The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards have been running for more than a decade. In that time they’ve recognised dozens of businesses of all sizes where the emphasis on providing great products and outstanding services has been built on strong family roots.

Companies like these make up two thirds of all businesses in Scotland and they make a hugely-important contribution to national employment as well as to the wealth of the country.

This year the search for the best family-run businesses starts today and organisations have until Tuesday, 18 October to submit their applications.

If they win they’ll be joining an impressive line-up of some of the best-run companies in the country including Wholesale Domestic Bathrooms, the Hillington-based company that, last year, won both Fastest Growing Business Award and Next Generation Award for the work of its CEO, Brian Toward, in restructuring the business during the pandemic and transforming its digital presence.

Another double winner last year was Mackie’s of Scotland, which was named both Scottish Family Business of the Year (medium) as well as Green Family Business of the Year for its ‘sky to scoop’ process that uses sun and wind energy to produce its award-winning ice cream.

Mackie’s was set up in 1912 and is now run by the fifth generation of the same family. And while long-established family businesses are more than welcome to enter the awards, the judges also want to hear from fresh talent who have taken the plunge into setting up their own companies and who have been joined in their enterprises by other family members.

This year there are 12 categories including International Growth Award and Commitment to the Community Award as well as Fastest Growing Family Business, which is sponsored by the Awards’ title partner, Business Gateway.

Norma Stewart, Partner and family business expert at Azets, sponsors of the Scottish Family Business of the Year (large) category has encouraged Scottish family business leaders to enter the awards and celebrate their continued achievements.

“While a pandemic and with a looming recession, we know that family businesses will remain positive and determined as they face the challenges ahead,” she said.

“These companies and their leaders are innovative, diverse and dynamic and they should be recognised for their hard work. They are the backbone of industry in the UK and provide significant employment and prospects, while their long-term view enables them to compete on a national and international level.”

Meanwhile Stuart McLean, CEO, Zonal Retail Data Systems, who are sponsors of the Next Generation Award, said: “Zonal is immensely proud to be a Scottish Family Business. Currently in our second generation and, with our third generation joining the business, it’s never been a more exciting time for our company.”

And there was encouragement too from John Anderson, Director of Growth Programmes at Strathclyde Business School and sponsor of the Outstanding Contribution award, who said:” The Herald Family Business Awards in December will mark a moment to celebrate and pay tribute to Scottish family businesses, and what they mean to Scotland and the economy.

“As Scotland’s leading business school, Strathclyde Business School is committed to the development of family businesses and is delighted to be part of The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards once again.

We  use our experience as family business researchers and practitioners to inform economic policy and to provide practical, accessible and useful learning through our award winning Growth Advantage Programme and bespoke in-company programmes for the boards and leaders of family businesses.

“We believe that  Scotland’s family businesses are the original responsible businesses and continue to be the real wealth creators in Scotland – creating employment and prosperity for our communities – and we are looking forward to celebrating their achievements once more.”

This year’s winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on Thursday, 1 December in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow and full details of the event and how to enter can be found at