Published: January 21, 2020 | Updated: January 21, 2020

Bridport Local Business Awards set to be a hit with 25 per cent more entries than expected

Nigel Reeve, Event Organiser, at the launch of the Bridport Local Business Awards 2020.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

The inaugural Bridport Local Business Awards look set to be a big success.

Organisers say they have received 25 per cent more entries than expected while just two of the 11 categories are still available for sponsorship.

All eyes are now on Thursday March 5 when the winners will be announced at an awards buffet lunch.

Nigel Reeve, Event Organiser, of Marketing West, said: “We wanted the awards to involve a wide range of businesses and that’s what has happened.

“We also want the awards to have a real community feel, and all involved are delighted with the response.”

The idea for the Bridport Local Business Awards began with a conversation between Bridport Business Chamber and Nigel.

Over the years there have been a number of attempts to launch a truly local business awards just for the Bridport area.

Nigel said: “As a group we believed in two things.

“Firstly Bridport has a great range of quality businesses and secondly we needed to focus on making people aware of this.

“At the same time the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) also came on board supporting the plan.”

Things then really started to move as the initial idea became a reality.

Nigel, pictured right, has many years’ experience in launching new ideas as well as events and awards organisation while Bridport Business Chamber and the FSB have the local contacts.

Entry forms were designed to be as straightforward as possible with entering the awards kept free of of charge.

A specialist secret shopper company, Insight 6, was appointed, and entrants will be visited, or called, by an independent mystery shopper.

After the awards lunch, each entrant will receive a confidential copy of their report produced by the mystery shopper.

As for the actual awards event, Nigel said: “It won’t be a black tie dinner but, instead, a buffet lunch.

“The category winners will be the stars of the event, not the event itself.

“The whole focus is on promoting the town and the range of businesses.

“The plan is to make this an annual event so the awards grow and become part of the area’s calendar.

“The awards are self-financing through the sponsorship sales.

“We just have two category sponsorship opportunities left which is incredible for our first year,” added Nigel.

Sponsors include Porter Dodson, Hayward and Co, Poundbury Wealth Management, Bridport Business Chamber, IT Support 365, Footeprints, Watershed PR, Highlands End Leisure Holidays, Marketing West, and St Michael’s Trading Estate.