THE high calibre of entries in this year's Cheshire Business Awards has been impressive. And judges have been faced with a more difficult challenge than ever in choosing between them.
However, after much deliberation, the independent judges have whittled the entries down to a shortlist.
The winners will be announced at a gala dinner at Chester's Crowne Plaza on Friday, September 19, hosted by TV personality Lucy Meacock.
This has become a highly regarded event on the county's social calendar, when the county's most successful achievers gain recognition for the part they play in adding to the region's prosperity and economic success.
Shortlisted nominees in the Cheshire Business Awards judged in nine categories are:
Business Start-up Award, sponsored by Bentley Motors Ltd. Nominees: Ignite Strategic Partners Ltd, Knutsford; Adam Butler Ltd, Malpas; 37 Point5 Ltd, Wharton.
Small Business of the Year. Nominees: Holland Damp Proofing (UK) Ltd, Aston; Rail Operations Development Ltd, Crewe; Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre & Country Park, Cheshire.
Medium Business of the Year. Nominees: SIRA Test & Certification Ltd, Chester; Park Royal Hotel, Warrington; Event Marketing Solutions (EMS), Chester.
Large Business of the Year, sponsored by Cheshire & Warrington Economic Alliance (CWEA). Nominees: Meadow Foods, Chester; RSK Group, Helsby; Citation plc, Knutsford.
Employer of the Year, sponsored by Hill Dickinson Chester. Nominees: Nice 'n' Naughty, Chester; VKR Logistics, Winsford; EA Technology Ltd, Chester.
Community Award. Nominees: Robert Smith & Son, Crewe; Funeral Services, Crewe; BiG Storage Cheshire Storage & BiG Storage of Chester; Taylor Richards, Runcorn.
Women in Business Award. Nominees: Janet King of Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre & Country Park, Cheshire; Yvonne Richards of Taylor Richards, Runcorn; and Trish Murray of Nice 'n' Naughty, Chester.
Winner of the Young Business Person of the Year Award, sponsored by Scottish Power, and the Business Person of the Year, sponsored by Cheshire County Council, will be announced at the presentation evening next month.
To book tickets for the dinner, call 0151 472 2570.