Organisers of the annual awards have been stunned by this year’s response which has seen entries flood in from companies and individuals who have never entered before.
Ian Cording, chairman of the Bedfordshire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said: “To have attracted so many new entrants with success in their veins means these awards have achieved real traction.
“I personally cannot wait for the winners to be revealed at the Grand Final on June 25 at Center Parcs, Woburn Forest.”
The full list of finalists is:
Apprentice of the Year: Jade Parkin, Kidatu - Silsoe.
Best E-Business: CATS – Luton; Car4Leasing – Upper Stondon; Miamee Couture – Bedford; Trademaid Limited – Ampthill and Tyrocircle – Luton.
Best New Business: Carys L – Dunton; Davco Interiors Ltd – Luton; George James Bridal – Bedford; Home Heating Scheme Ltd – Stotfold; Puddle Ducks – West Herts, Luton & Dunstable; Teaching Talons – Flitwick; Valve Marketing – Ampthill and Watton Recruitment Ltd – Bedford.
Business Innovation: CATS – Great Marlings; Foley Exhibitions – Silsoe; Node IT – Biggleswade and Trademaid Limited – Ampthill.
Business Person of the Year: Shelly Shulman, Cakes by Shelly – Leighton Buzzard; Irena Oliver – Luton and Ben Fathers, Valve Marketing – Ampthill.
Community Business of the Year: HASCAT Safety – Leighton Buzzard; Kiosk at the Park – Bedford; Pecks Farm Shop – Leighton Buzzard; Pictons Solicitors – Luton; SA Biz UK – Bedford and The Rufus Centre – Flitwick.
Employee of the Year: Stuart Marquis, Liberty Bishop Contractor Services – Luton; Matt Collins, Node IT – Biggleswade; Aleksandra Buskiewicz, The Fresh Start Group – Caddington.
Enterprising Business: Cakes by Shelly – Leighton Buzzard; Dawn until Dusk Ltd – Bedford; JTM Plumbing and Heating – Stotfold; Osborne Morris & Morgan – Leighton Buzzard; Premier Solictors – Bedford and The Play Doctors – Bedford.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Irena Oliver – Luton; Rosa Cristini, SoYou Boutique – Leighton Buzzard.
Green Award: Cartridge Depot – Bedford.
Networking Group of the Year: 24/7 Business Networking – Biggleswade; Bedfordshire Business Women – Clapham; Busy Women Networking – Bedford; Enterprising Mums – Sandy; The Women in Business Network – Sandy and Women in Business Network – Great Denham.
Service Excellence: Biz Virtual – Luton; Dawn Until Dusk Ltd – Bedford; Fairies n Frogs – Ampthill; JNB Publishing – Luton; JTM Plumbing and Heating – Stotfold and Osborne Morris & Morgan Solicitors – Leighton Buzzard.
Training and Development: JTM Plumbing and Heating – Stotfold; Osborne Morris & Morgan Solicitors – Leighton Buzzard; Premier Solicitors – Bedford; The Play Doctors Ltd – Newport Pagnell and Valve Marketing – Ampthill.
Young Business Person of the Year: Martin Lewis, Graduation Attire – Bedford and Marc Scott, Liberty Bishop Contractor Services – Luton.