The prestigious Trethowans Overall Winner’s Award will again be the blue ribband category of this year’s South Coast Business Awards 2014.

Organised by the Daily Echo in association with Southampton and Salisbury-based law firm Trethowans, the awards aim to raise standards, encourage competition and recognise business excellence. They are being run in partnership with Business South and Destination Southampton.

The Trethowans Overall Winner’s Award will be chosen from one of the winners in the eight individual categories, which include awards for technology, entrepreneurship and growth.

Judges for the overall award are looking for a firm which can prove it has a strong commitment to the Solent region, the people and the environment.

Any businesses in the region that believe they can demonstrate skilful business planning, clever marketing and sound financials could be in the running.

To clinch the accolade the company will also need to demonstrate that it has signs of growth and development, showing excellence in all aspects of business performance while getting ahead of competitors.

Again Trethowans, which employs more than 140 people, is sponsoring the award.

Simon Rhodes, managing partner at Trethowans, believes firms should speak up about their success.

“I think businesses are often too reticent to show off their good news stories and at the moment it is vital that businesses talk about themselves and how they are doing well to act as an encouragement to others and to put confidence back into the economy.

“There are businesses out there that need an extra incentive or a nudge to make themselves feel better.

“I would say that the best businesses have a balance of people, profit and planet. If a business has got a great balance it should be shouting about it all day, all night.”

Business people from across the county will descend on Southampton’s Grand Harbour Hotel for a black-tie event on July 11 where the winners of all nine of the awards will be announced.

Last year guest speaker Michael Portillo handed the overall award to Saab Seaeye. The world leaders in underwater vehicles manufacture electric-powered remotely operated vehicle systems and are based in Segensworth, Fareham.

Firms can enter the awards online or by downloading a copy of the application form at where they can find out more information and view the criteria for each of the nine awards. Enquiries at 023 8042 4710 or email

l See Thursday’s Daily Echo for our focus on the next two awards – Best Use of Technology and Commitment to the Region.