This year’s Oxfordshire Business Awards were officially launched last night following an event taking place at Oxford Science Park
Many of the county’s businesses gathered at the launch of the 2020 Oxfordshire Business Awards (OXBA) yesterday (9 January), where the awards - in their 26th year - were announced as officially open.
The 2020 awards launch took place at the Sadler Building on Oxford Science Park, itself home to over 90 companies and employing more than 2,500 people.
Following the launch, businesses from across Oxfordshire can now enter the 2020 awards, with a variety of categories - ranging from Best Visitor Experience to Employer of the Year - open for entry.
Since it began in 1994, the OXBA has recognised the achievements of thousands of the county’s businesses, including accolades for new businesses, small businesses and the county’s larger businesses.
Now – over a quarter of a decade on – the OXBA chairman hopes the event can continue to have a ‘positive impact’ on Oxfordshire’s business community, as well as helping to ‘promote excellence’ across all sectors.
Paul Lowe – Chair of the OXBA – said: “For over 25 years, the awards have championed businesses and those individuals who have made a positive impact in Oxfordshire.
“The launch event was a fantastic opportunity to welcome previous award winners, along with new and emerging businesses we perhaps haven’t engaged with previously.
“We’re very happy to welcome back many of our sponsors from 2019, as well as bringing in some new businesses excited to engage with such an iconic part of the Oxfordshire business calendar.
“Winning an OXBA brings genuine recognition and acknowledgment amongst peers – therefore, we would urge businesses to consider entering these prestigious awards.”
This year’s awards see the announcement of three new sponsors, with Royds Withy King sponsoring the Small Business Award, Ridge and Partners LLP sponsoring the Business of the Year Award and Business & Innovation Magazine becoming the official media partner for the awards.
The OXBA is being supported by other Oxfordshire organisations, including OxLEP, who are supporting the New Business Award category.
OxLEP Chief Executive, Nigel Tipple, said the OXBA reflects the county’s thriving business community – in particular small businesses, or ‘SMEs’.
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 mind, the OXBA is 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.”
The Oxfordshire Business Awards takes place on Friday 12 June at the John Henry Brookes Building at Oxford Brookes University.