THE 2014 Dorset Business Awards have been launched with a call for companies to shout about their successes.

Around 130 people were at the official curtain-raiser for the awards – which are backed by the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo – yesterday at Parley Manor in Christchurch.

Entries for the awards, organised by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), open on Monday, June 23 and close on September 12. The awards campaign culminates in a gala dinner on November 27 at the BIC.

Ian Girling, chief executive of DCCI, told guests: “I think the awards are incredibly important for Dorset. We’ve got an incredible business community.

“We would ask you really to promote the awards and make all your customers and partners aware of it. It’s something we should really shout about in the county and it’s something we do so well.”

Parley Manor’s owner, Trelawney Dampney, told how his own company, Eco Sustainable Solutions, had benefitted from winning the Company of the Year title in 2008.

“The endorsement we’ve had from our customers, the publicity on the back of it, the ability to recruit higher quality staff is an absolutely ringing endorsement for all the good work of the Dorset Business Awards,” he said.

The launch also heard from sponsors’ representatives Sam West of Atlas Elektronik UK, Neil Carlton of launch sponsor Breeze Volkswagen, Ross Thornley of RT Media and John Brooks of Wave 105.

There are 10 categories in the awards this year, including three new titles: the Business Growth Award, backed by new sponsor Advanced Exchequer; Dorset Export Award, sponsored by Atlas Elektronik UK, which won Company of the Year last year; and the Excellence in Innovation Award, sponsored by DCCI and Liz Lean PR. Santander has also joined the list of sponsors as co-sponsor of Company of the Year with Lester Aldridge.

Anyone interested in entering can visit or contact Shirley Ewart on 01202 714812.

For more on the awards launch, including a full list of categories and sponsors, see next Tuesday’s business section The Briefing.