On the morning of Wednesday 11th November I was delighted to take part in the launch of the Bridport Business Awards 2021.
The Covid-19 lockdown meant that the event had to be a virtual one. It was hosted by Rick Simmonds and together with Robert Mühl, Chair of the Bridport Chamber of Commerce, Nigel Reeve from Marketing West SW Ltd,and Jean Swinton, from Awards Charity Partner, Dorset Mind, we launched the Awards via our screens.
There are 12 categories open to all local businesses, large and small. The categories are:
- Best Community Support
- Rising Star of the Year
- Most Welcoming Business
- Best Customer Service
- Best Use of Digital
- Pub or Café of the Year
- Restaurant of the Year
- Green Business of the Year
- Independent Business of the Year
- New Business of the Year
- Retail Business of the Year
- Service Provider of the Year
- Overall Winner
How it works – individual businesses are invited to enter as many categories as they wish. Entries open on Monday 16 November 2020. The closing date for entries is 1 February 2021, so there is plenty of time to enter. Entries are then judged by an independent team of judges. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday, 11th March 2021.
To find out more go to : http://www.bridportbusinessawards.co.uk/
I made the following statement as part of the launch of the Bridport Business Awards 2021
Whenever friends visit the one thing they all comment on is how busy the town centre is, especially on Market Days, and when they take stock of the amazing range of independent shops there are in Bridport they understand why.
A quick look at yell.com reveals over 250 business listed in and around Bridport. There are Butchers and Bakers but no Candlestick makers. Or are there? Thinking about it I am sure that some of the potters and woodturners listed make candlesticks.
As a resident of Bridport I know that there are very few products or services I cannot buy here. And that is what I try to do as a first resort. By buying locally I know I am giving a thumbs up to a local business. I may be able to purchase a plant for my garden cheaper on line but I will not get the opportunity to examine how healthy it is or have expert advice from the staff at Groves to guide me through the pros and cons of my potential purchase.
For me as a consumer an interaction with a business is much more than simply purchasing something. The personal service provided by a local business means that over time a bond of trust is built, and often friendships made. Scrolling around a screen with a mouse to find the cheapest, may save you a few pounds at most but it is just not the same.
2020 has undoubtedly been an extremely challenging time for businesses. There is not a business that has not been affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. For employers and staff it has been, and still is, an extremely worrying time. Lockdowns and restrictions, interruptions to supply chains and difficulties reaching markets, all as a result of our fight to control the impact of the virus, have impacted on all businesses. In the Bridport area where tourism and hospitality is such an increasingly important part of local economy the impact has been particularly significant.
As Mayor of Bridport I am very aware of how important a healthy business community is to the overall health, prosperity and vibrancy of our town.
This year, perhaps more than in other years, it is important that we recognise the contribution that businesses make to the success and vibrancy of our town.
The Bridport Business Awards 2020 are one way in which we can recognise this. However, in my eyes you are all winners and on behalf of the people of Bridport I would like to express my thanks for your hard work
But perhaps the best recognition we the people of Bridport can give our businesses is by supporting them, using them, buying from them and by singing their praises far and wide.