The deadline for entries to the EDP Business Awards 2023 is fast approaching, but there's still time to enter and let the rest of Norfolk know about your successes.

Here, we look at the criteria for the Small Business of the Year, Medium Business of the Year and Employer of the Year categories and find out how this year’s entrants can impress the judges and put their business on the map.

Employer of the Year

The Employer of the Year award recognises the rising importance of employee engagement within a business and the growing impact this has on the workplace.

As a result of this emerging trend in the business community, this award aims to showcase local organisations that have evolved a peoplecentric culture and ethos.

The judges will be looking for evidence of progressive people strategies from entrants, as well as proof of recognition and innovation within the business.

The winning business will have a strong culture encouraging employee engagement and nurturing their wellbeing, with reward and recognition programmes in place for staff and multiple training and development opportunities to help them progress in their careers.

The winner of last year’s Employer of the Year award was AF Group, a farmer owned, not-for-profit co-operative buying group.

“We feel immensely proud to be Norfolk’s Employer of the Year,” said Crissy Meades, chief people officer at AF Group. “Following significant change over the last 18 months our focus has been to create a culture where every individual could thrive and be happy. This award not only shows we achieved this but also recognises each and every one of our colleagues whose contribution makes AF great.

“We want to be part of the change that shouts loud about the existing talent within Norfolk and that puts it on the map for people wishing to work with/for one of these fantastic organisations.”

Medium Business of the Year

The title of Medium Business of the Year will go to a business with an annual turnover of £1-5m that demonstrates excellence in all areas.

The judges will be focusing on the trading performance of entrants, and will be looking for specific examples of strategies which have helped achieve business growth. They will also assess the future objectives of entrants, how they have innovated in products or services offered and their work to tackle their environmental impact.

The winner will be able to provide evidence of how it has invested in and developed its people, and it will show clear leadership from managerial staff.

Last year’s Medium Business of the Year was Fountain Partnership, a digital marketing agency based in Norwich.

Alice Rose, managing director of Fountain Partnership, said: “Fountain Partnership has been in business since 2008, so we thought we knew most local business – we were wrong! Doors have opened and conversations started as a result of winning.”

Alice’s advice for those considering entering this year’s awards is to just “do it!” “The process was easy to navigate, the team involved was great and we loved being part of the whole thing,” she said. “Being listed among the best businesses in Norfolk is an absolute honour, and every time we walk past the trophy in the office it makes us smile. You have nothing to lose, so give it a try!”

Eastern Daily Press: Winning Small Business of the Year could generate lots of positive publicity for your businessWinning Small Business of the Year could generate lots of positive publicity for your business (Image: Getty Images)

Small Business of the Year

For the Small Business of the Year category, businesses with a turnover of up to £1m will need to demonstrate how they achieve all-round excellence in all of their operations.

The judging will focus on trading performance and the long-term objectives of the business. Entrants will need to show their competitive advantage and evidence of how they have invested in people both internally and externally.

The judges will also look for a defined set of values, including an environmental strategy, innovation in products or services and clear leadership and business strategies which have driven growth.

The winner of last year’s Small Business of the Year award was The Feed, a Norwich-based social enterprise that works to prevent poverty, hunger and homelessness.

“I would encourage Norfolk businesses to take part, as these awards have the potential to give your organisation a significant boost in profile,” said Chris Elliott, marketing manager of The Feed.

“Being shortlisted and then winning the Small Business of the Year award created a lot of positive publicity for The Feed. We made new connections as a result, and this has helped us continue to grow the impact we make so everyone in our communities can thrive.”

Entries for the EDP Business Awards 2023 close next Sunday, July 16. To enter the Employer of the Year, Medium Business of the Year or Small Business of the Year categories, please visit

To find out more about all the categories, please click here.