INSPIRATIONAL and world-beating North East businesses have the chance to win regional and national recognition for their successes with new business awards being launched today.

North East England Chamber of Commerce has organised awards to celebrate leading organisations and businesswomen in its membership.

Chamber Business Award categories include best leader, exporter, use of technology, family business, high growth achievement and e commerce.

The Chamber Inspiring Females Awards are also open to organisations, of all sizes, who can compete for a range of honours including best employer, apprentice, employer, community/CSR or business leader. These awards are aimed at celebrating the significant contribution of women in North-East business.

Lesley Moody, president, North East England Chamber of Commerce (AES Digital Solutions) said: “We have brilliant organisations and individuals in our region and these awards were created to celebrate business diversity and success.

"They will help to promote everything great businesses do on a daily basis, to grow our economy. The honours will show clearly, real-life examples of a determination to succeed, no matter what occurs and how our region’s businesses always punch about their weight. I urge all our members to enter and share their fantastic stories.”

The Chamber Business Awards headline sponsor is Bernicia. Its chief executive, John Johnston, said: “As a housing association fully focused on our region, Bernicia recognises the great work that the North East of England Chamber of Commerce does to support the region’s business community, and to promote the scale and range of opportunities that the North-East has to offer.

“There’s lots of fantastic businesses across the region doing great things every day, helping the North-East thrive.

"The Chamber Awards shine a light on these achievements and put North East businesses on a national stage, showcasing innovation, collaboration and our shared determination to help the region grow and prosper.

"As associate sponsor, we’re delighted to be part of championing our region as a great place to live, work and do business."

Submissions close on Friday, February 14 and heats for area finalists will be held in April and May with the regional categories being North of Tyne, South of Tyne/Wearside/County Durham and Tees Valley/North Yorkshire.

The final for the Inspiring Females Awards will be on May 21 at Newcastle Civic Centre and the overall Chamber award Grand Final and Summer Ball will be on 25 June at Wynyard Hall, near Stockton.