Today the judges will meet to decide the shortlist for this year’s Western Morning News Business Awards.
There are 13 categories ranging from best creative business to awards for marketing excellence, hospitality, tourism, green business, innovation, and customer service.
The awards ceremony at the Great Hall in Exeter in November will culminate in the presentation of the prestigious Business of the Year Award.
It is a unique opportunity for the entire South West peninsula to recognise excellence, determination, hard work and achievement in business.
Let’s face it, the last few years have not been easy by any stretch of the imagination.
Reorganisation, restructure, costs, efficiency, and redundancy have been words that have become all too familiar for businesses bosses and their staff.
But despite the challenges of the credit crunch, the recession, austerity and crisis in the eurozone, many business, big and small, have continued to deliver brilliant work and some astonishing results.
Take two stories from today’s Western Morning News business pages as an example.
St Austell Brewery has announced it has invested £2.5 million in equipment that will allow it to more than double its output.
It believes it is the largest investment in cask operations in the brewing industry for more than ten years.
Also featured today are the Centek Group, which is the leading European centraliser manufacturer and only one in the UK.
It is also based in Newton Abbot and has now opened a US manufacturing subsidiary based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
It will be operated in partnership with Halliburton, one of the world’s largest suppliers to the energy industry.
A single edition featuring two brilliant examples of Westcountry business punching way above their weight.
There will be hundreds more out there.
Many have been nominated or have put themselves forward for this year’s business awards.
And whatever the results of today’s judges’ deliberations we commend them all for their inspiration and their aspiration.
The awards will be the biggest celebration of business in the South West this year.
We all know that the peninsula is in the unique position of being a fantastic place to live and a fantastic place to do business.
This is an opportunity to recognise great business, when doing any business is probably harder now than ever before.
Heed the words of Dragon’s Den’s Deborah Meaden who made her fortune with a Westcountry holiday park business
She said: “Now, more than ever, it is important to celebrate success and the people that are driving the region’s economy.”
We echo her call and wish all today’s nominees the very best of luck.