The best of business is set to be recognised at the city’s most lauded awards ceremony.

The Brighton and Hove Business Awards (BAHBAs) 2014 – in association with The Argus – returns in July to celebrate the best companies and organisations our city has to offer.

Back for the ninth year, the BAHBAs have long been considered the most influential prizes in the business calendar.

Submissions for the awards are now open and businesses have until May 23 to submit up to three entries across 14 different categories – including Best Place to Work, MD of the Year, Best Place to Visit in Brighton and Hove and the Fastest Growing Business.

Supported by the Chamber of Commerce, Brighton and Hove City Council, the Brighton Business Curry Club and Brighton and Hove Tourism Alliance, BAHBA judges will be looking for companies and organisations that capture the spirit of Brighton and Hove.

Innovation and leadership are considered more important than size and revenue and businesses will be acknowledged for promoting the diversity and talent that creates the Brighton brand.

Last year’s event on the Palace Pier saw 13 businesses, ranging from vets and cafes to recruitment agencies and dental surgeries, scoop awards that set the foundations for future success.

Previous winners include some of the city’s biggest and best loved names including Gresham Blake, European Recruitment,, Dental Health Spa, Ambiental, Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival, Bohemia Grand Café and Late Lounge, The American Express Community Stadium, Hotel du Vin, Jurys Inn Hotel, Green Mop, Infinity Foods, Duke of York’s Picture House, Brighton Dome, Brighton Festival, Dockerills and the University of Sussex.

The Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival, which was crowned Best Event in the City 2013, was rewarded for running an all-year-round event with a focus on a spring weekend and 10-day celebration of Autumn harvest.

With an attendance that exceeded 160,000 over the year, it is estimated that the festival generates £4-5 million for the city and surrounding area.

It certainly put the city on the map, having been named by the New York Post as one of the world’s top ten local food events.

Nick Mosley, managing director of the Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival said: “The food festival team was very proud to be awarded Best Event in the City at the BAHBAs 2013.

“The accolade has been a useful tool to demonstrate to our sponsors and the 350 plus food and hospitality businesses we work with annually that the festival is held in high regard in the city.

“The awards are a true celebration of the best of business in the city and it was very gratifying to win against some very worthy competitors. It’s also a bloody good party rather than a stuffy corporate event, and we do love to party in Brighton.”

Last year’s ceremony was also a night to remember for Christina Chatfield, of Dental Health Spa in Brighton.

Last May the General Dental Council finally removed a key barrier to patient choice by ruling that it’s no longer necessary to be seen by a dentist before being treated by another member of the dental team. Fortunately Christina, the UK’s Dental Hygienist of the Year 2012, had already established the Dental Health Spa to offer the levels and choice of service that are now available to all.

Christina’s dental hygiene services and offer of 100% kissability are more affordable than ever – but it was the rave reviews of her customers that convinced the judges her formula is spot on.

She is also about to begin a walk to raise awareness of mouth cancer – “500 Miles 4 Smiles” – where she will be walk- ing from Scotland to Brighton and already recruited a number of corporate teams to join her including BUPA and Midnight Communications.

Christina explained how winning a Best Customer Service award proved a catalyst to progress her surgery further.

She said: “When we won the Brighton and Hove Business Award for Best Customer Service, it further raised our profile, being recognised as an independent and seen as an entrepreneurial busi- ness.

“It gave me the confidence and the platform to take my next step forward, one that will take me 500 miles to complete and one that I know the Brighton community will help support because, as a community, we have an appetite to support independents over nationals.”

Other winners include The Student Room Group – a popular online commu- nity where GCSE, A-Level and university students share academic and social knowledge, from study help to choosing a university or career, and making the most of student life.

The firm was named as the Fastest Growing Business last year after achieving impressive growth, attracting more than 7.5 million unique visitors to its website each month and successfully recruiting subscribers for its paid-for services.

Under the leadership of CEO Chris Newson and new managing director Jason Geall, the award cemented opinion that the business is one with a promising future.

This year’s awards ceremony takes place at the Palace Pier on Thursday July 10.

For more information on the awards and how to enter, visit

Categories open for submissions
The following categories available for 2014 are:

• The Award for the Greatest Contribution to the Community

• The Best Place to Visit in Brighton & Hove

• The Best Event in the City

• The Best Environmental Industry Company

• The Best New Kids on the Block

• The Best Customer Service

• The Best Place to Work

• The Award for Business Beyond the City

• The Best Independent Retailer

• The Creative Industries Award

• The Professional Services Award

• The MD of the Year

• The Fastest Growing Business Award

• Outstanding Brightonian

What previous winners have to say

DAVID THOMSON, CEO Close Brothers, said: “We were delighted to win the Professional Services Award in 2013 and it was this success that encouraged us to sponsor the event in 2014.

“We’re proud to be a large employer in Brighton and Hove and believe these awards epitomise the diversity and spirit of the city in which we work and reside.

“By entering the awards and sponsoring the event, it has helped with brand awareness and raised our pro- file in the local area. We would recommend submitting an entry because it provides a platform to be recognised and to proudly share your achievements with the Brighton and Hove community.”

SIMON MAGUIRE, general manager of Hotel du Vin – last year’s winner of the Best Place to Entertain Your Clients, said: “The award was really good for the hotel and most importantly for the staff and team. “It really energised everyone to be recognised like that. We are hoping to enter again this year. It’s nice to have something specific to Brighton and Hove.

“When you go on the night you see all the people that you interact with in business and it’s a great chance to network.

CHANTAL YEUNG, marketing manager at last year’s Fastest Growing Business – The Student Room Group, said: “At the Student Room Group we’re all about community and it’s wonderful to be able to get involved in the local BAHBAs.

“It’s a great way to build a reputation as a local employer for one, and having a BAHBA to our name has certainly helped in recruiting new staff for our growing business.

“It’s a symbol of our achievements over the last year, and it’s another way to get noticed by our clients. The event last summer was a lot of fun, and I would recommend entering to be able to meet the other fan- tastic businesses in the area and build a buzz around your company.”