New business competition shines light on local start-ups

No stranger to awards success, judge Lucy Hind picked up the Green Award for Covance at the Harrogate Advertiser Series Business Awards in 2013.

No stranger to awards success, judge Lucy Hind picked up the Green Award for Covance at the Harrogate Advertiser Series Business Awards in 2013.

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A competition aimed at rewarding the best new business in the Harrogate district is now open for nominations.

The Shining Lights Business Competition is being run by Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) in association with online business guide The Best of Harrogate.

The aim of the competition is to reward new businesses and support them in the next stage of their development.

It is open to businesses based in the Harrogate District that are under three years old. They can be from any sector and may enter one or all of the three categories.

The Brand Beacon category, sponsored by NY Design, will recognise significant achievements in the fields of brand-building, marketing and sales.

The Ops Lighthouse category, sponsored by e-marketing company Kula Hub, is for businesses that have made impressive improvements to operations, for example through streamlining, technology or innovative solutions.

The People’s Spotlight category, sponsored by ZW Coaching, is open to businesses that have invested time, energy, money, or all three, to successfully develop their staff or relationships with customers.

Each category winner will win £1,000 cash and £1,000 of in-kind support provided by category sponsors. The runners-up will win up to £500 cash and £500 of in-kind support. A further £2,000 will be awarded to the overall winner.

All entrants will have access to a series of workshops covering the three categories, networking, peer-to-peer learning and mentoring.

The judges are Lucy Hind of Covance, Mark Roberts of Beer Hawk, John Dodgson of Barclays Bank, The Best of Harrogate’s Alex Hewitt and Coun Graham Swift, HBC’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, Economic Development and Enterprise.

Coun Swift said: “The Harrogate district has an excellent rate of business start-ups and this new competition is aimed at acknowledging the success of those new local businesses.

“It also gives our entrants free access to the first-class professional council support and advice that is available to help new businesses in the district.”

The entry deadline is 5pm on Friday, November 6 and the winners will be announced on Friday, December 4. For fuller category descriptions and to enter, visit www.harrogate.gov.uk/shininglights