Entrepreneurs from across the North-east are celebrating reaching the final stages of the Elevator Awards 2015.
The business awards, formally know as the Grampian Awards for Business Excellence, are in the 16th year.
They include young up-and-coming businesses, family-owned enterprises and long-established companies across the North-east.
The competition is run by Elevator, with headline sponsors RBS – Ahead For Business.
Hundreds of local businesses applied with a huge increase in numbers in the Employer of the Year and Spirit of Excellence categories.
Professor Gary McEwan, chief executive of Elevator, said: “The awards support and showcase the success of entrepreneurship in business in the North-east, and once again we have received a high volume of top quality entries from some of the finest businessmen and women in the area.
“The rise in the number of entries in specific categories demonstrates that although the area is experiencing a downturn, there is still a real sense of optimism amongst our entrepreneurs for a bright future.
“Reaching the final stages of the awards offers these individuals and businesses the perfect opportunity to demonstrate why they are the best in their chosen field during a face-to-face judging day in May.
“Following this, some of them will ultimately secure a winning position, gaining the recognition they truly deserve for their achievements.”
Russell Whyte, RBS – Ahead for Business, director of commercial banking, said: “The quality of businesses selected for this year’s final is truly outstanding and reflect the diverse and dynamic economy we have here in the north-east. They have all achieved exceptional success and are true leaders in their fields.
“RBS – Ahead for Business is delighted to once again support the awards and we wish every finalist the best of luck in a competition which highlights the great work taking place in the region.”
Finalists in nine of the ten awards categories are as follows:
Most Promising New Business – sponsored by Business Gateway: Bagels & Stuff Ltd; Deeside Classic Campers Ltd; XOXO Floral Boutique.
Business Success Under Three Years (businesses that have been trading for under three years at deadline for applications) – sponsored by RBS Ahead for Business: Aisus Offshore Ltd; OEM Diesel Products; Zenith Energy.
Business Success Over Three Years (businesses that have been trading for over three years at deadline for applications) – sponsored by RBS Ahead For Business: Dynamic Edge; EFC Group; Motive Offshore Group.
The Grampian Award for Innovation – sponsored by Murgitroyd: Blaze Manufacturing Solutions; Divex Ltd – for COBRA (Compact Bailout Rebreathing Apparatus); Equalizer Flange Integrity Systems Ltd
The ‘Spirit of Enterprise’ Award – sponsored by partner Aberdeen City Council: Cake! By Shannon; Dee-Vine Living; Definition Skin & Laser Clinic
The Alick Buchanan-Smith Enterprising Communities Award – sponsored by partner Aberdeenshire Council: Aberdeen Business Network; North East Sensory Services; Home-Start Aberdeen
Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by ACE Winches: Elaine Duthie of Aberdeen Engineering Solutions Ltd; Barry Park of OEM Diesel Products; Murray Kerr of SengS Subsea Engineering Solutions Limited
Employer of the Year – sponsored by Empire: AVC Media Ltd; Blaze Manufacturing Solutions; Grampian Fasteners
Entrepreneurial Supporter of the Year – sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses: Jackie Allan – Inverurie Business Association; June Burnett – Aberdeenshire Council; John Davidson of NESCOL (North East Scotland College).
The awards ceremony will be held on June 25, at the Mercure Ardoe House Hotel and Spa in Aberdeen.