Leicester Mercury Business Awards finalists are named
The finalists in the inaugural Leicester Mercury Business Awards have been revealed.
Thirty companies will compete in 12 categories, with some businesses vying for more than one award.
Judges whittled down the 120 businesses which entered the competition to three for each category.
The Mercury took over the running of the Leicestershire Business Awards this year and has relaunched them.
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The finalists, who are named in the panel on this page, were unveiled at a drinks reception at Lumbers jewellery store, in Leicester, on Thursday.
They will find out if they are winners at a gala dinner at De Montfort Hall on March 21.
Ian Griffin, Leicester Mercury business editor, said: "The finalists are a fantastic mix of fast-growing, cutting-edge companies from a range of sectors.
"Of course, these 30 businesses are already winners after beating 90 others to get to this stage.
"Getting to this stage also means a huge profile boost."
It is estimated finalists benefit from tens of thousand pounds-worth of PR and marketing through coverage in the Mercury and its online operation.
For winners, the benefits could be worth several hundred thousand of pounds during the lifetime of the business.
The awards are being held in association with Champions, a marketing and event management firm from Costock, near Loughborough.
Amelia Benskin, of Champions, said Thursday's event provided a good taster of what to expect at next month's showpiece ceremony.
"It certainly got everyone up for what is going to be a great night," she said.
Dominic Gomersall, managing director of Lumbers, in Market Street, which is one of the award sponsors, said: "We were delighted to have the event here. We are very proud of our building."
Guests were entertained by singers The Tootsie Rollers.
The keynote speaker on March 21 will be Business Secretary Vince Cable and there will be entertainment from magician and mind-reader Graham Jolley.
See videos from the event at: Leicester Mercury Business Awards pre-event showcase
Company of the Year
Fosters Traditional Foods
Heart of the Community Award
Hinckley & Rugby Building Society
Human Resources Award
Opus Trust Marketing
Newcomer of the Year Award
Doyles Commercial Body Builders
Eco Track & Access
Savoury and Sweet
Soft Touch Arts
Sales and Marketing Award
Science and Technology Award
Edward Hands & Lewis
Small Business Award
Douglas Wemyss Solicitors
J&R (Leicester) – trading as Tailoring UK