Entry deadline looms to find the region’s best SME

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THE search is now on for Yorkshire’s best small or medium-sized company and readers have until this Friday to nominate the contenders.

The winner will be announced at the annual fundraising lunch for the Variety Children’s Charity, a key date in the region’s business calendar.

The Yorkshire Business Awards have raised £3m for disadvantaged children in Yorkshire over the last 26 years and are an important celebration of business success.

“We are looking for sustainable growth and products and services that have decent margins and profitability in markets that are either exporting or expanding,” said Richard Gregory, chairman of Yorkshire Bank, sponsor of the SME category.

“We are particularly keen to encourage SMEs which are exporting to Brazil, Russia, India or China rather than Europe.

“We are also keen to see SMEs developing products and services that are in a very strong position in whatever market they are in.

“A lot of SMEs open up niches in market and then get caught out by larger competitors who move in and take that particular market from them.

“It’s about defending the market position they create by keeping ahead of the pack and by having a strategy which develops as the product or service develops. You have to get ahead of the curve,” added the former TV executive.

The category is open to companies with a turnover of up to £100m.

Mr Gregory, who was recently promoted to senior independent director at Yorkshire’s parent Clydesdale Bank, added: “It is very important to recognise and celebrate success in the local business community.

“That’s a well-rehearsed line but it still needs saying.”

He said Yorkshire Bank is supporting the annual awards because “business banking is really important to us”.

Mr Gregory added: “We want to be playing a leading role in our business community. We have a particular interest in our local business community and we want to help in any way we can to contribute to the future success of business in Yorkshire.”

The awards are supported by main sponsor Sewell Recruitment Group and the Yorkshire Post.

Other sponsors include Design Portfolio Marketing Services, Ernst & Young, Evans Property Group, NM Rothschild, Pace, Pinsent Masons and Yorkshire Building Society.

The event will take place on December 14 at The Queens hotel in Leeds.

Attendance is on a ticket only basis.

Email yorkshire@variety.org.uk for tickets.

Please send award entries to bernard.ginns@ypn.co.uk including basic financial information for the last three years and a short summary explaining why you should win.