Three make national awards shortlist

Two Borders companies and the man behind Whitmuir Organics have been shortlisted for Scottish Business Awards.

GB Telecom, Plexus and Peter Ritchie are among over 120 people and businesses shortlisted for the awards, sponsored by Virgin Money.

The ceremony itself, the organisers state, will be the largest dinner gathering in Scottish history, with more than 2,000 people set attend the event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on May 12.

The shortlisted companies will now be judged by a prestigious judging panel led by one of Scotland’s most iconic business figures Sir Tom Hunter, and featuring other business leaders, including Donald MacDonald OBE of MacDonald Hotels, Jennifer Cheyne, as well as Dragon’s Den star Shaf Rasul.

Whitmuir farmer Pete Ritchie said: “I’m delighted to have been shortlisted for this award and to be in the company of so many great people working for a greener fairer and healthier Scotland.

“It’s great to see social enterprise recognised as part of the business landscape in Scotland.”

He added: “Whitmuir is growing and selling food, and creating local jobs, but at the same time we’re focused on improving the environment, educating children and supporting the wider community.”

Pete will go against seven other businesspeople for the Opito Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

GB Telecom, based in Galashiels, and Kelso-based Plexus will face each other for the RBS Customer Focus Award, along with firms like CalMac Ferries and the Energy Saving Trust.

Event organiser Josh Littlejohn said: “We are delighted by the shortlist for the 2014 awards – the companies and business leaders involved are truly the heartbeat of our economy.

“The idea that we could be hosting the largest formal dinner gathering in the history of Scotland is really beyond belief and is a tribute to the strength of the Scottish business community.”