Nearly 40 businesses from across Blackpool and the Fylde are among those bidding to lift one of the county’s leading awards this year.
The Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, has unveiled its shortlists for the 17 prizes it will hand out at its annual prize-giving ceremony at the iconic Blackpool Tower in September.
They include 22 firms from Blackpool and 15 from the Fylde which are among 196 applications submitted by 119 businesses across Lancashire which will go before the awards’ judges when they meet for the first round of interviews later this month.
The nominees include Bispham-based Laila’s Fine Foods which is up for the Business of the Year and Manufacturer of the Year while its founder, Zera Remtulla, is shortlisted for the Entrepreneur of the Year prize, and Blackpool Zoo, which is shortlisted for Medium Business of the Year, sponsored by Salwick-based Westinghouse, and Leisure Business of the Year.
Lytham’s Tangerine Holdings is up for three awards, namely Medium Business of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year and Exporter of the Year.
Ashleigh Dawson, senior business development manager at accountancy firm Grant Thornton, which is sponsoring the Entrepreneur of the Year category, said the quality of firms shortlisted for the awards were evidence of the strength of Lancashire’s business community.
She said: “Grant Thornton is used to working with some of Lancashire’s leading businesses so we recognise the wealth of great firms which are in the county.
“The BIBAs are special because no firm progresses to the latter stages without being very special, and this year is no exception.
“The quality and quantity of entries to the 17 prizes up for grabs this year has surpassed all previous years and there is no doubt the judges have a tough job on their hands picking a winner.”
She added her firm was backing the Entrepreneur of the Year category, one of two new prizes added in 2014, to “throw a spotlight on the crucial role entrepreneurs play in securing jobs and prosperity” within Lancashire.
The 17 judging panels will meet the shortlisted applicants at the offices of awards organisers, the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, in Blackpool from Monday, May 19.
The judging will kick-off with the E-Business of the Year category and continues until the panel meets to select the Business of the Year winner on Friday, May 30.
Babs Murphy, chief executive of awards organisers, said: “We know the record number of entries we received for this year’s BIBAs have put everything into making their applications the best they can be.
“We know that our judges cannot afford to be anything other than completely prepared for what our applicants will throw at them.”
BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
Bleep UK, Chemical Innovations, Direct365, Granby Marketing Services, I C G Brandbuilders, Inspired Energy, Lailas Fine foods, New Call Telecom, Story Homes, Suresite Group, The Stocks Hall Nursing & Care Group, White Moss Horticulture
SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
Ainscough Training Services, Bleep UK, Chantelle Lighting, CM Oxendale, Connect 2 Cleanrooms, Direct365, Inteb Sustainablity, Lamps & Lighting, Lantai, Peter Jackson the Jeweller, Suresite Group, The REACH Centre
SERVICE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
Assured Cleaning Services Ltd, Businesswise Solutions, Fairbanks Environmental, Fylde Executive Cars, Gconnect, Granby Marketing Services, I C G Brandbuilders, KTG Social Care, Pakawaste Engineering Services, Preston Bus, RKMS, Springhill Care
MICRO BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
Colossal Training, Gconnect, Group55, Longthorne Gunmakers, Pennine Events, Principle Signs & Graphics, Silverwoods Waste Management, Talent Dynamics, The Ink Squid, The Little Big Voice, Training Station, WJF Technical Support,
ENTREPENEUR OF THE YEAR:
Claire Fryer - The Mosaic Care Group, Claire Pickering - Lance Mason, Jane Peters - Nineteen Legal, Janet Thornton - Inspired Energy, Jim Elliot - Hangerworld, Joe Govier - Connect 2 Cleanrooms, Julian Silverwood - Silverwoods Waste Management
Nigel Eastwood - New Call Telecom, Simon Booth - Asute Motoring, Steve Brennan - Bespoke Internet, Steve Pearson - Remvox, Zera Remtulla - Lailas Fine Foods
NEW BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
All You Knead, Astute Motoring, Cakes By Ruth, Choc Amor, Colossal Training, Contrado Digital, forward2me Limited, Little G’s Pre-School, Love My Limited
Pawberry Dog Wear, Remvox, The Networking People,
EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE:
Ainscough Training Services, CER Associates, Chestnut Business Solutions, Community Life Choices, Hesketh Press, New Call Telecom, NuBlue, Parbold Equestrian Centre, Paul Turner Displays, Springhill Care, The Marriot Hotel, Via Partnership
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR:
Ascentis, Clayton Recruitment Group, Connect 2 Cleanrooms, Connect Childcare, Fairbanks Environmental, Inspired Energy, KTG Social Care, Magma Digital, Springhill Care, Taylor Patterson Group, The Stocks Hall Nursing & Care Group, True Bearings
BUSINESSWOMAN OF THE YEAR:
Amanda Jackson - Tigerfish PR, Claire Fryer - The Mosaic Care Group, Janet Thornton - Inspired Energy, Jo Varey - Granby Marketing Services, Karen O’Donoghue - Via Partnership, Kerian Barns - Starboard Hotels, Michelle Cuffe & Felicity Lacey - Excel Fostering, Nicolla Bishop - Home Angels Chorley, Rose Watkins - Centaur Training Services (North West), Saira Hussain - Hussain Architectural Design, Sarah Gronback - Little G’s Pre-School, Sarah Southworth - Specialised Cleaning Services (North West),
EXPORTER OF THE YEAR:
Chelsom Limited, Chemical Innovations, First Trace Heating Direct, Heskins, Pakawaste, Scorpion Automotive, Sovereign Secure, Talent Dynamics, Tangerine Holdings, Tetrad, TISS, Trelleborg Offshore UK,
E BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
Connect 2 Cleanrooms, Contrado Digital, Direct365, Hanger World, Kidderoo, Suntana Spray Tan, hu-too, Talent Dynamics, The Ink Squid, Transpares, Ula - la - beauty, WebsiteUK
CREATIVE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
Bespoke Internet, Chelsom Lighting, Contrado Digital, I C G Brandbuilders, Jelly Media, Kidderoo, Knight Time Creations, Marmalade Toast, SPS EU, Stone Create, WebsiteUK, YouMeSign,
MEDIUM BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
A M Support Services, Ascentis, Blackpool Zoo, Crow Wood Leisure, Elitetele.com, Granby Marketing Services, Lance Mason, Promenade Hotels, Scorpion Automotive, SPS EU, Tangerine Holdings, Via Partnership
CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
Cassidy + Ashton, CM Oxendale, Conlon Construction, Homestead CSL, Hussain Architectural Design, Jones Melling, Pinington, Story Homes,
LEISURE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
Blackpool Zoo, Crow Wood Leisure, Fylde Executive Cars, Longthorne Gunmakers, Parbold equestrian centre, Promenade Hotels, Starboard Hotels Group, The Wellbeing Farm, Winter Gardens Blackpool, Wyrebank
MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR:
Bleep UK, Chemical Innovations, Chelsom, Lailas Fine foods, Longthorne Gunmakers, Pakawaste, Remvox, Scorpion Automotive, SPS EU, Tangerine Holdings, Tetrad, White Moss Horticulture
PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
Astute Wealth Management, Cassidy + Ashton, CER Associates, Chestnut Business Solutions, Clayton Recruitment, Damson UK, Jones Melling, Lance Mason, Magma Digital , Taylor Patterson Group, True Bearings.