Lancashire’s service sector can come out of restrictions COVID-19 pandemic, according to one of the county’s business leaders.

Dawn Cheetham, a director at Blackpool-based Commercial Kitchen Services (CKS), said the sector was seeing signs of increasing activity with of lockdown restrictions now easing.

This week sees the reopening of non-essential retail as part of the latest stage of UK’s roadmap out of the pandemic, with further easing scheduled in the coming weeks.

CKS is sponsoring the Service Business of the Year category at this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, The BIBAs, which is open for applications to its 19 categories until April 30.

Dawn Cheetham said: “The service sector is a real powerhouse for our economy and as we start to see retail and tourism start to reopen, we can approach the coming months with greater confidence.

“It has been an incredibly tough past 12 months for businesses in Lancashire and those which have managed to ride the waves can now get back to doing what they do best.

“The job of the people of Lancashire is to support them in a safe and sensible manner which ensures we back our businesses but do not squander the hard work which has got us to this stage.”

The Service Business of the Year category is one of the most popular prize categories at The BIBAs and is expected to be hotly contested again this year.

Preston-based Sunshine Events is the holder of the prize having picked it up in 2019 when the awards was last held.

For the first time The BIBAs is offering cash prizes and investment grants worth a total of £36,000 to its winners using cash from the profits from its awards’ ceremony.

Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the awards’ organisers, the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The last 12 months has led to a lot of financial hardship among businesses and we have responded to do our part.

“By giving cash prizes to our winners, we hope to do our bit to provide some support to them.”

Other categories include the Most Resilient Business of the Year, sponsored by the University of Central Lancashire, to recognise businesses which have overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are also prizes on offer for Manufacturer of the Year, Green Business of the Year, Family Business of the Year and Scale Up Business of the Year.

For further details and to enter, visit

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Lancashire's service sector can come out of restrictions COVID-19 pandemic, according to one of the county's business leaders.
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