The shortlist for the 28th annual Sussex Business Awards 2016 has been announced and hundreds of applicants have been whittled down to just forty one finalists.

Representatives from 27 towns across the county make the shortlist and 2016 is set to be a hot contest to receive one or more of the prestigious seventeen trophies.

Six companies make the shortlist twice, including The Base Skatepark CIC, International Logistics Group (ILG), Cheesmur Building Contractors, Yelo Architects and The Dental Barn.

To reach their crucial decision, the judges reviewed all the entries to come to their longlists. Candidates then go through a rigorous reviewing system, including phone, face to face and panel interviews, to determine who will be in the running for one of the most highly coveted awards in Sussex.

Taking his place as chairman of the judges for the third year in a row was Mike Herd, executive director of the Sussex Innovation Centre and a previous winner of the Sussex Businessperson of the Year, who commented: “The exceptional quality of the entries really shined through, and I know a lot of worthy winners have been chosen.

“Congratulations to all the shortlist!”

Sussex Businessperson of the Year finalists have been automatically selected from entrants to the Sussex Company of the Year and the Small Business of the Year Awards, as well as direct entries. Winners will then be decided after a series of face to face interviews in front of a panel of judges.

Entries were judged by an expert panel which included representatives from Mazars, Morgan Sindall, HSBC, Southern Railway, Vantage Professional Risks, Checkatrade.com, Sussex Innovation Centre, Checkaprofessional.com, Wealden District Council, Sussex Chamber of Commerce, University of Sussex, Natures Way Food, Coffin Mew, The Argus, Platinum Business, Heart FM and Title Sussex.

This year’s ceremony will take place on Thursday 1 December 2016 at The Grand Brighton and will be presented by comedian Simon Evans.

The Awards sell out each year so make sure to BOOK TICKETS SOON.

Tickets cost £90 each (plus VAT) or £850 (plus VAT) for a table of ten. This includes champagne reception, three course meal, and two bottles of wine on each table, as well as entertainment, dancing and a few surprises.

For the full list of finalists, please CLICK HERE.

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“Everyone in Sussex wants to win a prestigious SBA and I was lucky enough to win on the first time around. It’s allowed HARE to approach bigger clients with confidence knowing we’re award winners…”

Hare, Sussex Graduate of the Year

“We are incredibly proud to have won two awards at the prestigious Sussex Business Awards. These highly sought-after awards have been of great interest to our clients and I am proud of our team for their fantastic success…”

Haybury (formely Stelfox), International Business of the Year, Award for Best Employer

“Winning a SBA validates the fundamental reason why we came to be, to give Bognor Town a leisure facility which it could be proud of. It reinforces the culture within our passionate team to provide a wonderful place for young people to feel at home in an ever stressful and difficult world where youth provision is lacking…”

The Base Skatepark, The Award for Leisure & Tourism

“Sussex is home to a fantastic business community, so picking up a Sussex Business Award last year was a real honour. It recognises our hard work and determination, and raises awareness of what we’re trying to achieve as a company. Industry awards such as this also help no end in attracting investment to fund our ambitious plans for growth…”

Darren Fell, Crunch, Sussex Businessperson of the Year

“Winning the Professional Services award has been extremely rewarding for Yelo and helped to further raise our profile as one of the leading architecture practices in Sussex. It\'s great for our staff to receive recognition for their dedication and the quality service they provide to our clients, and the whole experience was topped by a fantastic awards evening…”

Yelo Architects, The Award for Professional Services