THERE will be eight categories in this year’s Scottish Borders Council Business Excellence Awards, entries for which are being sought ahead of the February 10 deadline.
“Reflecting the diversity of local businesses, the categories are intended to acknowledge and showcase entrepreneurial success and activity across the region,” said Councillor Vicky Davidson, SBC’s executive member for economic development.
The awards, open to Borders-based firms, will take place at the Scottish Borders campus at Netherdale, Galashiels, on Friday, March 23. Potential entrants are being urged to visit www.ourscottishborders.com/awards to review the criteria for each category before applying. In the run-up to the event, regular updates will be posted on www.ourscottishborders.com, along with profiles of the shortlisted companies.
Councillor Davidson told us: “The awards provide businesses from all sectors with an opportunity to be recognised for their entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity. I would encourage business owners to look back over the last 12 months and consider which category they could apply for.
“There are superb networking opportunities within the process which are valuable to every business. We know from previous winners that the increased coverage has brought additional business and the use of the award logo has helped them to grow and improve their brands.”
Linda and Derek Chapman, of Maplehurst Boutique Guest House in Galashiels, won the creative marketing award last year.
“Winning the award has given us greater exposure through being able to advertise our success,” said Mrs Chapman. “This is especially relevant on our website and guests often comment on the award and how it encouraged them to visit the Borders.
“We value the recognition from our peers and the wider industry, and it has enabled us to make connections and promote the achievements of the business community in this region.”
The award categories are:
z Start-up/new business (sponsored by Purves CA) – for any businesses or enterprise trading since October 1, 2009, which can demonstrate significant business success in its first two years.
z Technology and innovation (ProStrakan) – for any business, regardless of sector or size, which has introduced a new product, process, innovation, idea or design making a contribution to the business in the last 12 months.
z International business (Smart Exporter) – for both novice and established exporters who can exhibit excellence in driving forward export-led initiatives and orders.
z Marketing campaign (South of Scotland Creative Clusters project) – for any business or enterprise, regardless of sector or size, which can demonstrate improved branding, design or marketing during the last 12 months.
z Tourism (Visit Scotland) – for any business or enterprise, new or established, operating within the tourism sector.
z Retail and town centre business (Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce) – for any independent retailers who operate traditional retail outlets and/or sell to the consumer through any other direct method.
z Employer of the year (Federation of Small Businesses) – for any business which has demonstrated a genuine commitment to the development and welfare of its workforce.
z Green business (Green Business Partnership) – for any business which has addressed an environmental or ecological concern within its operations.