IT IS the annual awards ceremony toasting the very best companies in the region.

The South Coast Business Awards 2014 will be launched at a lavish ceremony at the Grand Café in Southampton on March 4.

The ceremony, which is organised by the Southern Daily Echo in association with principal sponsors Trethowans, aims to raise standards, encourage competition and recognise business excellence. The awards are being run in partnership with Business South and Destination Southampton.

This year’s event will be launched with drinks and canapés as the details of the competition are revea-led.

Guests have the chance to meet the sponsors, learn about the categories and be part of the fantastic event culminating in the ceremony in July.

Last year’s big winners were the Segensworth-based Saab Seaeye, who scooped the Trethowans Business of the Year Award.

Not only did the firm take home the top prize, it also picked up the Trethowans Excellence Through Innovation award.

Saab Seaeye is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric under-water vehicles and impressed the judges with its forward-thinking and use of technology.

Guest speaker at the awards ceremony was former Conservative MP and television personality Michael Portillo.

He co-hosted the event alongside Daily Echo editor-in-chief Ian Murray.

The launch event will run from 5.30pm-7.30pm and is free to attend.

Guests are reminded that spaces for the event are limited and they must register their place by February 25.

To register your place, visit or scan the QR code above with your smartphone or tablet.

Call 023 8042 4710 for more information or email

You can also find out more on Twitter via @echo_biz or using #bizawards.