A Lancashire business leader has urged businesses to grab the opportunity of facing the judges of one of the county’s leading business awards.

Tony Raynor, managing director of Abbey Telecom, said the finalists for this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, had the chance to develop their businesses during visits by judging panels.

The awards’ second round of judging, which sees judges travel across the county to get under the skin of what makes finalists successful, entered a third week yesterday (Monday, July 4).

Mr Raynor chaired the judging panel for the Service Business of the Year which visited its finalists last week, which included former Visit Lancashire chief executive Lesley Lloyd.

He said: “The main benefits for me occur at the interviews and competitor visits.

“I have a feeling most see it as an annual opportunity to critique their own operation and mix with other first division business managers. It’s like self-help for otherwise isolated entrepreneurs.

“It is very encouraging to know that Lancashire businesses are so innovative when it comes to using management techniques to grow.

“It is a real privilege to hear some of those techniques shared with the judges.”

Today, the judges for the Excellence in CSR category at the awards hit the road led by Karen Morris of the Community Foundation for Lancashire, which is sponsoring the category.

They will begin their judging in Lytham St Annes at GuideDotYou Change Solutions before heading on to Jobs, Friends and Houses, which won the Most Inspiring Business of the Year category at the BIBAs in 2015.

The judges will finish the day at Recycling Lives, the social business based in Deepdale, Preston.

This second round of judging will see the panels select the winners of each category which will be handed out at the awards’ prize-giving ceremony on Friday, September 16.