Never has it been a more important time to support local business than after the devastating floods which affected the region.
And this year’s Ribble Valley Business Awards will once again see local people give a business they think deserves it a huge pat on the back and at the same time recognise those businesses affected by the Christmas floods.
The ceremony last year, only the second since launching the awards, saw Mytton Fold Hotel bursting at the seams with a turnout of 250 people. The atmosphere on the night was fantastic as established businesses and entrepreneurs celebrated, together with community schemes and innovators.
Big winners on the night were Whalley Community Hydro coming out top in three categories and scooping the prestigious Bowland Bioenergy Award.
But in December, like many businesses, the plant was hit badly by the floods and a salvage operation had to be put in place.
Chairman Graham Sowter said: “The generator building was built above the 100 year flood level and we still found almost four feet of water inside.
“We are back up and running now, but no-one could have predicted that amount of water.”
As a tribute to the businesses which have worked so hard to get back on their feet after the Christmas floods, Enterprising People have changed the name of the award they sponsor to the Pride of Ribble Valley Award.
Awards co-ordinator Rob Carder said: “By re-naming this award we are hoping to bring to the fore stories of the astounding response to the floods.
“We have seen many great stories in the national press, but we too would like to pay tribute to the hard work and resilience shown.”
Sponsors have already been found for the awards, a testament to local support for the event.
Celebrating all that is good about the Ribble Valley, the event is also a chance to shine a light on businesses and schemes and give some welcome publicity.
Kieren Spencer, who won the Enterprising Person award last year, said: “Since winning I have seen that my business has been recognised by people that may not have known about School For Stage beforehand. I know this from enquiries from people who have mentioned the award.
“It is no secret that business is a lonely word, but the ceremony evening provided a lovely platform for me to get to know and become friendly with other like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs in and around the valley.”
Awards co-ordinator Rob Carder said: “The support from sponsors has, once again, been outstanding and goes to show how important the awards are to businesses and people in the Ribble Valley.”
Nominations will begin in July and awards will be presented in the following categories: Rural Business, Community Business, Pride of Ribble Valley, Tourism Business, Creative Business, Independent Retail Business, Large Business, Small to Medium Business, Micro Business, Innovative Business, Food Business, New Business, Sole Trader and Made in Ribble Valley (best local product or service). For more about the event contact Rob Carder at firstname.lastname@example.org.