By Scott Wright

HISTORIC wholesale company JW Filshill was celebrating last night after lifting three prizes at a major awards ceremony in Glasgow.

JW Filshill, which was established more than 140 years ago, was named Most Outstanding Business of the Year at the Glasgow Business Awards.  It secured the accolade – the most prestigious of the evening – alongside the awards for Family Business of the Year and Health and Wellbeing.

The prizes lifted by Filshill, which supplies convenience stores across Scotland under the Keystore fascia, were among 16 presented by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce at the city’s Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow Central.

This year’s awards, sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland with The Herald as media partner, devoted four categories to sustainability, as the city gears up to host the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in November.  Scottish Leather Group, Star Refrigeration, Dear Green Coffee Roasters and WEEE Scotland respectively won the Sustainable Development, Net Zero Achievement, Green Champion, and Innovation in Business awards.

Two awards were won on the night by Cullen Eco-friendly Packaging, which lifted the accolades for Best Performing Large Business and International Trade.

Also at the double was Total Homes Cooperative, which won the awards for Best Performing  Small-Medium Business and Community Wealth Building.

The title of Glasgow’s Favourite Business, sponsored by The Herald’s sister paper the Glasgow Times, was won by The Good Spirits Co following a public vote. And there was a new honour, with Go Radio presenting a £5,000 cash prize to Chris Hughes, founder and chief executive of Present Pal, who was named Young Business Person of the Year.

The evening, hosted by comedian Fred MacAulay, culminated with the presentation of Glasgow Chamber’s Award for Lifetime Achievement, which went to Arnold Clark chief executive Eddie Hawthorne.  Mr Hawthorne joined the company as group financial controller in 1990 and went on to work closely with Sir Arnold Clark on managing its acquisitions. He was appointed as group managing director in 1998 and has since overseen the national expansion of the business, having risen to the post of chief executive in 2017.

Richard Muir, deputy chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “With so much deserved attention and focus on sustainability and green initiatives in recent months leading to COP26, it feels pertinent that we celebrated achievements in this field across a number of categories.  “It is a privilege to be able to recognise the successes of all the businesses shortlisted, especially amid such a challenging backdrop. Thank you to our sponsors and all our entrants, and congratulations to our deserving winners of the evening.”

Malcolm Buchanan, who chairs the Scotland board of Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “The Glasgow Business Awards recognise the importance entrepreneurial spirit makes and the impact companies of all scale make to the Scottish economy. They also celebrate the success of the SMEs of today and encourage business leaders of tomorrow to consider the impact their approach makes to communities and the future direction of our region.

“At a time when all eyes of the globe are falling upon this city, it is refreshing that an event like this places west of Scotland’s success on the world stage.

“This is what will maintain our economy well into the future and it is vital that we foster this enthusiasm and offer the support needed to help the Glasgow Business Awards winners – and every business based here in Glasgow – the opportunity to continue to grow and make a positive impact for Scotland.”

Full list of Glasgow Business Awards 2021 winners: Best Performing Small-Medium Business – Total Homes Co-operative Best Performing Large Business – Cullen Eco-Friendly Packaging Community Wealth Building – Total Homes Co-operative Entrepreneur of the Year – Tony Quinn, Silver Cloud

Excellence in Communications (sponsored by The Herald) – San Marco Scotland

Family Business of the Year – JW Filshill Green Champion – Dear Green Coffee Roasters Health and Wellbeing – JW Filshill Innovation in Business – WEEE Scotland International Trade – Cullen Eco-Friendly Packaging Net Zero Achievement – Star Refrigeration Sustainable Development – Scottish Leather Group Young Business Person of the Year – Chris Hughes, Present Pal Glasgow’s Favourite Business – The Good Spirits Co Most Outstanding Business – JW Filshill Lifetime Achievement Award – Eddie Hawthorne