PAST winners of South Devon Business Excellence awards are living proof success breeds success.
Winners of the prestigious awards have reported major boosts to their businesses as a direct result of the raised awareness and enhanced reputation their organisation has benefited from with new customers, suppliers and employees.
The seventh awards promise to be the highlight of the local business calendar and firms of all types and sizes are invited to enter the 2014 South Devon Business Excellence awards.
Last year the judges found the standards were as high as ever.
Several of the entrants were companies who had been able to significantly increase their turnover and recruited new staff during the past year despite the recession and so have boosted the local economy.
The awards are organised principally by the Herald Express and involve a great deal of collaboration with many local partner organisations.
Headline sponsors are Torbay Council and Torbay Development Agency and South Devon College are associate partners.
The award sponsors so far are Pavey Group, Kitsons, South West Energy Centre, Business Advantage, South Devon Export Network and Interline Building Supplies.
And again this year the finalists will be invited to a glittering awards event at the Riviera International Conference Centre in March to celebrate their success. Last year, the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Stan Moreing of Inter-Line, who said: "In our early days, we struggled.
"My wife was behind me and we took chances and built the business up to what it is today. We have loved supporting people in the Bay."
Winner of the Social Enterprise/Community Impact award was Dartington Hall Trust.
Mark Taylor, assistant director of performance analysis and planning, said: "We were delighted to be recognised for our work. Sometimes people forget we exist. Our success is thanks to our staff. They make Dartington what it is."
The Best New Business was Devon Eco Energy whose managing director Steve Frost said: "We had put in a lot of effort over the last 18 months supporting local tradesmen and businesses. It was a massive surprise to win and phenomenal for us as a business."
A new award was for Best Business Enabler which went to Outset Torbay whose programme director Helen Harman said: "It came after two-and-a-half years of work put in by the team to generate maybe 170 jobs, which is fantastic for the local economy and the Bay. We were chuffed to bits."
This year's key dates are: nominations close February 3; awards ceremony March 7 at the Riviera International Conference Centre.