Lancashire firms learn who is on the road to glory

Small Business of the Year Winner Festive Lights at The North West Chamber of Commerce BIBAs
Small Business of the Year Winner Festive Lights at The North West Chamber of Commerce BIBAs
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Businesses from across Lancashire were learning today which will make it through to the first round of judging run by a leading business awards.

The Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, have confirmed the applicants which have made its long list which will begin to face judges later this month in a series of face-to-face interviews.

Last week, the awards hosted a special training session for its judging panels to ensure they were ready to face the applicants for its 18 prize categories which have come in from across Lancashire.

The judging sessions get underway on May 15 when the panels which will select the winners of the Manufacturer of the Year and Exporter of the Year prizes meet.

Bev Mullin , of the Department of International Trade (DIT) which is supporting the Exporter of the Year category, said: “The preparation which the judges get ahead of the first round of BIBAs judging is crucial.

“In the time we have with the applicants, we need to ensure we are getting the right information we need to ensure the right businesses are going through to the finals against the judging criteria set down by the BIBAs.

“This training ensures we are doing exactly that and we owe it to the applicants to ensure we are as prepared as they are when the interviews get underway.”

The Exporter of the Year judging panel will be led by a representative from DIT alongside Peter Evans, Managing Director at former winner Evans Vanodine, Royal Bank of Scotland’s Sadie Sharples and John Boydell, a director at Ampios Management Partners.

The first round of interviews will continue until May 25 when the Business of the Year category judges meet.

The awards’ finalists will then be announced on June 5 ahead of a second round of judging when panels will visit the business premises of their chosen finalists.

Last September, the winners of the BIBAs including Mike Peters, the founder of Universal Products Limited, who won the lifetime achievement award, Lancastrian of the Year, and Altham furniture firm, The Senator Group, which was named Business of the Year.

Chorley financial planning firm True Bearing and Lytham’s Excel Fostering both collected two awards at last year’s awards.

**Meanwhile, businesswomen from across Lancashire flocked to an information roadshow held by the popular Enterprise Vision Awards (EVA) team.

The event, held at the Best Western Plus Samlesbury Hotel, attracted a wide range of women who were seeking top tips and further information in regards to the awards.

More than 35 females attended and listened to Jackie Hyde, of Stanmore Insurance who is a former winner and current sponsor of the EVA. Jackie talked about her whole EVA experience including the benefits she received after winning, plus what made her get involved in sponsorship.

Coral Horn, founder of the Pink Link Ladies networking group and organiser of the EVA, said: “This was our first roadshow of the year and what a way to get started.

“We had an impressive turnout and Jackie came across really well, our roadshows offer priceless information about the awards. There’s also the bonus of networking with other business in the area!”

The roadshow tour doesn’t stop there as the EVA team visits The Hydro Hotel, which overlooks Lake Windermere, on Wednesday. After that, the team will then hold a show in Manchester at the RBS bank in Spinningfields on Wednesday, May 17 to conclude the tour.