Judging is set to start on BIBAs

RECOGNISE: Babs Murphy
RECOGNISE: Babs Murphy
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More than 100 businesses from across Lancashire will go under the microscope of the judging panels of one of the county’s leading awards starting next week.

The Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, kicks off the first round of its judging on Monday when the panel selecting finalists for its E-Business of the Year category meet with 12 companies on the initial shortlist. The judging panels for the remaining 16 prize categories will continue to meet nominees until the end of May.

Karen Fitzgerald, of the Community Foundation for Lancashire who is part of the panel which will pick the Professional Services Business of the Year, said the judges had “an almost impossible task” to pick the winners.

She said: “The judges work has already started because we have whittled down a record number of more than 1,200 applicants to the 119 businesses which will be represented at this first round of judging.

“To just get to this stage, we have had to rule out some fantastic businesses to ensure those on the shortlists are the cream of the crop, now the BIBAs’ judges have to use all their knowledge and experience to ensure only the very best of the best make it to the finals.”

The businesses which make it to the awards’ prize-giving ceremony at Blackpool Tower in September will receive a visit to their premises from the BIBAs’ judging panels. This unique new element to the awards sees the judges go ‘on tour’ between June 9 and July.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of awards’ organisers, the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said the organisation of the BIBAs’ big night is already underway. “We recognise the hard work which our applicants put in to getting to our prize-giving ceremony, so we pull out all the stops to make it an unforgettable night.”