THE winners of the North East's most prestigious business awards will be named tonight at the biggest event in the region's corporate calendar.
More than 500 businessmen and women from across the North will be cheering on the victors at the grand final of the nebusiness Awards at Hardwick Hall in Sedgefield.
With entries up by more than half on last year the excitement will be even more palpable at the climax of the awards, organised by The Journal and our Teesside sister paper the Evening Gazette.
There are 11 awards to be handed out but the loudest applause of the night will be reserved for the winner of the coveted North East Company of the Year 2012 title.
The finalists for that are all big names with Newcastle-based bakery giant Greggs vying with Newton Aycliffe engineering firm Tekmar Energy and Teesside car parts maker Nifco to take home the trophy.
The evening will be a fantastic celebration of the region’s business success, which recognises the companies that have triumphed in the face of the worst economic problems the UK has faced for generations.
The final awards ceremony follows the three sub-regional finals in Teesside, Durham and Wearside, and Tyneside and Northumberland.
Those events showed that businesses large and small from across the region have the ambition, drive and innovation to make their company a success against the odds and prove that this region has what it takes to grow, however deep the cuts to the public sector.
There will be a full report on the winners in The Journal tomorrow, with a gallery of photographs from the dinner and a video available on our nebusiness website later this week.