Businesses of all sizes in Neston are on tenterhooks to see if they will be winners in the inaugural Neston & District Business Awards at the town’s cricket club on Friday.

More than 100 local firms will be attending along with MP Andrew Miller.

The awards and networking evening will be held in the Cranston Suite at the cricket club from 5.30pm, with the presentation of awards to the winners of the seven categories beginning at 6.15pm.

Businesses were encouraged to enter the awards ranging from business of the year to the final award voted on by members of the public and celebrating businesses with a fantastic reputation for customer service.

Lucy Mason, a director of digital and content agency Brand, which has opened its doors on the town’s high street, said: “The awards can achieve a number of important goals including recognising the achievements of local businesses, raising their profile and bringing business owners together to do even more business.”

An exciting mix of new and established businesses have made the shortlist.

Competition is to be particularly fierce in the Business of the Year (less than 10 employees), Business of the Year (more than 10 employees) categories, as well as Entrepreneur of the Year.

Nine businesses will battle it out in the category for businesses with less than 10 employees, while four of the area’s bigger employers will compete in the more than 10 employees’ category.

Four go-getters have been shortlisted in the Entrepreneur of the Year category, with Elephant Coffee’s Emma Mitchell going head-to-head with husband Adam, who has been shortlisted for his work on launching a Futureproof Network for contractors A P Mitchell.

The awards shortlist in full is:

Business of the Year (1-10 employees): Neston Natural Health and Beauty Clinic, Elephant Coffee, Connection 365, Birch Tree Health, Dunstan Fish & Game, Mozkitos Coffee House, Andy Mills Partnership, Oaktree Court Business Centre.

Business of the Year (10 or more employees): Andrew’s Estates, Gordale, Neston Cricket Club, A P Mitchell.

Entrepreneur of the Year: Emma Mitchell (Elephant Coffee), Andrew Smith (Andrew’s Estates), Adam Mitchell (A P Mitchell), Steve Mursell (Connection 365).

Green Business Award: Gordale, Futureproof (A P Mitchell).

Online Business of the Year: Dunstan Fish & Game, Connection 365.

Customer Service Award: The six most-nominated local businesses (in alphabetical order) are:Angellina Gems, Birch Tree Health, Elephant Coffee, Hip & Harmony, Neston Natural Health & Beauty Clinic, The Brown Horse.

The Business Achievement Award will be awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the Neston business community over a sustained period of time.

Nick Mason, also a director of Brand, added: “There are some terrific businesses on the shortlist including some established names and some much newer businesses.

“We would like to say a big thank you to all business owners who have taken time to enter and support the awards in their first year.”

The awards have been organised by Neston & District Chamber of Trade in conjunction with sponsors Brand, Evolution, About My Area and Neston Town Council.