Cherwell Business Awards officially open for entries

Businesses big and small, new or established, are once again being encouraged to enter the Cherwell Business Awards (CBA) 2020, which were launched this week.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 12:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th November 2019, 12:54 pm
Sponsors and partners of the Cherwell Business Awards 2020

Now in their ninth year the awards remain little changed from last year and are accepting nominations or applications for entries in nine award categories.

Placi Espejo, chair of the CBA, said: “We have a few surprises for the awards dinner and we have an announcement evening planned, instead of just putting a press release out there we will have a gathering to announce the finalists, probably around April time.”

Since the inaugural event in 2011 nominations and applications to the awards have increased exponentially.

CBA chair Placi Espejo

Placi said: “Last year we almost tripled the entries, so this year we are looking at quadrupling the entries from when we started, which would be amazing.

“We need all the organisations in the area to nominate and get their members to apply. We need some of the new companies, as well, to feel confident that they can apply. There’s a category for everyone, small, micro, new, community and charity.”

Additional categories include innovation, established business, retail and business person of the year, open to any employee regardless of position who has made a real difference within their workplace.

The launch event was once again held at Norbar Torque Tools on the Wildmere Industrial Estate and the well-established Banbury tool makers are again sponsors of the Overall Cherwell Winner Award, which will be chosen from the finalists in each category.

Liz Nicholson addresses attendees at the launch of the CBA

Neill Brodey, managing director of Norbar Tools, said: “For eight years we have had this involvement with the awards and we keep doing it because the energy we get from seeing fantastic success stories, it’s just a joy to be part of

“That’s why Norbar are still involved.”

Last year’s winner of the established business of the year award, Nicholsons Garden Design, Landscaping and Forestry, is this year’s sponsor of the hotly contested charity and community category.

Liz Nicholson, managing director of the North Aston horticulturists, explained why they made the transition.

“It’s time to give back, definitely time to give back. We had a fantastic reward, if you like, from being in the running and last year actually won the established business award and thought that’s where we wanted to get to.

“We are a bit unique at Nicholson’s as we’re not all about turnover and making money its strongly about the environment and charitable giving,” said Liz.

Indeed the company’s community work is extensive, from assisting Banburyshire schools in developing forestry schools and gardens to work in Africa with their ‘Trees in the Wild’ project which aims to see one million trees planted over the next 10 years in the Mara region of Kenya.

Liz, who was also a guest speaker at the November 5 launch, added: “We would like to interview or meet face to face every single applicant because we think it is really important. I don’t think you can judge from a piece of paper.

"I was once dismissed from an award on paper and I thought ‘you don’t even know me’.I feel very strongly that we’ll go and meet everybody.”

There are two ways to enter the award; firstly a business or employee can apply themselves for consideration in a chosen category, or anyone can nominate a business or business person for an award.

Both the application and nomintation processes are open now. The closing date to nominate a person or business for an award is December 20. The closing date for an application is February 14 next year.

Judging will be carried out throughout February and March with three finalists per category announced on April 3.

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