BIBAs turns spotlight on overseas traders

Clive Drinkwater of UKTI
Clive Drinkwater of UKTI
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Exporters from across Lancashire have been urged to shout about their successes on the global stage.

Clive Drinkwater, regional director for UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) North West, said the county was leading the way in selling goods and services across the world.

He has urged firms to celebrate their successes and encourage other businesses who are not presently selling internationally to consider doing so.

UKTI North West is backing the Exporter of the Year category at this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, which offers exporters an opportunity to showcase their successes.

Mr Drinkwater said: “There are countless statistics which show that businesses which sell abroad are among the fastest-growing and most dynamic of any businesses in the country, and we are blessed with many of these in the North West.

“I have been pushing for many years for those businesses in the North West which are not exporting to consider it and those which are to look to export to one more market.

“Those which are doing it and doing it well can be the inspiration for others to join and the spotlight which awards like the BIBAs offers helps to showcase this great work. UKTI has been a long-standing supporter of the BIBAs and we are delighted to be once again helping it celebrate the businesses putting Lancashire on a global stage.”

Last week, the BIBAs held a special boot camp workshop to help businesses seeking to apply for its 18 prize categories to prepare their applications.

The event, hosted by the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, saw awards judges, Tony Raynor and Norman Tenray, offer advice along with Danbro, the awards’ reigning Business of the Year.

The BIBAs are now open for applications with a deadline for entries set for Friday, April 8.

In 2015, Ian Hall, the chairman of Preston-based retail group James Hall and Son, collected the lifetime achievement prize, Lancastrian of the Year, when the BIBAs handed out its prizes in front of a sell-out crowd at the Blackpool Tower in September.

Social enterprise Jobs Friends and Houses CIC, which works with ex-offenders, won its Most Inspiring Business of the Year prize and individual prizes went to Phil Lawson of Skelmersdale’s Virtue Technologies, who won Entrepreneur of the Year and Louise Wilkinson, who runs Nelson-based Lomeshaye Village Day Nursery, who was named Business Woman of the Year.