BLACKBURN-BASED chocolate company Simply Chocolicious has been shortlisted as a finalist in the forthcoming E3 Business Awards at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton tomorrow.

The company, winner of the The Mall Retail Factor competition last year, makes artisan handcrafted chocolates.

It was selected from hundreds of nominees across the North West to become one of the four finalists in the Manufacturer of The Year category.

Owner Sabiha Patel said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been nominated for this award.

“Sales have gone through the roof and I have recently purchased a beautiful coffee shop in Blackburn, called Cinnamon, which gives me a great outlet for my chocolates as well as providing me with a new and exciting challenge.

“I am very excited about the future of my business and being shortlisted for awards such as the E3 Business Awards is proof that hard work and determination pays off.”

Speaking on behalf of 1 Events Media, which has developed and organised the awards, managing director Mubarak Chati said: “The E3 Business Awards are intended to recognise and reward the important contribution that forward-looking businesses and social enterprises are making to the regeneration of the North West.

“We’ve been looking for companies that have shown a real commitment to growth, job creation and the development or preservation of important skills