New features at the BIBAs

Big night: The Bibas last year
Big night: The Bibas last year
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Three new prizes are up for grabs at Lancashire’s premier business awards which are now open for applications.

Organisers of the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, have confirmed the annual prize-giving will include categories for Construction Business of the Year, Micro-Business of the Year and Leisure Business of the Year.

The new categories mean 18 awards are up for grabs at the annual prize-giving at Blackpool Tower in September.

Restaurateur Paul Heathcote, the owner of Heathcote and Co which is sponsoring the Leisure Business of the Year category, said the new category would give a host of firms in a vital sector for the county’s economy.

He said: “Whether it is hotels and restaurants or major tourist attractions and theatres, the leisure industry plays a vital role in Lancashire’s economy.

“This category is open to any business based in the county which operates in this sector and offers a chance to throw the spotlight on some of the heroes which are keeping jobs and prosperity in the county.

“I know the BIBAs to be the premier business awards for Lancashire and I am sure 2014 will be another vintage year.”

Another new addition to the sponsorship line-up is Grant Thornton, one of the world’s leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms, which is sponsoring the Entrepreneur of the Year category.

Carl Williams, senior partner at the firm’s North West office, said it had selected the category to recognise the achievements of the enterprising leaders in the county’s business community.

He said: “We are used to working with some of the country’s leading entrepreneurs, so recognise the value their enthusiasm and talent delivers to our economy.

“We are proud to act for a number of Lancashire based businesses, the area is an important local market focus.

“Sponsoring the awards gives us an opportunity to help the entrepreneurs of Lancashire celebrate their achievements and throw a spotlight on the crucial role they play in securing jobs and prosperity.”

The extra categories on offer enhance the range of prizes up for grabs to the full spectrum of Lancashire businesses.

The Micro-Business of the Year prize is open to firms with 10 or fewer employees with Construction Business of the Year open to the wide range of building and construction services firms in Lancashire.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of awards’ organisers, the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “These very small businesses and the construction industry have proved some of the brightest lights in the current economic gloom and we felt it only right the BIBAs threw a spotlight on their achievements.”