Has your business got what it takes to be a Portfolio Awards winner?

Maureen Berne, Head of External Communications at Northumbrian Water.
Maureen Berne, Head of External Communications at Northumbrian Water.
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Inspirational businesses have been urged to enter the Portfolio Awards.

The message came from Northumbrian Water which is one of the sponsors of this year’s competition.

A thriving business community benefits the whole city and we are looking forward to helping to celebrate all who are nominated and the role they play in making Sunderland a great city

Maureen Berne

Maureen Berne, Head of External Communications at Northumbrian Water, explained why companies in the Wearside area were so important to Sunderland’s success.

“Great businesses are at the heart of any thriving city and Sunderland is no exception.

“Many of our people live in Sunderland or work in the area, including those involved in our £8.3m project to upgrade parts of the city’s sewer network and on the development of the water and sewerage infrastructure around the new Wear Crossing development.

“There is a lot of investment in Sunderland at the moment, with the redevelopment of Keel Square, the Vaux site and the new Wear Crossing, and all of this will help to support the business community which, in turn, benefits those who live and work in the city.”

But Maureen added: “It is the success of businesses that already exist and operate in Sunderland that inspires all of this and paves the way for further inward investment and entrepreneurship. Northumbrian Water is proud to be supporting the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards, which recognise and reward those that fly the flag at all levels of business.

“A thriving business community benefits the whole city and we are looking forward to helping to celebrate all who are nominated and the role they play in making Sunderland a great city.”

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

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, 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 finale 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.