The Rural Business Awards have announced that Amazon will be joining the Country Land and Business Association as a supporter of this year's awards.

This year the awards enter their third year, and entries are now open for the UK-wide competition dedicated to showcasing the success of rural businesses.

Organised by rural business for rural business, winners of the 14 categories will be decided by an independent panel of judges drawn from the rural business sector.

Over a hundred businesses entered the awards last year, and 2017 is set to be a record for entries.

Organises will be launching the Rural Business Awards Roadshow, touring rural parts of the UK with previous winners on the hunt for the best and brightest rural business talent to encourage them to shout about their success.

Anna Price, co-founder of the awards, said: "We’re incredibly proud that the Rural Business Awards have reached such a great scale, three years from inception, and to have Amazon on board in addition to our long-standing partner, the CLA, is testament to this progress."

Doug Gurr, UK country manager for Amazon, said: "We’re delighted to be backing the Rural Business Awards to help shine a spotlight on the best of rural businesses, small and large alike.

“I live in a small Yorkshire village and see every day how the internet is unlocking the potential of rural businesses through services like our own Amazon Marketplace, which helps rural companies reach customers across the UK and around the world.

"We know how important rural businesses are to the UK, which is why we’re proud to partner with the Rural Business Awards and celebrate their success stories.”

Helen Woolley, director general for CLA, said: “The CLA partners with the Rural Business Awards because we believe that rural businesses are the beating heart of our countryside and make a vital contribution to the overall economy.

"The awards are an important showcase for our most innovative and creative rural enterprises, boosting their profile and recognising their success and hard work.”

At the 2016 Rural Business Awards, the overall Champion of Champions was Landmark Computer Systems Ltd, from Sussex, which offers tailored software helping agricultural clients manage their business effectively.

Nigel Parsons, founder and director from Landmark, said: “The RBAs are a tremendous way of engaging the whole company in a common goal.

"The amount of work involved to apply is well worth the experience of being able to benchmark your product or service, acknowledge and reward your staff, and to involve your customers with the application process.

"We at Landmark wish all entrants the best of luck for the 2017 awards.”

This year the awards take place on October 5 at Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey, and rural businesses can submit their award entries until June 30.

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