Growth during uncertainty, resilience in the toughest of conditions, innovation and creativity shining through… entries to this year’s Courier Business Awards had it all.
Members of the judging panel were staggered by the quality of submissions when they met to decide a shortlist this week.
With almost 170 entries, a record number, their task was tougher than ever before.
It took hours of deliberation to discuss the merits of truly outstanding companies and entrepreneurs across 14 categories.
The awards, held in association with long-term partners Henderson Loggie, will take place for the eighth time in October.
‘Outstanding’ entries to Courier Business Awards
Liz Cameron, chief executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, has been one of the award judges since 2017.
Chairing the panel this year, she described the quality of applications from companies, large and small, as “outstanding”.
“It was apparent just how successful some of these businesses have been to survive in these trying times for anyone running a business,” she said.
“It’s a credit to the business leaders and employees how they have been able to adapt, and in some cases grow, during the pandemic.
“Anyone who is on the shortlist fully deserves their place there.”
Tough decisions in key categories
Other members of the judging panel were David Smith, managing partner at Henderson Loggie; Alan Lees, chairman of BT Scotland; Graham Huband, managing editor at DC Thomson Media; and Angela Vickers, chief executive of Apex Hotels.
Mr Smith said: “There was a very healthy debate among the judges to reach our shortlist, with a lot of tough decisions to be made.
“I was pleased to see so many positive stories of achievement in every category.
“This year I feel it’s so special to highlight and celebrate and highlight the achievement of companies in Tayside and Fife.
“There are definitely signs of green shoots in the local economy which I was delighted to see.”
Mr Huband expressed his thanks to every business who entered the awards this year.
“Everyone has been impacted by Covid in different ways and reading through the entries was truly inspiring,” he said.
“We are looking forward to celebrating the success achieved by our shortlisted companies in October.”
New Courier Business Awards for 2021
This year two new awards will be presented – a Covid resilience award and a trophy for best social media.
As part of the rigorous judging process all shortlisted companies will be visited by representatives from The Courier and Henderson Loggie before a final decision of winners is made.
Category winners will be announced at a black-tie event at the Apex City Quay Hotel in Dundee on October 30.
The top award of Business of the Year will also be announced during the ceremony.
When the awards were last held in 2019 James Donaldson & Sons won the top honour. Other past winners include Castle Water, Ingenico and CXR Biosciences.
An award for Outstanding Contribution will be presented to an individual chosen by the judging panel.
When the awards were last held Perthshire businessman Morris Leslie, whose interests include plant hire, property and vehicles auctions, was selected for this prize.
Courier Business Awards 2021 shortlist
Follow the links below to view all Courier Business Awards 2021 category shortlists: