**Entry to the Burton Mail Business Awards is free, and the entry form can be downloaded here **

A global firm based in East Staffordshire is playing a major part in the Burton Mail Business Awards.

JCB, based in Rocester, is sponsoring the best use of technology or innovation gong at the annual event.

East Staffordshire is where JCB was founded more than 70 years ago and it is where it continues to invest for the future. It was in a lock-up garage in the centre of Uttoxeter that the business began in 1945.

Today the company has 11 factories in the UK and eight of those are in Staffordshire.

The company's World Headquarters are at Rocester and there are three plants in Uttoxeter.

There are 11 awards to be won, including the prestigious Business of the Year title.

Last year the top award was won by Foston-based TwoTwenty.

Winners of last Business of the Year Award, Two Twenty of Foston

The winners will be announced at a glittering gala awards ceremony on Thursday, October 19, which will again be held at Burton Albion's Pirelli Stadium.

There are several categories in the Business Awards that are aimed at individuals including the Young Employee of the Year award and Employee of the Year award.

This year also sees the introduction of two new awards – Medium Business of the Year (21-100 FTEs) and the Leisure and Hospitality Award, which incorporates everything from retail to restaurants.

Firms have until September 8 to enter and can enter as many categories as they wish.

Burton Mail editor Emma Turton said: “The interest in the awards has been incredible and a wide variety of firms from across the area are excited about putting themselves forward.

“We cannot wait to shout about all what is good about the best of the best when it comes to business in East Staffordshire.

"I would now urge all businesses to get involved and be part of the Burton Mail Business Awards 2017."

To enter, go to www.burtonmail.co.uk/businessawards2017