Interviews are underway to find the winners of one of the biggest prizes in Lancashire business, the Be Inspired Business Awards.
Judging on the first round of interviews for the awards, known as the BIBAs, got underway yesterday when the panel for the E-Business of the Year met with representatives of 12 businesses bidding for the prize.
Today, the panels for the Manufacturer of the Year and Employer of the Year prizes meet shortlisted firms.
E-Business of the Year panel chairman Denys Smith-Hart, of IT experts InterSys Group which sponsors the award, said the quality of the applicants which sat before the panel yesterday had been first class.
He said: “Having been involved in the BIBAs for a number of years, I know you can always guarantee a stellar line-up of applicants.
Having met the 12 businesses in the running for E-Business of the Year, I know 2014 will be no exception.
“Businesses are really put under scrutiny when they attend an interview because we, as a judging panel, recognise we have a duty to our former winners to keep the standards as high as they can be.
“The panel is looking for how businesses have harnessed IT to drive themselves forward which in today’s world where technology is all around us, the type of innovation we are looking for has to be quite unique.
“We have a tough job on our hands to pick the BIBAs E-Business of the Year and I am sure other judges will have the same.”
Babs Murphy, chief executive of awards organisers, the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said the judging panels would continue to meet until next Friday (May 30) when the Business of the Year panel meets.
The Chamber’s offices in Blackpool are hosting the first round of judging with those firms going forward to the second round being informed by Monday, June 2.
Last week, the awards revealed 196 applications from 119 businesses had made it through to the first round of interviews.
They included 49 from Preston, 36 from East Lancashire and 22 from Blackpool.