THE 2020 Oldham Business Awards have been officially launched and include a revamp of award categories and a new option to nominate worthy individuals and businesses.
The 2020 awards were officially launched at a reception in the Victoria Hotel, Chadderton, hosted by volunteer organisers on the awards steering group.
Speakers included Martyn Torr of New Image, a former Oldham Evening Chronicle business editor who launched the business awards 12 years ago, who will help host next year’s ceremony at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Friday, May 15.
Richard Eastwood of Pearson Solicitors & Financial Advisers said: “Pearson has supported the awards since the beginning and became headline sponsor last year. It’s been really great to be involved and to meet so many different types of Oldham businesses.
“As a sponsor, Pearson gets phenomenal exposure by taking part in the calendar of business award events through the year. This includes the annual corporate quiz in November and visiting businesses as part of the judging process in the new year.
“Pearson’s suite of lawyers and suite of financial advisers get involved with these networking opportunities through the awards. For example, I’ve met young people in the young entrepreneur and start-up categories along with older and longer established business people in the larger business of the year categories. So, this variety is great.
“At the final awards ceremony, there are over 500 people at Queen Elizabeth Hall which, again, is a great networking event. To be able to speak in front of 500 people is another great opportunity for Pearson.
“So, we will be headline sponsor again for the 2020 awards and are really looking forward to meeting more businesses and sponsors.”
Martyn Torr also chatted to 2019 award-winners Connor Hall, of technology and apps firm Live And Now, and Colin Green, of physiotherapy specialists Physio Matters, about their experience in and the benefits of entering the business awards.
Connor said: “People should not be put-off by thinking the entry or nomination application process is long or complicated. It’s pretty straight-forward. I’d recommend people take part. In addition to highlighting your business, you should also flag-up any community links.”
Colin Green, of Physio Matters, said: “The application process was really useful because it allowed us to really think about the business. We enjoyed presenting to the judges and were really proud to be shortlisted. When we won two awards on the night it was fantastic.
“We’ve now got Oldham Business Awards winner certificates on our office walls and we use the logo on our emails and communications. It’s raised our profile and staff morale and helped in staff recruitment and retention.
“Remedian IT introduced us to the Oldham Business Awards and gave us helpful advice when we completed our entries in 2019. I’d happily give some tips to anyone thinking of entering the 2020 awards.”
Awards vice-chairman Dayna Patterson, of Innovative Technology, said: “I don’t live in Oldham or come from Oldham. But I work in Oldham and I love being involved in the Oldham Business Awards. Innovative Technology has supported the business awards for many years in a variety of ways and is delighted to help celebrate all the excellent businesses based in the borough.”
Education and business links consultant Kashif Ashraf, a steering group volunteer, also spoke and thanked the Victoria Hotel for providing the event room and buffet.
Other steering group members include Louise Slater of Oldham Council, Andrew Whitehead of the Oldham Chronicle, revolution 96.2 and Oldham Business Edge magazine; Annie Wigglesworth of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and New Image.
The Oldham Chronicle online and Oldham Business Edge magazine, both owned by Oldham-based Credible Media which also owns radio station Revolution 96.2, are again media partners for the awards.
Latest categories include Micro Business, Start-Up and Young Entrepreneur of the Year to Business of the Year categories for firms with turnovers of under £1m, £1-5millon or over £5m.
For the first time, people can nominate other individuals and businesses for awards using the official website.
Users can nominate a worthy supplier, business, company or colleague in any of the 11 categories available. This can be for individual person or company that you believe deserves the recognition they deserve. Simply click the ‘Nominate’ button on the official awards website to complete a simple nomination form.
A new category of Micro Business of the Year has been created. Judges will consider businesses operating in any commercial or industrial sector with between one and 10 employees.
The Corporate Quiz takes place at the White Hart pub and restaurant, Lydgate, on Thursday, November 14. The entry deadline for the 2020 Oldham Business Awards is Friday, December 13, 2019. Shortlisting and judging will then take place in the new year.