Firms vying for glory in the Small Business of the Year category in this year’s BIBAs face the judges this week as the competition heats up.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Lancashire economy, making-up just under 95 per cent of all companies in the county and responsible for over half of all jobs.
These small firms feel the effects of economic turbulence more acutely than their larger counterparts, and as the UK emerges from the shadow of the Covid pandemic are most likely to struggle with wage inflation, rising raw material costs and higher energy bills.
But according to the chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Babs Murphy, that organises the Be Inspired Business Awards, or BIBAs, Lancashire’s small businesses have repeatedly shown they are often more nimble and able to respond to opportunities faster than bigger companies.
“Given that small firms make up such a significant proportion of Lancashire’s business community, it’s no surprise that the Small Business of the Year category is always so hotly contested.
“We may not always hear about them in the same way we hear about developments at very large local companies such as BAE Systems, but every year we find evidence of small businesses doing amazing things, whether that’s bringing forward new products and services or creating new jobs.
“They really are the unsung heroes of the economy, and while they’re buffeted more by economic headwinds, they are also able to take advantage of change and opportunity much more quickly and in ways that larger companies struggle to. I’m sure the judges will be treated to some extraordinary stories of resilience and innovation as the interviews for this category get underway this week.”
The Small Business of the Year Award, which last year was won by Nutree Life, the vegan and plant-based protein bar manufacturer from Burscough in West Lancashire, is being sponsored by OBAS UK of Longridge. Other categories that see entrants being grilled at interview by the judges this week are Leisure and Tourism sponsored by Smooth Radio and Innovative Business of the Year sponsored by Intersys Micronics.