Firms look to awards to boost trade and visibilty

Witney Gazette: Jarl Severn Jarl Severn

MORE than 100 winners, guests and sponsors gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Oxfordshire Business Awards and mark the launch of next year’s competition.

The event, held at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, saw past winners mingle with the current crop while organisers are confident of a highly successful 2014 awards, boosted by new sponsors and categories.

One guest of honour was Jarl Severn, managing director of the current Oxfordshire Business of the Year, medical instruments firm Owen Mumford, based in Woodstock and Chipping Norton, which has created 40 new jobs in the past year, taking its total workforce in the county to 750.

Mr Severn said: “The reason we entered was to raise our local profile.

“Despite having been around for 61 years, our customers were not necessarily local and then there was also the need to market ourselves as an employer.”

Also present at the launch was web design agency Ridgeway, winner of the Milton Park Small Business category at this year’s ceremony.

Director Simon Lassam said: “The biggest benefit has been to say to our staff how well we have done.

“Our biggest challenge is growth and we need to keep hold of the good people. Being able to demonstrate we are successful has played a part in that and makes us a more attractive employer.”

The Witney-based company has also agreed to be a sponsor of the new Digital Innovation category at the 2014 awards.

Another new sponsor is the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Award.

To enter the Oxfordshire Business Awards, see oxfordshirebusinessawardsco.uk

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