For more than a decade, The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards in association with Business Gateway have been recognising the outstanding contribution that family-owned businesses of all kinds are making to the Scottish economy.

From cafes and corner shops to engineering firms, technology companies and international concerns that trade around the world, each plays its part in creating employment, opportunities for advancement and revenue that is vital to the economic performance and competitiveness of Scotland as a whole.

Once again in 2023 the most successful of these will be recognised for their drive and diversity and for the dynamic role that they play in supporting the communities that they serve.

This year there are 13 awards categories, each designed to celebrate a different aspect of the work of family businesses, including Commitment to the Community and Customer Service Excellence.

The Fastest Growing Family Business Award, sponsored by Business Gateway, will be decided from amongst those companies that have witnessed accelerated growth over the last 12 months, while the Rural Family Business of the Year will recognise the cream of Scotland’s land-based economy.

Companies shortlisted in the Green Family Business of the Year category will be making a demonstrable impact on the environment, while the International Growth Award will recognise a company that is making significant strides overseas.

In deciding the outcome of The Business Innovation Award, the judges will be looking for outstanding creativity and a fresh approach, while the Next Generation Award will go to one individual who has taken impressive steps to ensure the future of their business.

The Recognition Award is designed to single out an employee whose dedication over the last year has had a positive impact on the success of their company, while the Outstanding Contribution award, sponsored by Strathclyde Business School, is open to any individual or team in any Scottish-headquartered business whose performance has made a lasting impact.

Meanwhile every single company entered into any of the above categories will automatically go forward to the Scottish Family Business of the Year Award, which will celebrate the strongest overall Scottish Family Business for 2023 across all sectors.

The Scottish Family Business of the Year (Micro) category, sponsored by Business Gateway, will be selected from amongst businesses with 10 employees or fewer and with an outstanding track record.

The Scottish Family Business of the Year (Small/Medium) sponsored by Virgin Money, is aimed at companies with 100 employees or fewer while, the comparable award in the large category, will be chosen from amongst companies with more than 100 employees operating in any sector of the economy.

Deciding on the outcome of all of these awards will be an expert panel of judges that will include Hugh Lightbody, Chief Officer of Business Gateway; David Henderson, Head of Strategic Finance – West of Scotland, Virgin Money and John Anderson, Director of Growth Programmes, University of Strathclyde Business School.

Sponsors include Business Gateway, University of Strathclyde Business School and LOCALiQ, as well as Virgin Money and David Henderson of Virgin Money, said: “Our sponsorship of the Awards underlines the importance of this segment of the market both to our economy and to our own business.

“We are proud to support family businesses in every stage of their journey from startups to mature corporates and they are the heartbeat of what we do at Virgin Money, assisting growth, expansion and ownership transition via our Strategic Finance teams and providing targeted sector support through our specialist teams covering areas like Agriculture, Healthcare and Renewable Energy.

“We are delighted to support the awards which celebrate and recognise the achievements of Scottish Family Businesses across the entire market. “

The Scottish Family Business Awards in association with Business Gateway will take place on Thursday, December 7, 2023 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Glasgow Central.

The evening will include a welcome drinks reception, a three-course evening meal with half bottle wine per person, entertainment, awards ceremony and official event programme along with the opportunity to network with some of the top-performing family businesses in the country and with sponsors of the event.

Full details of the awards, along with online entry forms and tickets can be found online at