A number of Gwent-based businesses have been shortlisted for this year’s South Wales Chamber of Commerce Welsh Business Awards, in a year when a record number of entries have been received and more companies than ever before have made the final shortlist.

Entries were up by 19 per cent on previous years and 45 companies have been shortlisted across 10 categories, with Sharp Clinical Services, Crickhowell shortlisted for Growth Business of the Year; Lightology, Newport shortlisted for Start-up Business of the Year; and GRF Enterprise and JRC both from Newport nominated for Success Through Overseas Trade.

The awards, which are open to members and non-members, received nominations from across Wales and aim to recognise the very best from businesses nationwide.

Welsh businesses, whether small, medium or large, all play a fundamental role in driving the economy forward. These awards will celebrate success, excellence in best practice, and the contribution Welsh businesses make to the wider community.

The winners will be announced at a black-tie gala, hosted by Gethin Jones on March 8, 2018, at the City Hall in Cardiff.

Heather Myers, director of South and Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Welsh Business Awards are an excellent platform for any business wishing to highlight their achievements, benchmark against the competition, reward their teams, and gain the recognition they deserve. This number of nominations shows that Wales is home to some of the most innovative, committed, and successful companies in the UK.”

The University of South Wales is headline sponsor for this year's awards. Other sponsors include Western Power Distribution, Prosteel Engineering, Barclays Bank, Heart Radio, Attradius, Port of Milford Haven, and Effective Communication.

Siwan Rees, director of USW Exchange, a business support hub based at the University of South Wales, said: “The calibre of the businesses entering the awards seems to improve year on year and we had some truly inspirational entries for 2017. Narrowing down the entries is always a challenge but I’m confident that we’ve got a very strong shortlist in every category.”

The full list of nominees is available on the Awards website https://southwaleschamber.co.uk/.