One of Lancashire’s biggest business awards, The BIBAs, has confirmed it will delay its ceremony until December due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The awards had been scheduled to take place at the Blackpool Tower on September 11, but organisers have said the focus of businesses in Lancashire needed to be on their firms and supporting their communities.
They will now move the application deadline until the end of July with the first round of judging taking place during September.
Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the awards’ organisers, the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said the awards would also not hold its second round of judging which sees its judges visit finalists in their business premises.
She said: “Lancashire businesses have responded to this challenging time with exactly the mix of determination, innovation and enthusiasm we knew they would, but their focus needs to be on their business, their loved ones and their community.
“For this reason we have decided to postpone our BIBAs programme until later in the year to ensure we are able to celebrate the best of our county’s business community as safely as possible.
“In the meantime, we will be doing everything we can to support businesses to navigate the challenges ahead and preparing for a night to remember when we are all back together.”
The BIBAs had originally planned to host its first round of judging using videoconferencing technology but the tightening of restrictions as a result of the virus has meant this is no longer feasible.
Babs Murphy said: “We had hoped that we could place restrictions on our first round of judging and then keep The BIBAs On Tour and our ceremony on schedule later in the year.
“However, it has become clear in the past week that this is not going to be possible and therefore we decided to delay.”
The deadline for applications to The BIBAs has been extended until July 31 with all entries submitted to date still valid.
The judging panels will conduct interviews during September with each applicant given an hour to impress the judges in one of the awards’ 20 categories.
For the latest on The BIBAs, follow the official Twitter account at @BIBAs2020 and visit the awards’ official website, www.thebibas.co.uk.