THE Press is delighted to announce the shortlist for its 2017 Business Awards.

Now in its 27th year, the Press Business Awards has this year attracted scores of entries from business of all shapes and sizes, covering a broad spectrum on industries.

After many deliberations the core panel of judges has whittled the extensive list of entries down to just three contenders in each of the ten categories.

Press business editor Laura Knowlson said: “The entries to our Business Awards always give a great indication to the state of the local economy and the confidence among businesses within it.

“This year there has been a particularly strong presence from the manufacturing sector, most notably in the food and drink industry, while major investment in the region’s hotels saw the Tourism, Retail and Leisure category attract an impressive entry list.

“The Export category was quieter then normal, possibly as a result of Brexit, while the Innovation category saw some fantastic examples of how businesses have demonstrated an innovative approach to enterprise beyond the traditional sense.

“We saw a host of exceptional entries and judging some of the categories proved very difficult for our panel.”

Hotly contended categories this year included Large Business of the Year, which saw its highest number of entries in several years, as well as the repeatedly popular Small Business of the Year category.

This year we see a number of businesses shortlisted in not one but two categories.

Last year’s Socially Responsible Business of the Year Autohorn is marking a return in 2017 as the York-headquartered vehicle leasing specialist is a finalist in both the Large Business of the Year and Employer of the Year categories.

Up against Autohorn in the Large Business category is the York Division of construction group Lindum, which is also vying for the title in the Family Business of the Year award as the second generation of the founding family leads the York division onto the shortlist.

York brewery Ainsy Ales has secured a coup not only making the shortlist in the New Business of the Year category, but also winning a place on the strongly contested Small Business of the Year shortlist after growing to produce 35 cask ales a week from its own brewery in Acaster Mablis.

York-based Continuum Attractions was a favourite among judges in recognition of the firm welcoming more than two million visitors every year to its expanding nationwide portfolio of visitor attractions, which currently stands at nine. As such the business, which employs more than 400 people across the UK, is a finalist for both the Large Business of the Year, and the Retail, Tourism and Leisure categories.

In the only category to recognise individual talent rather than collective business success, the Business Personality of the Year category welcomes the chairman of York Hotelliers’ Association Graham Usher, outgoing York Retial Forum chairman Frank Wood, and the managing director of Malton Laser Charles Corner.

Putting our region the global map is the finalists in the Exporter of Year; Damson Global, Twisted Automotive and Brass Castle brewery.

All of the shortlisted finalists will now be invited to the awards night, which over the years has won a reputation as one of the most popular social events on York’s business calendar.

Falling as part of York Business Week, the black-tie event welcomes around 400 guests to York Racecourse for a evening of celebration and cheer. During the evening we will also present one of the night’s winners with the overall Press Business of the Year title.

This year’s event is being held on Thursday, November 23, when we will welcome back BBC broadcaster Colin Hazelden to act as our Master of Ceremonies.

The Press is delighted to welcome back our valued long-standing sponsors Hethertons Solicitors, York Science Park, the University of York, York Racecourse, JWP Creers and York St John University. We are also delighted to introduce two new sponsors Shepherd Group and Lutpon Fawcett.

Limited sponsorship opportunities for 2017’s Press Business Awards are still available. For more information contact Lucy Stoakes on (01904) 567170.

2017 Business Awards Shortlist

Large Business of the Year

Sponsored by Lupton Fawcett

- Lindum York

- Autohorn Fleet Services

- Continuum Attractions

Smalls Business of the Year

Sponsored by Hethertons Solicitors

- Ainsty Ales

- PowerON

- Cuffs & Co

New Business of the Year

Sponsored by York Science Park

- Ainsty Ales

- Picture News

- Robinsons Cafe

Socially Responsible Business of the Year

Sponsored by York St John University

- Brass Castle Brewery

- Yorwaste

- Lemon Tree Cafe

Employer of the Year

Sponsored by JWP Creers

- The Partners Group

- Autohorn Fleet Services

- Catalyst IT Solutions

Business Personality of the Year

Sponsored by York Racecourse

- Graham Usher

- Frank Wood

- Charles Corner

Business Innovation of the Year

Sponsored by the University of York

- Jorvik Viking Centre

- Roofs Above

- Ellis

Family Business of the Year

Sponsored by Shepherd Group

- Lindum Group

- El Piano

- Julie Dodsworth

Retail, Tourism and Leisure Business of the Year

- Continuum Attractions

- The Principal York

- Scotts Fish & Chips

Exporter of the Year

- Damson Global

- Twisted Automotive

- Brass Castle Brewery