FIRMS across Dorset have a week left to enter the Open 4 Business awards .

The closing date is looming for entries for the awards, which honour the achievements of Dorset companies and business people.

The gongs will be given out at a ceremony on October 25 at Weymouth College, the main sponsor of the awards.

Julie Cleaver, managing director of Open 4 Business Dorset said: “This really is the last week that businesses can think about entering the Open 4 Business awards.

“This year we have new categories to attract new businesses including the Best of Dorset Food & Drink, Best Employer and Best Marketing Campaign. “Some of the award categories are supported by a public vote and this has gone exceptionally well in some categories.”

Last year’s winner of Business of the Year was Weymouth maternity clothing firm Heavenly Bump. Owners Amy-Kate Crane and Kirsty van Deurs Goss have seen their business go from strength to strength since they scooped the Business of the Year prize.

They are now selling their clothes through Tesco’s website and are featured in the supermarket’s magazine.

Their range, which has appeared in parenting magazines, is also sold through New Look’s website.

Heavenly Bump has recently taken on its first apprentice – 18-year-old Daisy Sparks from Weymouth College.

The pair set up shop on the Granby Industrial Estate after their jobs at New Look were relocated to London.

Amy-Kate said: “We were totally overwhelmed that we won it. We worked so hard to get where we are. Any kind of recognition like the Open 4 Business awards means that it’s worth all the hard work and effort.”

This year’s Business of the Year award is sponsored by Weymouth College and is just one of 12 different categories firms can enter.

The categories and sponsors are: Business of the Year, sponsored by Weymouth College; Best Community Engagement, sponsored by Battens Solicitors; Best Customer Focus, sponsored by Puragen Renewable Energy; Best New Innovation/Service, sponsored by SALT Subsea Asset Location; Best Marketing Campaign, sponsored by Resort Marketing; Best Small to Medium Business, sponsored by Lloyds TSB Commercial; Best Large Business, sponsored by Old Mill Accountants and Financial Planners; Best New Business, sponsored by the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership; Inspirational Young Person, sponsored by Equation Accounting; Outstanding Personal Contribution, sponsored by Porter Dodson Solicitors; Best of Dorset Food and Drink, sponsored by DJ Property and Flame Award sponsored by Porter Dodson.

To enter the awards go to, select your award category, answer four questions and submit your entry online.

The awards entry deadline is Monday, September 24 at 5pm.

The awards ceremony will be sponsored by Albert Goodman Chartered Accountants. Tickets are £60 and are available from dinner@ The first Open 4 Business Conference will be held on October 18 at the Riviera Hotel, Weymouth. This conference and business 2 business exhibition will focus on Platforms for Future Growth following the Olympics .