Entries have opened for this year’s prestigious Dorset Business Awards after a launch event at the Italian Villa at Compton Acres in Poole.

We’re proud to be sponsoring the UK Exporter of the Year award, which is a new category added for 2017.

Our Sales Manager Mike Chappell attended the launch along other sponsors, guests and dignitaries. Mike is pictured with Ian Girling, who is Chief Executive of organisers Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).

The UK Exporter of the Year Award aims to recognise businesses which have achieved the most sustainable levels of international growth through exporting.

As a four-times winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade and a previous Dorset Business Awards winner, we felt it was important to show our support.

We’re encouraging businesses to enter to win recognition for their own excellence plus help raise the profile of international trade at a pivotal time for our country.

Our Managing Director Simon Boyd says: “Exporting is in our blood – we work hard to maintain our position at the forefront of the UK steel construction industry but have always seen the export market as an important aspect of our business since our foundation in 1919.

“Since then, almost 100 years on, we’ve exported our structures to over 140 countries across the world helping build local infrastructure which in turn benefits the local community, other businesses reliant on domestic trade, and helps toward reducing the UK’s trade deficit.

“Exports are incredibly important to REIDsteel and the UK economy – the UK’s huge trading deficits can only be addressed through the ingenuity, drive and determination of exporters who can turn this trading deficit into a surplus.

“Not only is this rewarding to those businesses but to the Exchequer and the country as a whole.

“Our wealth of experience and logistical knowledge within the export market makes us the ideal sponsor for this category and hopefully, we can be of valuable service to the category entrants.”

He adds: “Helping to raise the profile of successful exporters can only help to encourage more businesses to fly the flag for Great Britain on the world stage and help re-establish the excellent reputation of British made goods.

“International trade, particularly to countries with growing economies, helps stimulate further trade opportunities for the good of all involved and when you see the difference your expertise can bring to some far-flung areas of the world it makes everybody associated with your business very proud.”

Entries are open for the Dorset Business Awards until September 3 followed by the awards night on November 23.

Simon says: “As a previous DBA UK exporter winner we appreciate the advantage such recognition can bring to an organisation and its staff which is why we are keen to see businesses putting themselves forward in the knowledge that it will have a similar positive impact.

“We’re looking forward to recognising some of the exceptional exporters in Dorset as well as celebrating the achievements of all businesses involved who are as passionate as we are in making a difference here and overseas.

“We’re proud to back our fellow exporters, the awards and the wider Dorset business community.

“We’re looking forward to some brilliant entries, a great awards night and ultimately disclosing the winning export business.”

Visit the Dorset Business Awards website at www.dorsetbusinessawards.co.uk/2017/ to find out more about the awards and to enter.