Business leaders across Lancashire have been urged to put their firms through “an MOT” by entering one of the county’s leading business awards.
The Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, is open for applications until the end of March and some of its former winners have spoken of the benefits applying for the awards brought to them and their businesses.
It has 18 prizes up for grabs this year including Construction Business of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year and Leisure Business of the Year.
Phil Lawson, the managing director of Skelmersdale-based Virtue Technologies, is the awards’ reigning Business Person of the Year, said he had used the application process to review his business.
He said: “Being questioned and asked to justify what you have done by the BIBAs judges definitely helped us formulate our former strategy and development of the business, and finally the second round of judging, ‘The BIBAs On Tour’ is beneficial to all parts of the business.
“The judges come to our workplace and it gives our employees at all levels the chance to be asked about what they do, share their opinions and be part of the process.”
Leon Calverley, managing director of digital agency, Door4, which won the Creative Business of the Year category, said his firm had already seen the benefits of winning at the 2016 awards.
He said: “Ever since that night in September, we have been seeing the benefits of being a BIBAs winner.
“Firstly, it gives you something to be proud about, in the business – other than the usual and the referral and publicity have generated and boosted new business enquiries.”
On Thursday, the awards will host its boot camp event, in association with the University of Central Lancashire and chartered accountants Moore & Smalley, which will help applicants to polish their applications ahead of the deadline on March 31.
The boot camp is being held at the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce’s Fylde Coast office on Amy Johnson Way, Blackpool.
All entries will be eligibility-checked and whittled down to a shortlist for each category which will be announced on May 2.
The shortlisted firms will face the judging panel in a face-to-face interview, which get underway on May 15, and those which make the finalists’ shortlist will then receive a visit to their business from the judges as part of a second round of judging starting in June.
Last September, the winners of the BIBAs including Mike Peters, the founder of Universal Products Limited, who won the lifetime achievement award, Lancastrian of the Year, and Altham furniture firm, The Senator Group, which was named Business of the Year.