The 2019 South Wales Argus Business Awards have been launched at an event at Newport Market.

The business team at the South Wales Argus invited sponsors and guests to the event to celebrate the launch of the 2019 awards.

Zep Belavia and Kevin Ward, of Newport Now Business Improvement District, which is the lead sponsor of the awards for the second year running, told the guests why the organisation was keen to back the awards.

And Iain Glover, head of business development for Wales for NatWest, spoke about how the bank helps businesses in the region.

NatWest has come on board with the awards this year and is sponsoring the guest speaker at the awards ceremony, which will be held on November 14 at the Newport Centre.

South Wales Argus business editor Jo Barnes said: "We are delighted to be launching the 2019 business awards. Last year's inaugural awards were a huge success and we were very pleased with the amount of businesses, both large and small, from across our region which entered.

"We are really looking forward to receiving entries for this year's awards. It is amazing to see the different businesses we have in south east Wales and we are keen to blow the trumpet for the business sector in the area."

New for 2019 are the Best Business to Work For category, along with Digital Tech Business of the Year and Hospitality Business of the Year.

Jo Barnes said: "We couldn't run the awards without the support of our sponsors and we are pleased that most the of the categories have already been snapped up for this year's awards."

She thanked the sponsors, which are Newport Now, Western Power Distribution, Icon Creative Design, Baldwins, RDP Law, Kymin, Admiral, Johnson and Phillips, Newport City Council, Monmouthshire Building Society, Friars Walk and the Kingsway Centre.

The other categories are: Business of the Year; Innovative Business of the Year; Entrepreneur of the Year; Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Lifetime Achievement; Family Business of the Year; Large Business of the Year; Small Business of the Year; Start Up Business of the Year; Contribution to the Community; Customer Service; Training and Enterprise Business of the Year; Best BID Independent Business of the Year; and Best BID National Business of the Year.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a category, the programme, drinks reception or table centres should contact Matthew Berry on 01633 777043 or Samantha Taylor on 01633 777147.

Details on how to enter will be published in the near future.