly a comprehensive package of business support, advice and networking opportunities provided by the team at the Wiltshire Business Support Service.

Last year, over 100 firms entered the awards with John Williams Heating Services, the Chippenham-based plumbing and heating specialist, named as Business of the Year 2014.

Chris said: “We were delighted with the response to the awards last year, which showcased some of the finest businesses Wiltshire has to offer.

“Our aim is to support and promote business in Wiltshire and showcase the benefits of trading here. We want to find both new and existing businesses that are doing something really special and then give them the practical help and encouragement to take the next step.”

In addition to Wiltshire Council, sponsors for this year’s awards include accountant Monahans for Best Small Business; the Federation of Small Businesses for the Young Entrepreneur Award, and Front Room Marketing & Design for Best Start-Up.