INSPIRATIONAL stories of adaptability, resilience and determination shone through in the entries submitted for the fifth Hyndburn Business Awards. When the first lockdown was announced on March 23, it was in the middle of the nomination period for this year’s awards so the time was extended. Although the final presentation ceremony had to be broadcast virtually, video footage of sponsors and organisers enabled a slick production to be broadcast via Facebook Live on November 17.
Click on the link to see the Facebook Live film: Facebook.
Rob Carder, from organisers Enterprising People, said: “Yes, we missed having a packed Accrington Town Hall for the presentation evening buzzing with business men and women who put Hyndburn on the map. However, on reading the entries organisers were extremely impressed by how businesses have coped with the totally unforeseen circumstances that COVID-19 brought. We read how they worked together, never gave up and how they have come back stronger, learning from what happened. Now, just as we were scheduled to hold the delayed presentation, many of those businesses are back in lockdown and the presentation had to go online.”
“Normally the Beacon Award goes to the most inspirational business, but judges agreed that each and every entry and sponsor in this year’s awards deserves to win the highest award for the impressive way they have dealt with this year’s challenges.”
Although permitted to stay open, Accrington dry cleaning company Acorns of Lancashire, winner of the MicroBusiness category, closed for six weeks to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment and produce a series of relaunch videos. The films were posted to the company’s social media to ensure customers understood the changes and felt confident to return.
Rishton’s Bevlan Office Interiors was able to help many local businesses stay operating by providing affordable protective screens, hygiene stations and office equipment for home workers.
During lockdown Customer Friendly Business winner Bright Beginnings childminders from Accrington, provided craft bags, pictures to colour and worksheets to those children they would normally have cared for; they also used the time to transform an allotment for the children.
Staff at Not for Profit Award winners Carers Link Lancashire, based in Accrington, postponed annual leave and worked extra hours so they could make more than 70 welfare calls every day to potentially vulnerable at-risk groups.
Charity Community Solutions North West won the Large Business and Workforce Development awards and Deborah Clark won the Enterprising Woman title. Having taken part in a pilot project a year ago to develop digital services for health innovation, the company was a step ahead when switching normal face-to-face interaction to online.
Investing in IT early, before the lockdown was announced, ensured Small Business winner Cover My Bubble, an insurance company from Oswaldtwistle, was fully prepared. To keep morale high, weekly team catch-ups were held and surprise gifts sent.
NORI HR and Employment Law Ltd took the confusion out of the ever-changing Government announcements on job retention schemes and opened free advice lines. The company won the New Business title.
Sole Trader winner Accrington’s Sweet Reminiscing by Sharonrose expanded to provide a door delivery service while Independent Retailer winner Great Harwood’s The Lancashire Dog Company extended opening to seven-days-a-week and introduced personal 30-minute evening appointments.
Rob added: “These are just a few of the many accounts of inspiring businesses that showed a determination to succeed in spite of the turbulence and uncertainty that was and still is around; they all deserve our support to ensure continues success.”
Large Business sponsored by Education Business Partnership (NW) Ltd
Community Solutions North West Limited
Small Business sponsored by Little Voices
Cover My Bubble Ltd
Microbusiness sponsored by Wyvern Pharmacy
Acorns of Lancashire
Enterprising Man sponsored by Sundown Group
Andrew Grierson (Wyvern Pharmacy)
New Business sponsored by Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall
NORI HR and Employment Law Ltd
Customer Friendly Business sponsored by The Cardboard Box Company
Creative Business sponsored by Globe Enterprises
Little Liv’s Bakery
Enterprising Woman sponsored by Sundown Group
Deborah Clark (Community Solutions North West Limited)
Health and Beauty Business sponsored by Pure Perfection
The Wellness Centre
Independent Retailer sponsored by Cover My Bubble Ltd
The Lancashire Dog Company
Made In Hyndburn sponsored by Sundown Group
Hoyle Bottom Spirits Ltd
B2B Business sponsored by lovelocalnetworking
Barcode Logistics Ltd
Not for profit Award sponsored by Unique Ladies Network
Carers Link Lancashire
Workforce Development sponsored by Nelson and Colne College Group
Community Solutions North West Limited
Pride of Hyndburn sponsored by Acorns of Accrington
Church and Oswaldtwistle Branch of The Royal British Legion
Sole Trader sponsored by Liz Pollard Consulting
Sweet Reminiscing by Sharonrose
Story by Catherine Smyth Media