The deadline for new businesses to enter the Rising Stars Awards 2006 has been extended until Friday 3rd March.

The Rising Stars Awards were created to recognise and acknowledge the achievements of new businesses throughout the county and are open to all Hertfordshire businesses that have been trading for less than three years.

There are six categories, each sponsored by a local business or organisation that has benefited from Business Link support in the past:

·         The Adapt Award for Best Use of Technology

·         The Big Stick Award for Creative Marketing

·         The Highbury Award for Best Business Idea

·         The Orion Award for Best Business Partnership

·         The Yellow Hat Award for Best Customer Service

·         The Hertfordshire Prosperity Rising Star Award

There will be an awards dinner in Harpenden on 11 May 2006, with press coverage of the event and the winning businesses. Winners in each category will receive a cash prize of £500 and a special Award winner’s logo to use in their promotional material and marketing activities in the future.

The web links to the application forms should now be working properly at www.mybusinesslink.co.uk/risingstars and please email all applications to samr@exemplas.com  

For those entering a business award for the first time we are able to offer some support in completing the forms.  If you require assistance then please telephone Nilesh Mistry on 01727 813509.  This support will not bias the judging of the awards in any way but will ensure that no new business owners are excluded from entering because they feel unable to complete the application form.

John Collier, Chief Executive of Business Link Hertfordshire explained: “Whatever sector you are in, and whether you are one person working from home or a business with employees and premises we want to hear from you. The application process is very straightforward so if you have started a business in the last three years now is the time to get down to filling in the entry form.

“Don’t worry that your business isn’t big enough or you haven’t been going long enough. You don’t have to be an aspiring Richard Branson: if you do what you do really well, and your business has been operating for less than three years then tell us about what you do.”