BID-ding to find the best in city centre businesses

Sharon Appleby of Sunderland Bid.
Sharon Appleby of Sunderland Bid.
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An organisation representing 600 businesses has backed the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards.

At the heart of the work of Sunderland Business Improvement District is showcasing the fantastic variety of businesses that exist in the city centre.

Sharon Appleby of Sunderland Bid.

Sharon Appleby of Sunderland Bid.

And that’s exactly why the BID – in association with Wear 1 City - is joining the line-up of sponsors for this year’s Portfolio Business Awards.

The organisation represents around 600 businesses, from independent retailers to restaurants, from solicitors and accountancy firms to beauticians and market stalls.

The BID has thrown its weight behind the City Centre Business of the Year category and is now encouraging companies and organisations to enter.

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, said: “The Portfolio awards offers a great opportunity for the city centre businesses to really highlight what they have to offer.

The Portfolio awards offer a great opportunity for city centre businesses to highlight what they have to offer. We have a really exciting mix, including some hidden gems that it would be great to see in the spotlight

Sharon Appleby

“We have a really exciting mix, which includes some hidden gems that it would be great to see in the spotlight.

“We are delighted, in association with Wear 1 City, to be supporting this year’s awards and we would encourage all of businesses to take the time and enter.”

The Business Improvement District is involved in a range of initiatives to help boost visitors into the city centre along with showcasing it as an exciting place to work, live and do business.

It recently created its “pop up city centre” which will be showcasing what Sunderland has to offer at various events throughout the year along with launching its Mack’Em Smile ambassadors programme.

Sharon Appleby of Sunderland Bid.

Sharon Appleby of Sunderland Bid.

Brian Jackson, chair of Wear 1 City added that the organisation was delighted to be supporting the BID at the Portfolio awards.

“The awards are the perfect opportunity to recognise businesses both large and small for their hard work during these challenging times,” he said.

“Sunderland is being recognised throughout the country and Europe as a growing city which is open for business and the Portfolio awards are an excellent way to focus on how much we have to offer.”

Now’s your chance to put yourself in the running for this year’s competition.

Sharon Appleby of Sunderland Bid.

Sharon Appleby of Sunderland Bid.

State which category your nomination applies to from the list below and describe the reasons for your nomination. Do it in no more than 300 words.

Also include the address of your chosen nomination and provide details on how we can contact the company – such as their email and a phone number.

Post your nomination to: Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 5RA. Alternatively, you can email lynn.wild@jpress.co.uk.

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, Sunderland BID, The Bridges, Sunderland College, Wessington Dental, Gentoo, Creo, The Fans Museum, Stagecoach North East and JB Skills Training.

The deadline for entries is Friday, September 8. After that, the judges draw up a shortlist. Then it is on to the grand final at the Stadium of Light, on Thursday, October 26.

There’s plenty of time for you to put forward your favourites – get nominating!

The categories are as follows;

Small Business of the Year.

Best Green Business Award.

Medium Business of the Year.

Best Training Provider.

Large Business of the Year.

Exporter of the Year.

Employer of the Year.

Leisure Award.

Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.

City Centre Business of the Year.

Technology of the Year.

Creative Industries Award.

New Business of the Year.

Sole Trader Award.

Special Community Award.

Best Age Friendly Business.

Social Enterprise Award.

Corporate Social Responsibility Award.