The shortlist for the 17th annual Caerphilly Business Forum Awards has been released with businesses across the county borough region and from all sectors of the local economy being recognised for their achievement over the last 12 months.

The standard of entries received for this year’s awards once again exceeded all expectations and the judges are delighted to announce the following shortlisted companies.

Denise Lovering, chairman of Caerphilly Business Forum, said: “Congratulations to all businesses and individuals who made the shortlist this year and also to all of those who entered.

“The judging process proved to be a challenging, yet an equally rewarding one, as we were reminded once again of the strength and depth of the business community throughout Caerphilly and the surrounding area.

“Those who have made the shortlist can rightly be proud to be recognised as some of the most exciting, innovative and forward-thinking businesses within each of the sectors that they serve.”

This year’s awards, which will take place Llechwen Hall Hotel on Friday, November 23, are being supported by gold sponsor Axiom Manufacturing Services, and silver sponsors Coleg Gwent and Lenstec Optical Group. Category sponsors include Caerphilly Country Borough Council, Glenside Commercials, Coffee 37, Cwm a Mynydd, Educ8 and Welsh ICE.

The shortlist is: Apprentice of the Year Award, sponsored by Educ8 - Louis Powell, Caerphilly County Borough Council; Gemma Buse, HD Adcock Nelson; Kirsty Davies, Help4Wales Foundation; Leon Price, Liberty Care; Bethan Fox Mabe, WR Investigations. Business Woman of the Year Award, sponsored by Glenside Commercials - Fiona Stephens, Fab Fabrics; Cairan Trotman, JNP Legal; Francesca Irving, Lunax Digital; Claire Mountain, Mountain Celebrations; Cariann Emanuelli, Wize Virtual Admin. Creative & Digital Business of the Year Award - Big Lemon; Datris; GreenNova Productions; Red Squirrel Marketing. Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Coleg y Cymoedd - Laura Jones, AdminPro; Damian Burgess, Red Squirrel Marketing; Gareth Jones, Town Square Spaces; Cariann Emanuelli, Wize Virtual Admin. Large Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Caerphilly County Borough Council - Bearmach; IG Doors; JCP Solicitors; Lenstec Optical Group. Contribution to the Rural Economy Award, sponsored by Cwm a Mynydd - Aga Farm Heritage Meats; Fab Fabrics; Llechwen Hall Hotel. Small Business of the Year, sponsored by Coffee 37 - Focused Recruitment; Maid to Help Cleaning Specialist; Precision Chiropractic; Smart Money Cymru Credit Union. Start-Up Business of the Year Award - Bikeshredz; Town Square Spaces; Under The Oak Glamping; Panda Education & Training. Welsh ICE Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Welsh ICE - Big Lemon; Four Minutes; Jane Oriel; Plutus Consultancy; Weird Triangle.