BUSINESSES are being asked to step forward and enter the prestigious Somerset Business Awards 2012.

The county's official business awards is now open for entries and recognises business success across Somerset.

Rupert Cox, of award organisers the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to open the Somerset Business Awards for entries for 2012.

“The awards represent a fantastic opportunity to celebrate Somerset businesses. 2011 was the biggest year yet and we anticipate 2012 will be just as hotly contested.

“The awards showcase the talent and entrepreneurialism in the area, encourage best practice and bring great businesses and great opportunities together.

“Every year the number and quality of the entries has increased, calling for more awards and tougher judging criteria.

We are excited to introduce two new awards for 2012, the Skills for Growth Award and the Energy Efficiency Award.”

The Somerset Business Awards are open to companies of all types and sizes in the county - for entry details and to apply online, see

The closing date for applications is 5pm on August 31.

Businesses can nominate themselves and are welcome to enter more than one category but should make multiple applications online and differentiate between the criteria of each award.

All shortlisted companies will be invited to the glittering black tie dinner and prestigious Awards ceremony, which will be held on November 16 at Somerset County Cricket Club in Taunton.

Sponsored by Albert Goodman Chartered Accountants, which has offices throughout Somerset, the annual Somerset Business Awards are organised by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with a wide range of individual award sponsors from the private sectors.