Family firms put into the spotlight with launch of Herald Family Business Awards 2017

BACK for a sixth year, and going from strength to strength, The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards in association with Business Gateway are now open for entries.

Our panel of highly respected judges are on the lookout for companies which make impressive contributions to the economy and their local communities.

This year a total of 11 categories will be contested, including awards for the fastest-growing business, business innovation, international growth and for the Scottish Family Business of the Year in two segments: small/medium, and large.

The Herald is delighted to be working with long-standing title partner Business Gateway to reward, celebrate and bring to prominence the family firms who are making an invaluable contribution to the Scottish economy through innovation and growth.

Hugh Lightbody, chief officer at the Business Gateway National Unit said: “Scotland’s family businesses are at the heart of our economy as employers and innovators, and they all play an important role within their local communities.

“Business Gateway provides a network of support to family businesses across the whole of Scotland and we are pleased to have been the title sponsor of the Herald Family Business Awards since they began.  We are also delighted that they are in their sixth year and growing in stature all the time.”

Last year’s winners included Three Sisters Bake for their commitment to community, Gap Solutions was awarded Scottish Family Business of the Year (large) and Apex Hotels for their excellent customer service.

The Customer Service Excellence Award, supported by T L Dallas, is designed to recognise a company which has excelled in the provision of customer service as in integral part of their business.

Bernard Dunn, managing director, T L Dallas said: “The Herald Family Business Awards have gone from strength to strength every year. I personally cannot wait to see which companies will get involved in the Awards process this year.

“Every year, I am inspired by the commitment and innovation of family businesses towards customer service excellence, and to being the best they can be. Once again, T L Dallas is proud to be a sponsor of the Family Business Awards”.

An Outstanding Contribution Award supported by Strathclyde Business School will reward an individual or team for their commitment and contribution to a Scottish family business over the years.

John Anderson, director, Strathclyde Business School said: “Family businesses make a significant contribution to the Scottish Economy. They have strong loyalty to their local communities; a well-developed sense of social responsibility and create around them clusters of suppliers, customers and advisers as well as employees.

Despite their importance, there has been little research on family businesses and there is little informed policy for this sector. Strathclyde Business School is committed to addressing this weakness and has established one of the UK’s largest family business research teams, based at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship.

“Our bespoke MBA 25 with its core theme of family business and our pioneering Growth Advantage Programme provide further practical support for family businesses in Scotland.

As Scotland’s leading business school and current UK Business School of the Year, Strathclyde Business School is committed to the advancement of family business and is delighted once again to be part of the Scottish Family Business Awards and sponsor of the award for Outstanding Contribution.”

The International Growth Award supported by Burness Paull will recognise a business which has enjoyed success in overseas markets.

Grant Stevenson, partner, Burness Paull: “I am delighted to once again be involved in judging the Herald Family Business Awards. At Burness Paull we recognise the importance of family business to the Scottish economy, and the role they play in representing Scotland on the global stage.

“These Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate their achievements, and I would encourage those in the sector to put themselves forward and enter.”

The Scottish Family Business of the Year (small/medium), supported by Clydesdale Bank, will celebrate a business with 100 employees or fewer.

Brian Colquhoun, UK head of commercial banking, Clydesdale Bank, said: “The Scottish Family Business Awards provide the perfect showcase to highlight the incredible success of family businesses throughout the country.

“We work with many family businesses, large and small, and in a range of industries and its clear the critical role they play in helping to boost Scotland’s economy. We’re extremely proud to again be supporting the awards and offer our best wishes to everyone involved.”

And looking at family businesses with more than 100 employees, the Scottish Family Business of the Year (Large) is supported by Craig Corporate.

Tom Craig, chairman, Craig Corporate said: “Craig Corporate has sponsored the Scottish Family Business of the Year – Large Company category for six years now. Family companies are the very heart of the Scottish economy and contribute greatly in terms of employment, income and community support.

“Realising the need to champion this increasingly important sector, family businesses should be encouraged and nurtured to grow. This would make a significant difference to long term Scottish economic and employment growth.

“We are delighted that there are so many high quality family businesses in Scotland. Craig Corporate is committed to working with companies in this vital segment of our economy”.

The Commitment to the Community, supported by City Gate Construction, will recognise a business which makes a sustainable contribution to the local community in which they operate.

Leo Reilly, managing director of City Gate Construction said: “We are pleased to be involved in these Awards given how important family businesses are to Scotland. They are vital to our economy and employ many people.

“CGC is deeply committed to the communities in which we work and it is highly appropriate that we should sponsor this category. In doing so, we salute the work done by family businesses in communities to make other people’s lives better.”

Rural Family Business (Large), supported by Campbell Dallas, will recognise family businesses in rural Scotland with 100 employees or more from any sector which has made a real difference.

Campbell Dallas are delighted to continue our ongoing support of The Herald’s Scottish Family Business Awards in 2017.

Fraser Campbell, partner, Campbell Dallas, said: “As Scotland’s Accountancy Firm of the Year for the last three years and adviser too many family businesses within the rural sector across Scotland we are proud to sponsor the Large Rural Family Business category this year.

 “We are looking for family businesses who can demonstrate business growth and success either by taking advantage of new opportunities, focusing on key strategic objectives, overcoming challenges or developing through innovation to create a successful and sustainable business for future generations to come.”

 “We are greatly looking forward to receiving a wide range of entries for this important sector.”

The closing date for entries is Wednesday, October 11, 2017.  Full details are available at or by calling Heather Steven on 0141 302 6018.