THE finalists have been chosen for the 20th annual Dorset Business Awards.

The awards are run in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo and radio station Wave 105.

More than 30 judges spent up to a week working through a record 156 entries in order to produce the final shortlist of companies.

A diverse range of high calibre businesses and individuals with BH or DT postcodes entered, with finalists stretching from Gillingham to Portland and Bridport to Christchurch.

The names of the winners will be revealed at a 1920s-style Gala Dinner Awards ceremony at the BIC on Thursday November 27.

The ceremony will be hosted by actor Guy Henry, of Holby City, Extras and Midsomer Murders.

The 10 winners will receive a Dorset Business Award Trophy and the other 20 finalists will be presented with a bottle of award-winning, Dorset based Furleigh Estate sparkling Classic Cuvee.

Ian Girling, chief executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “We’ve received a record number of entries this year, which just goes to show how important the Dorset Business Awards are to this region.”

He added: “What has been particularly inspiring is the range and diversity of businesses that have entered and it’s been a really difficult task for the judges to decide on the finalists for their Award – there are so many worthy winners.”

The 2014 finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

Business Engagement with the Community Award, sponsored by JP Morgan:

Coleman Insurance Brokers, Poole; Coles Miller Solicitors LLP, Poole; Freshleaf Media Limited, Wimborne.

Business Growth Award, sponsored by Advanced Exchequer:

IADigital Ltd, Bournemouth; Koh Thai Tapas, Poole; The Training Room, Poole.

Dorset Export Award, sponsored by Atlas Elektronik UK:

Kite Clothing Limited (Kite), Poole; Micro Nav Limited, Bournemouth; Think Research Ltd, Poole.

Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Bournemouth University:

Intergage Ltd, Poole; Eco Sustainable Solutions Ltd, Christchurch; Diamond Sporting Group Ltd, Poole.

Excellence in Innovation Award, sponsored by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Liz Lean PR:

Permavent Ltd, Weymouth; The TwinsFX, Poole; Wessex Internet, Blandford.

Hays Employee of the Year Award:

Jeanette York, Borough of Poole; Richard Halsey, C4L, Poole; Paul clarke, Menzies East Cliff Court Hotel, Bournemouth.

Lester Aldridge and Santander Company of the Year Award:

Colten Care, Ringwood; Dextra Group Plc, Gillingham; The Koh Group, Poole.

Nuffield Health Excellence in Customer Service Award:

Health-on-Line, Bournemouth; KingsWood Day Nursery, Alderholt; Poole Housing Partnership, Poole.

Princecroft Willis Family Business Award: Allum & Sidaway, Dorchester;

Crest Pumps Limited , New Milton; RJ Balson & Son, Bridport.

Retail Experience Award, sponsored by the Dolphin Shopping Centre:

Allum & Sidaway, Dorchester; Animal, Poole; River Island, Poole.