THE Dorset Business Awards, in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo, are pleased to announce a new sponsor and award category.

UK Health Insurance, an independent broker specialising in health insurance, has introduced the Investing in Dorset Award.

Open to businesses of any size with a BH/DT postcode or based in Dorset, this award will recognise companies that realise the benefits of supporting the region’s businesses and buying goods and services locally wherever possible.

Through a commitment to creating positive relationships with other firms in the county, successful companies will understand the impact their actions have on the long-term prosperity for other local firms and Dorset in general.

There are numerous benefits and opportunities that doing business locally can achieve, such as improved employment prospects, higher productivity, reduced carbon footprints and lower delivery costs. Firms that are able to highlight the opportunities they have realised are in with a chance of award recognition.

Entrants should include:

n Details of budget spent locally.

n Description of the company’s vision which supports doing business locally and an explanation of the decision to embrace this.

n Evidence of initiatives to create relationships with, and spend budgets with, Dorset companies and the impact of these.

n Details of future plans to develop relationships with other Dorset companies

Judges would like to see examples of how entrants purchase, use and support local products and services and, where possible, details of the impact this has had.

Hooshiar Mires, operations director at UK Health Insurance, says: “We’re delighted to come on board as a Dorset Business Award sponsor and to introduce a new category, which reflects our passion for supporting local businesses. As a responsible Dorset company, we have adopted a simple philosophy. If we need to buy something, be it product or service, the first question is, can we buy it from a local company? We would like to challenge all local businesses to adopt the same philosophy.

“Looking after our local economy is very important to us and this award is our way of showcasing and rewarding other Dorset companies that endeavour to spend as much of their budgets as locally as possible. Even if companies are at the very start of their journey towards spending more of their budgets locally, we are keen to encourage them to enter this award category.”

Organised by the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the awards are also backed by Wave 105 and are free to enter. Entries can be submitted via The closing date is Friday September 9 and entrants do not need to be a member of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

For information about the awards, sponsorship or the gala dinner at the BIC on November 24, contact the awards team on 01202 714800.