There’s just one week to go until the winners of this year’s The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards in association with Business Gateway are announced and for the finalists the event will mark the culmination of one of the most challenging years in their histories.
All businesses have felt the pressure to step up and respond to the demands of the ongoing pandemic, but none more so than those that are in family hands. For these enterprises, regardless of size, business is personal and their relationship with customers, staff and their communities has been vital during these exceptional circumstances.
Reviewing how family businesses have responded to ongoing events has been just one of the many factors that the judges of this year’s awards have taken into consideration while drawing up their shortlist and now all the finalists can do is wait until 8 December to find out if they have won one of the 12 accolades in categories that include ‘Fastest Growing Family Business’ and ‘Customer Service Excellence.’
Amongst those counting down the days is Kim Fraser of Hobbit Hideaway, a rural retreat with impeccable carbon-neutral ethics. This roundwood henge made from wood, straw, clay and earth offers low-impact holiday accommodation for up to six people in idyllic surroundings close to Aberlour.
Kim is a finalist in the ‘Green Family Business of the Year’ category, and she believes that the process of applying for the award has helped her focus on her goals.
“We don’t want to stand still, and we are constantly reviewing what we do, so having to think it all through for the judges has been a huge help.”
Habibur Khan of The Radhuni and Itihaas restaurants in Midlothian is no stranger to entering awards. It is one of the ways in which he is taking the successful businesses begun by his farther Matin Khan to new levels.
Habibur has been involved since the age of 12 and although he is a finalist in the ‘Next Generation’ award, he says that he is still learning from his father.
“He’s taught me so much,” says Habibur.
Itihaas and Radhuni are also finalists in the ‘Commitment to the Community’ category for their ongoing support of local charities and in particular for their efforts in providing good food to NHS workers and other emergency services during the Pandemic.
‘Commitment to the Community’ is just one of four categories in which Stag Bakeries from Stornoway is shortlisted. The others are: ‘Customer Service Excellence’, ‘International Growth’ and ‘Scottish Family Business of the Year’(Medium).
Daniel Smith, sales and marketing manager, for Stag says that the bakery, which was set up in 1885, has seen an unprecedented upsurge in sales during the Pandemic and that staff numbers have grown by 10 to 75.
“We didn’t need to furlough anyone, and our online sales have seen exceptional growth.”
Winning even just one of the categories in which Stag is listed would, he says, demonstrate the part that the company is playing not just in island life but in the Scottish business community.
Graham Cunning, Corporate Finance Partner at Azets, sponsors of the Scottish Family Business of the Year (Large) category, agrees. He says: “The Herald Family Business Awards will showcase many of the Scottish family businesses that go above and beyond. The finalists have all shown remarkable ambition and innovation as well as demonstrating true family values. They create opportunities for the local and wider communities they operate in, support them, as well as actively contributing to a greener environment for us all.
“Scottish family businesses continue to make a vital contribution to the Scottish and wider economy – their dedication deserves to celebrated and profiled. We look forward to celebrating with the leaders and their teams who have worked so tirelessly and passionately to ensure success.”
Also looking forward to next Wednesday’s event is Billy Anderson of Family Business Solutions Ltd, who are sponsors of the ‘Rural Family Business of the Year’ award.
He says: “The goals, challenges, and achievements, and those special accomplishments which win awards, will be revealed and it promises to be a very exciting event.”
For further information on the event visit https://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/familybusiness/ or contact Kirsty Loughlin at Kirsty.firstname.lastname@example.org