The hard work, resilience, innovation, inspiration and never-say-die attitude of the local business community is to be celebrated in style in 2014.

Companies, large and small and in all fields of business, are being urged to enter the 2014 Herald Express South Devon Business Excellence awards. The list of last year’s winners proves there is something in the awards whatever the business entered as they cover everything from major employers to new young entrepreneurs. 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.

Torbay mayor Gordon Oliver said: “I am very pleased to be once again involved in the awards. Torbay Council is committed to encouraging business excellence and growth as part of our long term strategy to secure investment in the Bay. The strength of our local companies are the bedrock of our economy and it is these businesses which continue to strive for excellence in their field which are an inspiration for fledgling businesses to learn from their experience and success. I look forward to 2014’s event which is a highlight in the business calendar in Torbay and I urge all local businesses to nominate themselves and their hard working employees for one of these prestigious awards.”

Torbay Development Agency chief executive, Steve Parrock, said: “I am looking forward to the 2014 South Devon Business Excellence Awards, where the TDA, as the driver for economic prosperity through business support and regeneration, is backing these important awards which recognise and reward excellence. This year I hope to encourage the many innovative businesses we have been working with over the last 12 months to enter the awards to promote their achievements which have generated jobs and trade for the local economy. The TDA would like to take the opportunity for the South Devon Business Excellence Awards to be a platform for the range of business support services we offer local companies to help them reach these levels of success.”

Stephen Criddle, South Devon College principal, said: “South Devon College has been involved with the Business Excellence Awards for a number of years. We regard it as a core element in encouraging and recognising the ambition and success of businesses in the area. This year we are sponsoring the ‘Business Growth’ category. Businesses are the life blood of our economy and we need to nurture the ‘green shoots’ of recovery we are beginning to see in South Devon. The college plays its part by providing high quality training which equips current and future employees with the up to date skills they need to help local businesses to row.”

Herald Express editor Jim Parker said: “These awards have become well established and are now a prestigious part of the calendar for the business fraternity and wider community. I would like to thank our partners and sponsors for their invaluable support and hope this year’s awards will attract record entries so we can all recognise the huge amount of success stories out in the market place.”

The winners in 2013 were:

  • Business of the Year: Paignton Zoo and Environmental Park;
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Stan Moreing of Inter-Line
  • Social Enterprise/Community Impact: Dartington Hall Trust
  • Best New Business: Devon Eco Energy
  • Best Green Business: AstraZeneca
  • Best Business Enabler: Outset Torbay
  • Best in Customer Service: EMCAS
  • Best Young Entrepreneur: Jonathan Bailey
  • Business Growth Award: Hymid
  • Best Sales and Marketing: Paignton Zoo and Environmental Park
  • Best Leisure and Tourism Award: Woodlands Family Theme Park
  • Best Innovative Award: LMS Highways

For more details on how to enter go