IT’S that time again ... Today we launch the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Business Awards 2014, honouring success stories from Wearside, South Tyneside and East Durham.
This year marks our tenth anniversary and in the decade since Bernie Callaghan lifted the trophy on behalf of our inaugural Business of the Year, the Leighton Group, we have highlighted dozens of businesses and individuals helping to make the North East a great place to live and work.
“The Echo is an integral part of the life of Sunderland and it is only right and proper that we should be a champion for all the good things happening on Wearside,” said Echo editor John Szymanski.
“The last few years have been tough for everyone but we are starting to see real signs of recovery and I am sure this year’s ceremony will be the best yet.”
This year sees the return of many of our most popular categories, along with a couple of new ones.
Our Special Community, New Business (under two years), Best Training Provider, Exporter and Employer of the year awards are back.
Also returning are our Technology, Green Business, Leisure and Small (under 10 employees), Medium (11-plus employees) and Large (over 50 employees) Business categories.
This year sees the debut of two new categories: Apprentice/Trainee of the Year and City Centre Business of the Year, sponsored by the Sunderland Business Improvement District.
Sunderland City Council is again our main sponsor and is backing our Overall Business of the Year category and a Lifetime Contribution Award, which is in the authority’s gift.
“For a decade now, the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Business Awards have been celebrating all that is best in business across Sunderland, South Tyneside and East Durham,” said city council leader coun Paul Watson.
“Sunderland City Council is hugely proud of the support it has given to what has become an unmissable fixture in the city’s business calendar.
“These are exciting times for Sunderland, with the transformation of the city centre now well underway and signs that the economy is really beginning to recover in earnest from the recession.
“I am confident there will be more success stories than ever to share and I am looking forward to the awards evening immensely.”
This year’s awards ceremony will be held at the Stadium of Light on
Thursday, October 9, and the closing date for entries is Friday, August 29.