A round up of The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards 2021


The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards 2021 in association with Business Gateway continue to celebrate the success of the diverse, dynamic, and innovative family business sector, and the contribution which these firms make to the communities in which they operate and to the wider economy.

7.00pm                Guests arrive for Drinks Reception

The ninth annual Scottish Family Business Awards kicks off in style as the 170 guests (made up of nominees, judges, sponsors, and representatives of Newsquest Scotland) arrive to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow.

The grandeur of the hotel looks suddenly more luxurious with the array of guests arriving. Adhering to the black tie dress code, the men are either in suits or kilts, Highland dress or tartan trews. The female guests look elegant and glamourous in their cocktail and festive frocks.

Guests help themselves to a glass of prosecco or orange juice on arrival and enjoy the novelty of being at a live event as the conversation flows.

7.30pm                Guests called for dinner

Walking into the events hall (Argyll Suite) the beautifully decorated room has all the glitz and glamour one would hope for at an awards show. Silver and black are the main themes of the setting, a thick black curtain with starry lights blankets the backdrop on the stage.

Round tables are spaced out throughout the room, the table is set for fine dining with candelabras lit as guests prepare for their three-course candlelit dinner.

Wall projections, low-level lighting and relaxing upbeat music creates a lively yet comfortable atmosphere throughout the night.


7.45pm                Welcome and Introductions

Jennifer Reoch, Event Host

Jennifer Reoch looks very festive in a silver sequined dress as she welcomes guests to the awards.

She says: “I am absolutely delighted to be here this evening and celebrate the very best family-businesses in Scotland.

“I am very lucky to be exceptional close to my family, I even let them both follow me on social media, though my parents seem to have a better social life than me now!

“I don’t think I could step up to your level however and work with my family, I did try it once with my dad for a while, and it wasn’t long before he retired after that.

“In it’s ninth year The Herald Scottish Family Business awards continue to highlight all the amazing work being done by people like you

“The strength and depth of the entries tonight is testament to the importance of family businesses in Scotland.

“Let’s have a round of applause for all of you here tonight.”


David Ward, Commercial Director, Newsquest Scotland

“Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Crowne Plaza Hotel for the ninth annual Herald Scottish Family Business Awards, in association with Business Gateway.

“Our last family business event was in December 2019 and we are delighted to see so many of you in the room tonight.

“All businesses have felt the pressure to step up and respond to the demands of the ongoing pandemic, but none more so than those 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 what have been exceptional circumstances.

“Having had a short stint at a family business, a number of years ago, and short for good reason I add, I applaud all of you for creating innovative, successful businesses whilst evidently striking the balance required to maintain family relationships.

“The entries for this year’s awards highlighted the strength, depth, and diversity of Scotland’s family businesses, and left us in absolutely no doubt that this crucial sector continues to make a huge contribution both to local communities and the overall economy.

“I’d like to take a moment to pay thanks to our partners Business Gateway, Azets UK, Family Business Solutions Ltd, Strathclyde Business School and Wright Johnston & Mackenzie as we would not be able to facilitate the awards without their support. A huge thank you to each of you.

“But tonight is about you, all of our finalists… I hope you enjoy celebrating with your families and colleagues.”

Hugh Lightbody, Chief Officer, Business Gateway National Unit

“It’s been quite a journey we’ve all been on. I think it’s incredible that so many businesses have come through it, and I want to say a big congratulations to the finalists.

“I’d also really like to thank The Herald for making this happen.

“What we at Business Gateway have also been doing is looking to redesign the services. From feedback we have received from our users they are looking for more networking opportunities – people are looking to network with other people in the same boat as them. It’s important to reach out to people for help, we’re all here together.

“As mentioned, we’re all on a journey, for many it’s been a struggle. My personal journey has been to overcome my addictions, I’ve finally completed that journey, I’ve overcome my addictions to marshmallows, chocolate, biscuits…and it was a struggle.

“Congratulations again to all the finalists, enjoy your evening!”


8.00pm                Dinner served 

Guests top up glasses and indulge in an expertly prepared three-course dinner. The starter is a roasted vegetable, sun blushed tomato and goats cheese tart. For mains we enjoy a slow braised daube of beef, horseradish mash, broccoli, roasted carrots with mushrooms, smoked bacon and red wine sauce. And dessert comes in the form of a salted caramel cheesecake with vanilla ice cream. Each portion is generous in size and there is also a vegetarian option available.

After a final cup of tea or coffee and a nibble of some tablet, we’re all ready to get the show on the road and begin the award ceremony.

Entertainment is provided throughout dinner in the form of a singer with an acoustic guitar singing a great mix of old classics and modern anthems. A magician also entertains guests with an array of fun interactive tricks much to the delight of everyone participating.


9.45pm                Awards ceremony – presented in the following order:

  1. Fastest Growing Family Business sponsored by Business Gateway, presented by Hugh Lightbody, Chief Officer, Business Gateway National Unit


  1. Business Innovation Award presented by David Ward, Commercial Director, Newsquest Scotland


  1. Customer Service Excellence presented by Scott Wright, Deputy Business Editor, The Herald


  1. Green Family Business of the Year presented by Mairi Mickel, Owner, Mairi Mickel’s Business Families



  1. International Growth Award presented by John Anderson, Head of SME Growth & Board Development, Starthclyde Business School


  1. Commitment to the Community, presented by Hugh Lightbody, Chief Officer of the National Unit, Business Gateway


  1. Rural Family Business of the Year sponsored by Family Business Solutions presented by Mark Bradford, Consultant, Family Business Solutions Ltd


  1. Next Generation Award presented by David Ward, Commercial Director, Newsquest Scotland


  1. Scottish Family Business of the Year (Small) presented by Mairi Mickel, Owner, Mairi Mickel’s Business Families


  1. Scottish Family Business of the Year (Medium) presented by Graham Cunning, Partner, Azets UK


  1. Scottish Family Business of the Year (Large) sponsored by Azets UK presented by Graham Cunning, Partner, Azets UK


  1. Outstanding Contribution sponsored by Strathclyde Business School, presented by John Anderson, Head of SME Growth & Board Development, Starthclyde Business School

John Anderson: “Strathclyde Business School is delighted to celebrate this award. We use our experiences, researchers, and resources so that Scottish family businesses can continue to flourish. Our successful programme has proven that it does work, and we help to grow the management programme.

“Cross cutting themes in the 12 week programme is the principle of responsible business. Prioritising employee wellbeing, identifying carbon reduction and inspiring innovation. I firmly believe that family businesses are the original responsible businesses. They show a visible commitment to people, planet and profit. And that by simply doing the right thing you can be successful.

“This award is presented to a company that displays outstanding stewardship throughout the business. The employment of a diverse workforce that employ over 300, it’s a certified B-Corporation using the power of business as a force for good. They follow a corporate social responsibility, there’s no greenwashing. The business is based on the power of sustainability, utilising practices to do the right thing and protect the people and places around us.”

WINNER: Macphie

Alistair Macphie chairman: “I’d like to thank the judges for this award.

“I strongly believe that without the family business, the UK wouldn’t be the same. There has never been a time in our history, where we haven’t had to adapt and be flexible. Those that adapt quickest will be fine, and everyone here has proved that in recent times. Well done to everyone and the judges!”

It’s clear instantly that the awards mean so much to families who have grown their business from scratch. Everyone in the crowd is very enthusiastic, but also very supportive of each other. After going on stage to collect their awards all winners take a press photo with the host Jennifer Reoch.

11pm                   After dinner networking and entertainment

Very lively crowd, everyone is happy to be at a live event soaking in an atmosphere.