THE hotly contested shortlist for the 2014 Press Business Awards has been decided.

After receiving more than 140 entries from businesses across North Yorkshire the judges have picked three finalists in each of the 14 categories.

Entries have been praised for ingenuity in enterprise which will see this year's awards recognise a variety of success stories from businesses of all sizes, across all sectors.

Laura Knowlson, business editor of The Press, said: "The resilience of businesses across the region has really shone through in this year's entries as companies and individuals prove they have gone beyond recovery and are now growing in a variety of ways.

"The outstanding level of entries we have received made selecting a shortlist a very difficult task for the judges."

Special mention during the judging process was made to the Family Business of the Year category, which had the highest standard of entries ever seen, with at least five businesses in the category worthy of winning.

Judges also commended Evora Construction, which narrowly missed out on a place in the Best Business and Community Link category, praising the York firm for its work with the York Cares Big Community Challenge.

The shortlist for 2014 features a number of winners from last year's awards including TYSY and Now & Then Events, as well as a previous overall winner Nestle.

The 39 shortlisted businesses will now be visited by judges to decide the winners, due to be announced at a black-tie dinner at York Racecourse on November 20.

The awards, now in their 24th year, will feature a new look on the night, set to bring even more excitement to the proceedings.

One of the finalists will also be chosen as The Press's overall Business of the Year, with the ceremony also presenting a Lifetime Achievement award to someone pre-selected by our core panel of judges.

Profiles of all finalists and entrants in the 2014 competition can be seen at

This year's finalists at a glance:

  • Large Business of the Year: Benenden Health, Dale Power Solutions, Ellis
  • Small Business of the Year: The Dog Walker, Plumb, Wold Top Brewery
  • New Business of the Year: All Terrain Cycles, ScratchMyPi, UGOT
  • Think Green Business of the Year: Bytemark Hosting, Drax, TSYS
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Craig Benton (The London Deli Company), Joe Carnell (UGOT), Tom Hutchinson (Tom Hutchinson Design)
  • Retailer of the Year: Clarksons, Herbert Todd & Son, Rafi's Spicebox
  • Dare to Export: Ellis, Nature's Laboratory, Paragon Creative
  • Business Personality of the Year: Mark Fordyce (York Data Services), Anne Taylor (See Green), Simon Williams (Federation of Small Businesses)
  • Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year: National Railway Museum Events Team, Now and Then Events, Superbreak
  • Best Business and Higher Education Link: Chapel House Training and Consultancy, Gradintel, Nestle
  • Family Business of the Year: Middletons Hotel & Restaurant, M&K Butchers, Riccall Care
  • Best Business and Community Link: Benenden Health, Network Rail, York Racecourse
  • Best Sustainable Travel Initiative: Shepherd Group, York Designer Outlet, York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Technology Business of the Year: Detectamet, Teleware, 9xb