End in sight as BIBAs judging enters final week

The final 40 applicants in this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, are braced to meet the judges for one last grilling as the BIBAs on Tour interview stage comes to an end

Businesses, charities and individuals from across the county have spent the last three weeks welcoming the BIBAs judges into their own places of work as part of the competition’s vigorous selection process.

Now, in the ultimate week of judging, the final 40 applicants bidding for glory in five remaining categories will host the judges and face one last round of questioning.

Babs Murphy, chief executive at the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce that organises Lancashire’s most prestigious business awards competition, said: “We’re almost there now, with winners having already been identified in fifteen out of twenty categories that are up for grabs.

“By the end of this week, we’ll have a winner for them all, but the details will remain a closely guarded secret until the ceremony in September.

“Each applicant is again scored independently by the judges in this final round of interviews, without any deliberation or discussion, with the scores then automatically weighted and aggregated to identify the winners. Not even the judges know who has won in their respective categories until details are announced on the big night.”

Categories that will be decided in this final week include Apprenticeship Team of the Year, again sponsored by BAE Systems and Educational Establishment of the Year.

Others include Green Business of the Year, sponsored by Lytham-based Sustainable Energy First. Ben Beetham said: “Going green is increasingly important, and lots of businesses are embracing sustainability and Net Zero. But it’s easy to talk the talk, we want to be sure that applicants in this category also walk the walk and will be looking for concrete evidence of things they’ve done to reduce their environmental footprint or that of their customers.”

Community Business of the Year is being sponsored by the Lancashire Post and is another category that features in the itinerary of judges visits this week. “The Lancashire Post has been at the heart of the community for generations,” said Nicola Adam “which is why we’re again sponsoring this particular award, because we know how important it is for businesses and third sector organisations to contribute to creating and maintaining thriving communities. When we meet the finalists on their own turf, we’ll be looking for proof of the positive impacts they’ve created for people and places.”

Export champions Team Leyland International are sponsoring the Global Business of the Year award that’s also being judged again in this final week. Mick Mayor added: “Lancashire is an export powerhouse, with goods and services produced here being sold all over the world. As judges in this category of businesses that are trading on the global stage, we’ll be looking for evidence to support the claims applicants have made about how they’ve not only overcome the language, shipping and procedural barriers that come with exporting, but how they’ve opened up new opportunities too that have helped them grow.”

The identities of the finalists will be publicly announced on 4th July, but details of the winners will be kept under wraps until the glittering awards night in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Friday 15th September.


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End in sight as BIBAs judging enters final week
Let’s remind ourselves of the categories up for grabs in this year’s BIBAs