BUSINESS leaders came together to open the awards searching for the best in the borough.

On Friday a “lively and well-attended” launch took place for the Test Valley Business Awards 2019 at the University of Southampton Science Park Conference Centre.

More than 100 businesses from across the borough came together to learn more about this year’s award categories and sponsors, and to hear from keynote speakers who explained why the Awards are a valuable initiative within the region’s business community.

Welcomed by the chief executive of the event’s host, Peter Birkett, who shared with the crowd some of the park’s past winners and their achievements following the accolade, attendees later had a chance to hear from mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Ian Carr, and the 2018 winner of Businesswoman of the Year Stephanie Barnett ,who each encouraged all businesses present to enter.

During his speech, Cllr Carr said: “I am very pleased to be here with you celebrating Test Valley businesses because I have spent my Mayoral year meeting literally hundreds of businesses across the length and breadth of the borough.

“I am so impressed, not only with your skills and ingenuity, but your support for our lovely community. You must all enter so we can make the 2019 Test Valley Business Awards the biggest and best ever, as we celebrate a milestone of 15 years of celebrating business excellence.”

To enter and find out more, go to and fill in the online form with 200 to 250 words about your business against the relevant category judging criteria by May 13.

During the entry period, several entrants will be selected at random to receive an array of fabulous entry prizes; including wine and other sought-after local goodies.

The awards are free to enter; taking just a few short minutes to fill in the online form which, if successfully chosen as a winner, could lead to a full 12 months of business promotion across the Test Valley.

Now in its 15th year, the Test Valley Business Awards – run by a steering group of volunteers – has become a well-established platform to champion business excellence. It is a great way of shining a light particularly on the many new and small businesses in the region, all doing interesting and valuable work, but often out of sight.