Plant hire specialist Gap Group has been named Scotland’s large family business of the year.
The Glasgow company picked up the award at The Herald’s Scottish Family Business Awards last night.
The 300 guests at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow heard from keynote speaker John Watson, OBE, about how he made the decision to sell his eponymous labelling company.
Housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel was given the outstanding contribution award in the year it celebrated its 90th birthday.
Dozens of companies from around Scotland were nominated at the awards which is held in association with Business Gateway and supported by Strathclyde Business School, Supplier Development Programme, Craig Corporate, Campbell Dallas, Clydesdale Bank, Burness Paull, TL Dallas and the Grand Central Hotel.
Ian McConnell, chairman of the judging panel and business editor of The Herald, said: “Entrants left the judges in no doubt that Scotland’s family business sector, which makes such as crucial contribution to the economy, is in fine health. The long-term approach, passion, energy and bright ideas of Scotland’s family businesses shone through in the entries.”
Warranty Services took the prize for fastest growing family business while funeral director Anderson Maguire won the innovation category for its DNA memorial initiative.
PG Paper triumphed in the international category with Apex Hotels winning for customer service excellence with judges citing its satisfaction ratings and personal touch.
Catering and café firm Three Sisters Bake were recognised in the commitment to community award.
Judges could not separate Mitchells and MDive in the small and medium rural family business category so announced them as joint winners.
In the large rural section it was Pat Munro which came out on top with judges impressed by its longevity and steady growth.
Little’s was named the small and medium family business of the year with judges giving a commendation to Wholesale Domestic.
Hugh Lightbody, chief officer from the Business Gateway National Unit, said: “Well done to all of the winners and finalists.
“Yet again the standard of entries was extremely high and indicative of the quality of businesses operating in our SME community.”
Fraser Campbell, partner at Campbell Dallas, backer of the innovation category, commended the entrants and said: “We recognise how important a role innovation can play in staying ahead of the competition.”
Tom Aldridge, director at TL Dallas, support of the customer service award, said: added “Year-on-year, the competition keeps getting stronger for these awards – and more difficult for the judges.”
Chris Thompson, Supplier Development Programme chairman, backer of the small/medium rural prize, said: “The awards recognise the exceptional work of our family businesses and the contribution they make to their industries and to the wider Scottish community.”
Alastair Christmas, regional director of Clydesdale Bank, sponsor of the small/medium category, said: “The standard of entries for this year’s awards has been excellent and all deserve to be recognised, but special congratulations goes to Little’s, worthy winners of the Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year award.”
Tom Craig, chairman of Craig Corporate, backer of the large family business prize, praised the ”compelling story” told by Gap.
He added: “This year’s awards have surpassed the already high standard set in previous years. It was very difficult for the judges to choose a winner from the shortlisted companies.”
John Anderson, director of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, praised Mactaggart & Mickel saying the company is “still innovating and creating prosperity”.