The toughest of tasks.
That was the conclusion of our expert judging panel as they set about whittling down the record number of entries for The Courier Business Awards 2016.
After a hotly debated judging session at the awards new home at Apex City Quay Hotel in Dundee, the first element of the judging process is now complete and today we reveal the excellent local firms that have made it through to the next stage of the 2016 competition.
Each of our outstanding shortlisted companies will now receive a site visit in the coming weeks to further scrutinise their credentials to be named amongst the best businesses in Courier Country.
Returning judging panel chairman Jim Pettigrew said he had been amazed and delighted at the depth of business talent in Tayside and Fife.
Mr Pettigrew – the Dundee born chairman of Clydesdale Bank – said he and his fellow judges faced a hugely difficult task in cutting the submissions down in the 17 award categories.
“What I find fascinating about the Courier Business Awards is the mix of entries we get,” Mr Pettigrew said.
“We have everything from really young businesses to businesses that I remember from growing up in Dundee that have had to change and innovate to survive.
“As with last year, we have had fantastic people putting forward some fantastic businesses.
“The real problem we have – and it is a nice problem – is choosing a company to shortlist when we have other entries that are almost as good.”
Judge David Smith, managing partner with principal award supporter Henderson Loggie, said the diverse range of entrants in 2016 gave him heart about the state of the economy locally.
“There are some traditional businesses in here that have probably been fighting quite a hard battle but are doing really well,” Mr Smith said.
“I found that quite exciting to see.
“The other thing I found interesting is that whatever the category, the focus on customer service shone through.”
Entrepreneur Jackie Waring caught a red-eye Transatlantic flight to take her seat at the judging table.
She said: “Hard though it is to believe, the quality of entrants has got even better since last year.”
See more at www.thecourierbusinessawards.com.
Kyle Bell, The Vine; Ciaran Davidson, Hillcrest Maintenance Services; Thomas Morgan, Fife Council; Liam Petrie, GSK Montrose; Donna Smith, Fife Council.
Bank of Scotland and City Hotels; UK Games Talent and Finance CIC.
Design and Innovation:
Nicol Russell Studios; Peel Tech; Rockwell Solutions; Vivomotion.
Shortlist will be announced at a later date.
Winner announced at event.
CXR Biosciences; Insights Learning and Development; Nutscene (1922) Ltd; Stoneridge Electronics.
Glendoick Garden Centre; Gowrie Contracts, Graham Pest Control, Silverdyke Park, Tayside Aviation.
Genoa Black, JML Contracts; Journeycall, part of ESP Group.
Dovetail Enterprises; GSK Montrose; Rockwell Solutions.
Bril (UK), trading as The Duvet Store; Davidsons Chemists; Glendoick Garden Centre, Jannettas Gelateria.
Ben Scrimgeour Building Workshop; Denfind Stone; Soil Essentials.
Science & Technology:
CXR Biosciences; Peel Tech; Rockwell Solutions.
Caledonia Housing Association; Forster Roofing Services; Fresh inc. Medispa.
Small Business: Angus Shared Apprentice Programme; Crosbie Matthew Funeral Directors; JML Garden Rooms; Jon Frullani Architect; Volpa.
Craigowl Communities; Factory Skatepark; Links Park Community Trust.
Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality:
Dundee Airport; Dundee Industrial Heritage; Silverdyke Park; The Famous
Grouse Experience; The Hideaway Experience.
Derrybeg Bed and Breakfast; IED Training Solutions; Taypark House; The Podcast Host.