THE South Coast Business Awards will have a trophy set aside for a business that has made an outstanding contribution to the community.

The awards celebrate business excellence a host of sectors and are open to all businesses in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The award for Business and the Community will be sponsored by gas and electricity provider Utilita, headquartered in Chandlers Ford.

Bill Bullen, Utilita’s founder and chief executive, said: “It is an honour and privilege to play a small part in this big initiative. Utilita recognises that is so important to celebrate the exceptional achievements community-focused businesses across the region.

“From SMEs to national names, I know that throughout the pandemic - and latterly the cost-of-living crisis - so many companies in the south have stepped up and shown their big heart to support the communities they serve. 

“At Utilita, we share a synergy with them, as we are a business that not only serves communities across the south coast, but wants to put down roots and be part of them too.

“We look forward to shining a light on your inspirational stories. Just like Utilita and its Energy Hub teams, so many of you have gone, and continue to go, the extra mile. This is what sets us apart, just as the passion and community spirit shown by South Coast businesspeople sets them apart too.

“Good luck and see you at the awards ceremony.”

The awards are organised by LOCALiQ, the digital marketing business of Daily Echo publisher Newsquest.

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

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 A celebratory awards event will be held 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 be awarded to the overall winner that will be chosen by the judging panel from all the category winners.

The other award categories are:
Innovation Excellence Award   

  • Service Excellence Award   
  • Employer Award   
  • Entrepreneur Award 
  • Business Leader Award 
  • Small Business Award 
  • New Business (opened in the last 2 years) Award
  • Mid-Large Business Award  
  • Use Of Technology Award 

You can enter online here. The closing date for nominations is September 8.