ENTRIES have started coming in for each of the 10 categories of The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards.
Companies from around the country are competing to be named the best in areas such as fastest growing family business, innovation, international growth, customer service excellence and commitment to the community.
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There are opportunities for small and medium firms in the rural family business and the family business of the year category while large businesses will also be recognised in those areas.
Entries for the awards, which are supported by Business Gateway, Burness Paull, Clydesdale Bank, Campbell Dallas, Craig Corporate, TL Dallas, Foundation Scotland and the Grand Central Hotel, have to be in by October 2 and must be submitted through the http://herald-events.com/familybusiness/ site.
Process Plant and Machinery managing director Jim Bell said the two awards his business picked up last year had helped to improve its performance. He said: "The benefits from this are huge in terms of staff motivation, client recognition, positive publicity and the continued growth in our business, particularly in export markets by using the marketing material from the awards on the company website which keeps it fresh and conveys a clear message to our clients of our business success year on year."
Hugh Lightbody, chief officer at the Business Gateway national unit, said: "The awards celebrate some of Scotland's best businesses and we would encourage every family business to enter the categories that best reflect their successes."
Craig Corporate is backing the large family business award and its chairman Tom Craig said there was a need to encourage small firms to become larger enterprises with global aspirations.
Campbell Dallas partner Fraser Campbell, whose firm is supporting the innovation award, said: "We recognise how important a role innovation can play in staying ahead of the competition."
Clydesdale Bank regional director Alastair Christmas said the awards celebrated the work being done by family businesses across Scotland.
Chief Executive, Giles Ruck, said:"Foundation Scotland is delighted to sponsor the Commitment to the Community award which recognises organisations and individuals who have made a major difference to their community through charitable causes or local initiatives.
"Fifty per cent of our existing clients are families or individuals and we see firsthand the contribution they make to grassroots charities and community groups throughout Scotland - for example through supporting sports, skills training or environmental programmes.
"We channel funding to projects that harness community strengths and facilitate decision making processes that are inclusive, accountable and community-led, and would encourage entrants to showcase innovative ways they have helped strengthen their local community."
Bernard Dunn, Client Director, T L Dallas, said: "We a proud to be supporting the Scottish Family Business Awards "Customer Service Excellence" awards for the second year because for family businesses in particular, the ability to deliver world class service at all levels to customers, can give you that extra edge, in winning and retaining customers long-term."
Grant Stevenson, Partner, said: "Burness Paull is delighted to sponsor the International Growth award at The Scottish Family Business Awards 2014. There is a continuing global demand for Scottish products and services, and, increasingly, family businesses are taking advantage of this. The team at Burness Paull has significant experience across many sectors in advising clients on realising their global ambitions.
"We are naturally aligned to businesses operating not just in Scotland, but from Scotland. In the last year we have advised in over 55 jurisdictions, and international work now accounts for more than 20% of our business. There are exciting opportunities available to family businesses who are innovative, enterprising and ambitious, putting themselves forward to be recognised in international markets.
"I expect that the entrants in the International Growth category of The Scottish Family Business Awards 2014 will demonstrate these qualities and more, each with an individual success story to tell and be proud of. I very much look forward to finding out more about the nominees, and wish them all the best of luck."