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Fylde coast businessman's service sector plea

Norman Tenray, Adam Armstrong and Tony Raynor launch the Bibas Bend
Norman Tenray, Adam Armstrong and Tony Raynor launch the Bibas Bend

A Lytham businessman has called for authorities to take heed of the concerns of the nation’s powerhouse service sector.

Tony Raynor, who is managing director of East Lancashire-based Abbey Telecom, has said business owners in the county had concerns around issues including inflation, interest rates and business rates as they attempt to stimulate growth.

The latest Quarterly Economic Survey, published by the county’s three Chambers of Commerce, highlighted these as three major concerns for the service sector which reported muted growth below historic averages.

Abbey Telecom is sponsoring the Service Business of the Year category at this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, which is now open for applications.

Mr Raynor said: “The service sector has a history of being resilient to economic headwinds which has seen it become the main driver of the economy, but there is still much which can be done to support it.

"These findings show that issues such as inflation and business rates are concerning Lancashire’s business owners and creating the right conditions to stimulate confidence is within the gift of policy-makers.

If these conditions can be created, we know the result is improved growth which brings jobs and prosperity for all.” Abbey Telecom which has been installing and maintaining telephone systems since 1992, is among the line-up of sponsors at this year’s BIBAs.

Mr Raynor will head the judging panel for the Service Business of the Year, as part of a panel which includes Michelle Cuffe, a director at Lytham-based Excel Fostering, a former BIBA winner.

Shortlisted businesses will face judging panels for an initial round of face-to- face interviews from May 14, with those selected following the interviews receiving a visit to their business premises.

Mr Raynor added: “Often you cannot understand the DNA of a business until you have seen its people operating in their own environment, so when the BIBAs sends its judges on tour, we get a unique view of our finalists.”

The awards have 18 categories which are open for applications until April 6.