Newport-based Industrial Automated Controls Ltd was a double winner at the 2018 South Wales Argus Business Awards and managing director Peter Lewis is encouraging businesses from around Gwent to enter this year's awards.

Last year IAC Ltd, which is based at Queensway Meadows, Newport, was named Business of the Year and also took home the Training and Development Award.

Q: What did winning a South Wales Argus Business Award mean to you and/or your business?

Peter Lewis: It means that someone other than our employees realise that we are doing things in the correct manner. It benchmarks us against local industry and gives us recognition in the region. If we want to attract the best of the local talent, then we have to make sure that we are a known brand. We pride ourselves on the way we conduct ourselves in the community, and we want to make sure that others also see what we are doing. We are particularly proud of our apprentice scheme, and recognition of it, and indeed of our apprentices themselves, is extremely rewarding. The South Wales Argus Business Awards is an excellent tool in this regard.

Q: Why would you encourage local businesses and individuals to enter the South Wales Argus Business Awards this year?

Peter Lewis: Sitting down and writing out an application for a business award focuses the mind on what the company is doing well, and, indeed, on what we are not doing well. Having to detail out the good things about the business compliments any business plan which the company may have generated and concentrates on the non-financial aspects. Doing it on an annual basis means that you are constantly reviewing your performance in a way that others can understand. Having a group of judges then sit down and read your description and decide that you deserve an award is remarkably satisfying and gives everyone in the business a lift.

Q: How and why are awards such as these important in helping to raise the profile of Newport and Gwent businesses and individuals?

Peter: Local businesses provide the economic heart of any community and should be rightly heralded if they are doing things in the correct manner. We should be applauding companies and individuals that have a positive impact on the local economy – bringing in jobs and opportunities for the talented young people coming out of the schools every year. They stand as a beacon to others to raise the bar on what they are doing and improve standards across the community. Positive publicity is in short supply usually, so getting the business community together to make a fuss about the best in breed can only be good. Besides that, a bit of a bash every now and then does no-one any harm. Getting together with one’s peers in the town over a meal and a beer is great for cross fertilisation and a superb way of networking. Newport is renowned for it.

Entries are open for the 2019 South Wales Argus Business Awards, which are being held in association with Newport Now Business Improvement District, until September 13. To see the full list of categories and sponsors, and to enter go to