Search is on to find the the best of the business world in Sunderland

Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards launch, editorial director, Johnston Press North East, Joy Yates and Coun Harry Trueman, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council
Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards launch, editorial director, Johnston Press North East, Joy Yates and Coun Harry Trueman, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council
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Champions of industry - that’s what we are after.

The Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards are back and once again, we want to hear from the people who make Wearside a powerhouse in the business world.

Last year's Overall Business of the Year winner at the Portfolio Awards, Calsonic Kansei.

Last year's Overall Business of the Year winner at the Portfolio Awards, Calsonic Kansei.

We’re ready to begin our quest to find the best that business has to offer through the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards.

We want to get off to the perfect start and you can help us do that by nominating top-class entries.

Individuals, businesses themselves - in fact anyone can put forward a nomination for this year’s awards for a company that they feel is deserving of recognition.

Whoever wins will be following in the footsteps Calsonic Kansei who took the 2016 Overall Business of the Year title as well as winning the Exporter of the Year category.

Judges praised the firm as a “real success story” after hearing how Calsonic was an expanding business, which still focused on keeping its loyal workforce at its heart.

They hailed it as a firm which was doing well in a challenging market place.

Now comes your chance to follow in their footsteps.

There are plenty of well known categories from previous years such as small, medium and large business of the year, as well as exporter of the year.

Or you might want to enter sections such as the Sole Trader of the Year award or the Best Age Friendly Business of the Year.

Whatever your choice, make sure you get those entries in so that we can honour the very best that Wearside has to offer.

The awards are a success every year thanks to the backing of our fantastic sponsors and this year, they include

Make it Sunderland is again our headline sponsor, and will sponsor our overall Business of the Year Award, as well as a Lifetime Achievement award, which is in the sponsor’s gift.

Make It Sunderland is also backing the contribution social enterprises make to the city in the Social Enterprise Award.

Other sponsors are Northumbrian Water, TTR Barnes, BIC, The Bridges, Sunderland BID, Sunderland College, Wessington Dental, Gentoo, Creo, Stagecoach North East and JB Skills Training.

City council deputy leader Coun Harry Trueman said the Portfolio Awards were a great way of showing what a great entrepreneurial spirit there was in the city.

“There are some great businesses out there and this is a chance for them to get some recognition.”

Joy Yates, Editorial Director of Johnston Press North East, said: “What a time this is for businesses in Sunderland. Our city is bidding to be the UK City of Culture 2021, and we are getting ready to welcome the world-renowned Tall Ships Races in July next year.

“What better time to put your own business in the spotlight as the world’s attention turns on us. We hope many companies will take this opportunity to put themselves forward for our awards.

“It is a wonderful chance to show how good your business is and it’s free to enter.”

There’s plenty of time to enter before the closing date for nominations of Friday, September 8.

Then, the judges face the unenviable task of trying to whittle down the field into a shortlist.

All of the chosen finalists will get to attend the grand finale. We will reveal the winners at a glittering evening of celebration at the Stadium of Light on October 26.

So come on, let’s get the process rolling by finding those businesses worthy of consideration.

Get nominating and let’s make this a year of celebration of the best in Wearside business.

To nominate, post your nominations to Lynn Wild, Sunderland Echo, Alexander House, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le- Spring, Sunderland. DH4 5RA.

Alternatively, you can email lynn.wild@jpress.co.uk