2018 Categories

1. Company of the Year Sponsored by Mazars

mazars logo

This Award is not directly entered but chosen by the judge from businesses entering SME of the Year and Large Business of the Year. The winner is crowned thus because they have excelled in every part of the awards criteria.

2. Sussex Businessperson of the Year 

This Award will be made for outstanding achievement by a businessperson who is contributing to the success of a business based in Sussex. Directors, owner managers and senior executives are all eligible and entrants will also be automatically drawn from the submission made for company and small company of the year.

3. International Business of the Year Sponsored by HSBC


This Award is open to any business based in, or conducting the majority of its overseas business from, an operational base in Sussex. The company should demonstrate healthy import/export activity and good trading relationship with any country outside of the UK.

4. SME Business of the Year Sponsored by LMS Group

This Award is open to businesses with an annual turnover between £500,000 and £10 million which are at least three years old and have an operational base in Sussex. This company should demonstrate a healthy financial performance and a strategic plan for growth.

5. Start-up of the Year Sponsored by Coffin Mew


This Award aims to recognise promising new start-up businesses looking to make their mark on the sector in which they operate, illustrate fast-growth and have ambitious plans for the future. Entrants must have been trading for at least six months and for no longer than two years.

6. Business Innovation of the Year Sponsored by Sussex Innovation Centre


This Award will be made to the business best demonstrating outstanding innovation either by developing a new product or by introducing a new process or system to an existing business. The Award is open to any business based in, or conducting the majority of its business from, the Sussex.

7. Graduate of the Year

Sussex University logo

Judges will be looking for someone who has graduated in the past three years from any University in the world and who has made an impact on a Brighton & Hove business. The judges will be looking for evidence of professional motivation, communication skills, practical skills, resilience, leadership, maturity and integrity.

8. Professional Services Award Sponsored by Vantage Professional Risks


From accountants and actuaries to business consultants, recruiters, law firms and marketeers, the judges are looking for companies which work within the professional service sector. Entrants must demonstrate excellence in business management under-pinned by a strong financial performance and adherence to a professional code of conduct.

9. Tourist Destination of the Year Sponsored by Red7

This award recognises the success of any business or organisation in the tourism sector. Judges are looking for evidence of businesses that are developing and enhancing the tourism and visitor experience in Sussex.

10. Best Place To Entertain Client Award

This Award recognises a business or venue – it may be a restaurant, bar, sports venue, hotel – which offers an unforgettable experience and leaves a lasting impression on their clients.

11. Best Customer Service Award

This Award will be made to the business most successfully demonstrating a dedicated commitment to delivering outstanding customer service regardless of sector.

12. Employer of the Year

This Award is open to employers of any size or type in Brighton & Hove who have achieved excellence in providing an environment where employees can develop their full potential, achieve outstanding success for the business and personally thrive.

13. Large Business of the Year Sponsored by Allied Irish Bank

This Award is open to businesses with an annual turnover between £10 million+ which are at least three years old and have an operational base in Sussex. This company should demonstrate a healthy financial performance and a strategic plan for growth.

14. Business in The Community Award Sponsored by Gatwick Airport

This Award recognises those companies who are doing the most to develop initiatives which give something back to the community. It is not intended for community organisations who already undertake community action but rather those commercial organisations who have identified initiatives’ which are beyond their business objectives.

15. The Creative and Digital Award Sponsored by University of Sussex

This award is for businesses which operate in the creative and digital sectors. This includes those in digital and graphic design, online marketing, advertising, PR, photography, film, video-making, music, theatre, publishers, craft makers, artists and related sectors.

16. Food & Drink Producer of the Year

This Award is to recognise independent local producers that grow or farm produce in the area. They supply their produce to restaurants/retailers, or sell directly to the consumer. From breweries to bakeries, cheese makers to vineyards, this category is open to any food or drink producer with passion to grow, source and provide local produce.

17. Independent Retailer of the Year

This Award recognises an independent retailer who offers an individual, innovative and exemplary customer service experience. The business is greatly loved and supported by local shoppers and provides Sussex with an element of quality and uniqueness that is worthy of special recognition.




1. Corporate Fundraiser of the Year Sponsored by Rockinghorse

Each year a special Awards is made to the organisation or individual who has made the greatest contribution to Sussex charity.

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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 2016

“We are incredibly proud to have won two awards at the prestigious Sussex Business Awards in 2016. 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 2016, Award for Best Employer 2016

“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 2016

“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 2016

“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 2016