THE South Coast Business Awards will include a trophy for those who were bold enough to start a new business in the era of Covid.

The Best New Business Award, sponsored by Starling Bank, will go to a business started within the past two years, whose success so far has set the groundwork for the business to grow.

The category is one of 10 for which nominations are already open.

Anne Boden, chief executive of Starling, said: "It's great to see the passion, resilience and amazing ingenuity from entrepreneurs across so many categories ."

The South Coast Business Awards celebrate business excellence in all the sectors which make up the economy of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

They reward innovative industries, both big and small, operating in fields from food to fashion, tourism to technology, employing thousands of people, exporting around the world or helping to attract visitors to our county and we aim to celebrate their achievements with these prestigious awards.

The sponsors Starling Bank, Hampshire Chamber Of Commerce, Utilita, the University Of Southampton and GetSet Solent invite any company whose head office is based in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to enter or to be nominated.

The nominations will be considered by our judging panel and may be subject to a “mystery shopper” visit by the category sponsor.

The judges will be looking to announce the three finalists in each category on Thursday, September 29, in the Daily Echo and on and then a celebratory awards event, will conclude the awards on Thursday, November 3, at Southampton FC.

The winners of each category will receive £250 of advertising in the Daily Echo or on and will also be featured in the category winners’ coverage in the Daily Echo and on

The Business of the Year Award will go to a business chosen by the judging panel from all the category winners.

Judges of the Best New Business category are looking for a clearly conveyed business idea and specific achievements. Businesses should be able to demonstrate evidence of positive change in the last 12 months or, have identified a strategy for change in the next 12 months.

If you know a business that fits the bill, you can nominate it. Or, you may know someone you could nominate for one of our other awards:

  • Innovation Excellence Award
  • Service Excellence Award
  • Employer Award Entrepreneur Award
  • Business Leader Award
  • Small Business Award
  • Mid-Large Business Award
  • Business and the Community Award
  • Use Of Technology Award.

You can enter online here.

The closing date for nominations is September 8.