The 2015 awards have launched…

The search to recognise the outstanding achievements of Scotland’s family owned companies is starting again with the launch of The Herald’s Scottish Family Business Awards for 2015.

Previous winners include the likes of Barrhead Travel, the Auchrannie Resort, outdoor equipment and clothing maker Highlander, jeweller Laings of Glasgow, egg specialist Glenrath Farms and till software provider Zonal Retail Data Systems.

Among the winners last year was infrastructure support services firm QTS Group, based in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, which was named the large family business of the year for 2014.

This year there will be 10 categories for companies to enter this year with Business Gateway the title sponsor of the event again.

A chairman’s award for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Scottish family businesses will also be presented.

Past recipients of that include Harper Macleod’s Donald Munro, Dom Maguire of Anderson Maguire Funeral Directors and Crieff Hydro’s Stephen Leckie.

Hugh Lightbody, chief officer at the Business Gateway National Unit, said: “Scotland’s family businesses are at the heart of the Scottish economy, employing many people and contributing significantly to the nation’s GDP.

“Nearly three out of four of Scotland’s companies are family owned and, as Business Gateway works with thousands of SMEs every year, we understand their importance to the economy.”

Campbell Dallas is supporting the Business Innovation award.

Fraser Campbell from the accountancy firm said it was delighted to be backing the event again and added: “The awards are a great way of recognising the most innovative family businesses in Scotland and we wish all the companies that enter the best of luck.”

Tom Aldridge, associate director of TL Dallas, which is sponsoring the customer service excellence category, said: “As a family business, TL Dallas recognises the important role such businesses play in their communities.

“In Scotland, approximately 75 per cent of all companies are described as family firms; providing almost 50 per cent of the country’s employment.

“There needs to be more appreciation of the contribution that family businesses produce for the Scottish economy.”

Chris Thompson, chair of Supplier Development Programme, which is backing the small/medium rural family business prize, said: “Family businesses are a cornerstone of the economy supporting local people and communities across the country.

“The majority of SME’s in Scotland are family owned and deliver unrivalled products, services and customer care.”

Alastair Christmas Regional Director, Business & Private Bank West of Scotland, said: “Family businesses are who we support – many of our customers have been with us for generations. These businesses heavily contribute to their local communities, which sit perfectly with our own values – we care about here.”

Other sponsors are law firm Burness Paull, Clydesdale Bank, Strathclyde Business School, Craig Corporate and The Grand Central Hotel.

To enter the awards please click here.