Businesses of all sizes will come together later this week to celebrate success at the annual Oxfordshire Business Awards, in what is its 25th year.
The OXBAs – which takes place this Friday evening (14 June) – will see dozens of businesses from across the county head to Oxford Brookes University’s John Henry Brookes Building in Headington for a second-year running.
The black-tie dinner will be attended by around 500 guests, representing businesses from a variety of sectors and will be hosted by the TV personality and impressionist Rory Bremner.
Since its launch in 1994, the OXBAs has recognised the achievements of thousands of businesses from right across Oxfordshire, including accolades for new businesses, small businesses and the county’s larger businesses.
It aims to make a ‘positive impact’ on Oxfordshire’s business community, as well as helping to ‘promote excellence’ across all sectors.
Finalists for this year’s awards were announced at the beginning of May, following a record number of award applications.
The 25th OXBAs are being sponsored by 14 of the county’s leading businesses, with 13 awards – ranging from accolades celebrating innovation, through to a charity and community award – set to be won.
The winner of a 14th category – the very special Hawkins Business of the Year Award – will be announced on the night, with all winners and finalists across each of the 13 award categories in the running.
Paul Lowe – Chairman of the OXBAs – said: “For 25 years, the OXBAs have championed businesses and those individuals who have made a positive impact in Oxfordshire.
“Winning an OXBA brings genuine recognition and acknowledgment amongst peers and we are looking forward to showcasing some of the best businesses in the county at this Friday’s event.”
Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP), who are sponsoring the New Business Award – said the OXBAs offer a great opportunity to celebrate the county’s business community, as well as an economy that generates around £23billion GVA each year, one of just three net contributors to the national exchequer.
Mr Tipple said: “Small businesses are the backbone of any economy and that’s particularly the case in Oxfordshire.
“Across the county, we have seen around 50,000 new jobs created between 2012 and 2017, with small businesses responsible for a considerable number of these – nationally, over 99 per cent of the UK’s 5.7million businesses are classified as ‘small’ employing a total of 16.1 million people.
“With this in mind, the OXBAs create an opportunity to celebrate ‘business’ and the impact it makes, not only to our economy, but also the professional opportunities companies create for thousands of people on a daily basis.”
This year’s finalists are as follows:
THE OXFORD SCIENCE PARK INNOVATION AWARD
THE OXFORDSHIRE LEP NEW BUSINESS AWARD
THE KNIGHTS SMALL BUSINESS AWARD
High Spec Composites
TOAD (The Oxford Artisan Distillery)
THE NATWEST LARGE BUSINESS AWARD
Ridge & Partners LLP
THE SHAW GIBBS YOUNG BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD
Dan Weston, Mathews Comfort Financial Services
Toby Crawford, Imaginera
Sarah Jaycock, High Spec Composites
THE SHAW GIBBS BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD
Daniel Geoghegan, Bicester Heritage
Paul Drayson, Sensyne Health
Paul Morrow, British Bakels
THE HAYS EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Oodle Car Finance
Abingdon and Witney College
THE CIS TECHNOLOGY EXCELLENCE AWARD
THE OXFORD TIMES CHARITY & COMMUNITY AWARD
Transition by Design
Witney Music Festival
THE HEART BEST VISITOR EXPERIENCE AWARD
TOAD (The Oxford Artisan Distillery)
Hook Norton Brewery
Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens
THE SYNDICUT MARKETING EXCELLENCE AWARD
Aston and James
THE BRITA GREEN AWARD
Oxford Wood Recycling
THE BICESTER VILLAGE RETAIL AWARD
For live updates during the awards, head to the OXBA Twitter page: @OxBizAwards.
For a full description of the award categories and more information on the Awards evening, go to: the Oxfordshire Business Awards website.
Pictured: Tagore Ramoutar of TOAD (The Oxford Artisan Distillery) - previous New Business Award winners.