Despite the economic turndown Wiltshire is doing well and this year again more than 100 firms have entered.

Finalists met at a cocktail party at the De Vere Hotel in Swindon this week to receive their finalists’ certificate, and the results will be announced at the gala dinner on Friday, April 26, at Center Parcs, Longleat Forest, near Warminster.

The main sponsor for the awards is Thrings Solicitors, who will be presenting the award for excellence - the Wiltshire Business of the Year 2012.

The other sponsors are Nat West, Mainline Employment Ltd, RSM Tenon, BBC Wiltshire, Business West, the European Union regional devlopment fund, Wessex Chambers and Newsquest.

They will be sponsoring the seven categories – Apprentice Employer of the Year; Business Person of the Year; Customer and Staff Care; Environmental; Innovation and Growth; Services to the Community and the Small Business of the Year.

John Davies, the head of Thrings’ south west corporate team, said: “I have been judging these awards for a number of years and I can honestly say that the quality of entrants this year has been exceptional.

“From sole traders to nationally recognised businesses the entrants have displayed inovation, organisation, growth and sustainability.

“Wiltshire can take great pride in its businesses and their ongoing success.”

Shamus Donald, managing director of Oxford and Wiltshire Newsquest, thanked the sponsors for their involvement and support, and said: “The Wiltshire Business of the Year awards have been going for many years and are now just as popular as when we launched them in the 1990s.”

To secure your tickets for the awards dinner at Center Parcs contact Ursula Gawthorn on 01793 501874 or email as soon as possible.

The finalists -

Small Business of the Year: John Samuel Hair & Beauty; Aerial Silk Fitness Swindon; Avagio ITS Ltd; BHG Chartered Accountants; Ganges Indian Cuisine; White Horse Employment Network Ltd; Office Evolution Ltd; From You to Me; Careers 4 Students Ltd; Body Revolution Health & Fitness Centre; The Bridge Brasserie; Bag4Sport; Openda Ltd; PH Sports Coaching; Sarah Belle Bridal; Jensons of Gorse Hill; Ramp Nation Indoor Skatepark; The Taj Mahal Restaurant; John Edwards Care Homes Ltd; In-House Research and Training Ltd; Biteback Products; Recruit for Spouses; TrustOn Security; Lick the Spoon; KS Motors; Competitor Price Watch; Redhead PR and Torishma (Europe) Projects Ltd.

Services to the Community: Office Evolution Ltd; Ganges Indian Cuisine; White Horse Employment Network Ltd; PH Sports Coaching; Careers 4 Students Ltd; Bag4Sport; Body Revolution Health & Fitness Centre; Raising the Baa; Ramp Nation Indoor Skate Park; Miah Indian Cuisine; Nutricia Limited; Haydens Bakery; John Edwards Care Homes Ltd; Kelly-Marie's Dance & Fitness and Invensis Ltd.

Apprenticeship Employer of the Year: Chippenham Motor Company; Careers 4 Students Ltd; Openda Ltd and T H White Holdings Ltd.

Business Person of the Year: Sarah Belle Bridal (Sarah Courtney-Green); Body Revolution Health & Fitness Centre (Joseph Alford); Redhead PR (Sara Tye: Excalibur Communications GB Ltd (James Phipps): Jensons of Gorse Hill (Pete Dore); Openda Ltd (Mark Crone); IT Solutions 4 Business Ltd (John Matthews); The Taj Mahal Restaurant (Anam Ullah); BHG Chartered Accountants (Bernard Harrington) and Cardwave Services Ltd (Paul Norbury).

Customer and Staff Care: Excalibur Communications GB Ltd; First Great Western; Office Evolution Ltd; BHG Chartered Accountants; Ganges Indian Cuisine; Seqol; Swisher; Sarah Belle Bridal; Openda Ltd; Body Revolution Health & Fitness Centre; Jensons of Gorse Hill; The Taj Mahal Restaurant; Higos Insurance Services Ltd; Ramp Nation Indoor Skatepark; Carpeo; Miah Indian Cuisine; Bluebird Care; White Horse Employment Network Ltd and Hills Waste Solutions.

Environmental: Bag4Sport; Raising the Baa; OnSolar; Park Lane Press Ltd and Hills Waste Solutions.

Innovation and Growth: IT Solutions 4 Business Ltd; Excalibur Communications GB Ltd; Park Lane Press Ltd; Cardwave Services Ltd; Bechtle Direct Ltd, Torishima (Europe) Projects Ltd.