Friday, November 25, 2005

2005 Chamber Awards

London's Royal Courts of Justice was the venue last night for a national ceremony for the 2005 British Chambers of Commerce Awards. Leading the awards was Anthony Alan Foods Ltd, which won the Microsoft Award for Outstanding Business Achievement, an award worth £25,000 in prize money. This substantial prize is one of the richest available in UK business awards, and helps position the sponsors, Microsoft, at the forefront of support for small- and medium-sized businesses in the country. Speaking about the sponsorship, Natalie Ayres, Microsoft's Senior Director Small and Medium Solutions and Partners Group, said: "Microsoft is dedicated to supporting business and society on a national and local level, in supporting the economy and providing the technology to drive real prosperity in the UK. Our involvement in the BCC Awards is an important part of our consistent, extensive efforts to support small businesses and their ongoing growth and success." The winning company said it intends to use the prize money to fund resources within local schools that will help foster business education. Alan Anthony Foods won a second award on the night, the Business of the Year Award which was sponsored by Barclays. Microsoft sponsored a second award in the 2005 Chamber Awards, the Microsoft Award for Innovation through Technology. This was won by Ontracks.co.uk, a Web-based retailer of model and hobby products. The award for Most Promising New Business, sponsored by BT, went to NAC Comms Ltd of Scotland. The BUPA-sponsored Business Commitment to the Community Award was won by Nottinghamshire-based Building Blocks Solutions, while Sussex-based Genesis Forwarding Group won the CILT-sponsored Export Communicator of the Year Award. The Award for Skills and Workforce Development sponsored by LSC, was won by Shropshire-based Lyreco UK. Karen Finch, founder of The Hearing Care Centre Ltd, received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. This prestigious honour, sponsored by The Telegraph Business Club, featured strong competition from eight other finalists. Speaking about the award, Karen Finch said: "What this award provides for me ... is the recognition and approval of other business people. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing words of praise from those who are in the know; those who understand the trials and tribulations, the fear, the loneliness and self-doubt suffered by anyone who wants to start up in business." Among other award winners at the 2005 Chamber Awards, the Travelex-sponsored Export Business of the Year Award waswon by Jointine Products Ltd.