29 Nov 2018

2019 Rural Business Awards open for entries

Rural business across the country and of all shapes and sizes are invited to enter the 2019 Rural Business Awards.

Now in its fifth year, the Rural Business Awards (RBAs) are an independent awards programme which acknowledges the hard work, passion and huge success of many rural businesses first at a regional level with the winners of this round then sent through to the prestigious national final.

Visit www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk to enter the awards

The awards are open to any business which operates from a rural base (defined as a settlement of less than 10,000 people), embraces a rural theme, or serves a mainly rural clientele.

With 11 categories to choose from, there’s one to fit every kind of business, from brewers to butchers, agricomms to accountants, and farm shops to falconers.

And this year there are some exciting changes.

  1. Free entry

This year the RBAs will be free to enter for all businesses. Last year, it cost £50 to enter, but it’s hoped that by scrapping the entry fee, the awards will be more accessible for rural businesses of all shapes and sizes, especially start-ups and micro-businesses.

  1. Updated entry questions

The questions on the entry form have changed. Last year’s questions were more open-ended which meant entrants spent most of their time mulling over what to write. This year, the total number of questions asked has been increased but each question will also be more specific so entrants know exactly what is needed.

  1. An extended entry period

Last year the closing date for entries fell in the middle of May half term, and for many families juggling running a business with occupying their kids meant the thought of sitting down at a computer to submit an entry unfeasible. So, this year entries will close on Friday 7 June 2019.

  1. New categories

All of the categories have been reviewed and the following changes have been implemented:  

  • The Best Rural Food Business and Best Rural Drink Business Awards will be combined as the Best Rural Food And Drink Business Award
  • The Best Rural Creative or Media Based Business category has been split into two, and the new awards will be the Best Rural Creative, Artisan or Crafts Business Award, and the Best Rural Digital, Communications or Media Business Award
  • There will no longer be a category for the Best Rural Manufacturing Business and Best Rural Education or Training Business as both of these categories overlap with some of our others
  • The Rural Employee of the Year category has been altered to the Rural Young Person of the Year Award

For more information on each of the categories, take a look at the entry guidelines.

  1. Number of finalists

As there will now only be 11 categories, opposed to the previous 13, the number of businesses shortlisted in each category will increase, so there will now be six finalists for each award.

To enter the awards, and to find out more information, click here.