The Eastern Daily Press Business Awards attracted the highest ever number of entrants in 2023, with the region’s firms looking forward despite a challenging economic climate.

The awards, which closed for entries on July 18, celebrate all that is great about Norfolk’s thriving business community.

This year’s theme is people, the driving force behind the region’s business success. The judges will be looking for examples of people-focused strategies when assessing entries across the 11 award categories – from employee engagement and wellbeing to customer satisfaction.

More than 110 companies and individuals entered the EDP Business Awards 2023, with the total number of new entrants up on last year.

The Small Business of the Year award, sponsored by full-fibre broadband provider Upp, saw the highest number of entrants, with 29 of the region’s small firms putting their name forward in the category.

The winner of the award will be a small business that demonstrates all-round excellence, with the judges focusing on trading performance and future objectives; the competitive advantage of the business; and examples of specific strategies that have driven business growth.

“Upp is incredibly proud to support the Small Business of the Year award: it’s almost a misleading category name, as we see such big ambition from businesses that fit into this category,” said Dane Hipkin, sales director at Upp, which recently launched a BusinessEssentials broadband plan tailored specifically for small businesses.

Eastern Daily Press: Dane Hipkin, sales director at UppDane Hipkin, sales director at Upp (Image: Dane Hipkin)

“Part of our mission at Upp is to enable small businesses to not be held back by poor connectivity to go Next Level, which is why we are building our own full-fibre broadband network across Norfolk.”

The finalists for the EDP Business Awards 2023 will be announced on Wednesday, November 1, with the winners to be crowned at a black-tie event at the Norfolk Showground in Norwich on Thursday, November 23.

Vicki Bennett, director of events and projects at LOCALiQ, said: “It’s remarkable that these awards in their 33rd year are still breaking records and growing. They are so well regarded within the Norfolk business community, and it means so much when people win one.

“Last year the event was our biggest and best ever EDP Business Awards. We’re already looking forward to topping this, and it will be great to see so many new businesses in the room. Good luck to all businesses who now begin their judging.”

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