THE thriving businesses battling out to be the best of the best in borough have been announced.

Eighteen companies will contest for the top honours across six categories in this year’s Test Valley Business Awards.

The winners will be announced at the gala awards’ dinner and ceremony on September 12.

Over 200 entries were received, from businesses large and small, a record-breaking number for this year’s judges to look over.

The judges, who represent the awards gold sponsors, have scrutinised the entries, spoken to and visited some of the most enterprising and inspiring businesses within Test Valley.

Finalists this year for the Businesswoman of the Year Award are Caroline Stevens of Danebury Vineyards, Lisa Armstrong of Active Staff Ltd, and Emily Wilkinson of Social You. The award is sponsored by Aster Group UK.

Martial Art World will battle it out with Signly Ltd and CircuitWorx to be crowned Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Parker Bullen LLP.

Meanwhile, competing in the Employer of the Year category sponsored by Simplyhealth are Pure Human Resources, Aster Group UK, Active Staff Ltd.

In the Innovation and Technology Award, sponsored by The University of Southampton Science Park, Tonic Analytics Limited, Critical Software and Inflowmatix Ltd will go head-to-head.

Multax Ltd, Ava May Aromas and The Lifestyle Card are competing to become New Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Test Valley Borough Council.

And in the Marketing Excellence Award, sponsored by Webkick Ltd, Coyote Fitness UK, Hampshire Fare C.I.C and Petpals UK Ltd are up against each other.

Jon Green, managing director of Barratt Homes, commented of the awards: “Supporting the communities we operate in is very important to us and we’re delighted to sponsor the Test Valley Business Awards. We have seen first-hand some of the exciting and innovative work being done by firms in the region and we look forward to celebrating their successes on the awards evening.”

Tickets for this year’s ceremony, which will be held at the Museum of Army Flying on Thursday, September 12, are now available for £60.

The Test Valley Business Awards is managed by a group of local business organisations. Now in the 15th year, it’s gone from strength to strength in celebrating business excellence across the Test Valley.

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