TODAY we launch the Lancashire Telegraph Business Awards 2013 – the premier event in the area’s business calendar and the leading showcase for East Lancashire enterprise.

The awards celebrate the very best of the area’s business and firms and individuals from all sectors are being urged to bid for an opportunity to be recognised and rewarded for their successes during the past 12 months.

There are 11 categories, including the prestigious Business of the Year title, and other awards recognising manufacturing excellence, innovation and technology, export, deals, environment and retailing of all kinds.

DOWNLOAD THE ENTRY FORM: LT Business Awards 2013 entry form.docx

Our team award also puts the spotlight on groups of employees who have really made the difference.

The social and community development title applauds firms that put something back into their communities.

Sponsors this year are Blackburn College, Accrington and Rossendale College, Blackburn with Darwen and Burnley councils, Accrol Papers, worldwide business experts Deloitte, Hyndburn Enterprise Trust and legal firm Napthens. Entries will be accepted until Thursday, August 29, and the winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at Ewood Park, Blackburn on November 15 which will be hosted by Lancashire entertainer Norman Prince.

Lancashire Telegraph editor Kevin Young said: “These are difficult times for all businesses but here in East Lancashire we know that a fantastic amount of innovation, talent and sheer hard work is helping many enterprises to beat the recession.

“It is a honour to showcase their efforts.

“The awards night is the largest annual gathering of East Lancashire business people and a great way to acknowledge and celebrate the successes that have been worked for so hard and are richly deserved.”

Dale Stokes, managing director of Blackburn-based MDA Ltd the 2012 Business of the Year winners said: “Winning the LT Bus of the Year award was fantastic recognition for all the hard work put in by the MDA team and really helped to improve our profile.

MDA has continued to go from strength to strength, with our best ever financial performance over the last 12 months topped by our acquisition by Bunzl, a FTSE 100 plc.”

Ian Clinton, principal of Blackburn College, said: “As one of the largest FE colleges in the region, we are committed to training and developing the next generation of skilled workers and business leaders for our region. Training has and will always be a crucial aspect in moving any business forward and we are committed to providing the highest quality to employers.

“We are thrilled to be sponsoring the Lancashire Telegraph Business Awards for the second year running.

“We’ve had a proud association with the Telegraph and local and regional employers over many years and the awards are an excellent way for us to demonstrate our continuing commitment. We wish all the entrants the best of luck.”

Helen Clayton, director of Entrepreneurial Business at Deloite in the North West, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Lancashire Telegraph Business Awards and in particular the Deal of the Year category. East Lancashire boasts some of the most entrepreneurial and fast-growing businesses in the North West, many of whom are involved in transformational deals.

“These companies form the backbone of the economy and are essential to the future prosperity of the region, so we are proud to play our part in recognising success.”

Companies of all sizes can apply for the awards. Businesses can enter as many categories as they wish and there are no entry charges. Go to to download a form today.