Ely Business Awards 2020: Our top tips and why now is a great time to enter

Here is why you should enter our Ely Standard East Cambridgeshire Business Awards this year. Picture

Here is why you should enter our Ely Standard East Cambridgeshire Business Awards this year. Picture: Ian Carter/Archant - Credit: Archant

East Cambridgeshire was not immune from the coronavirus pandemic, and economic recovery, for us, and for the rest of the country, will be slow, and in some instances painful.

But amidst what many see as the gathering gloom, are pockets of optimism and growth backed with a flurry of Government initiatives to stimulate the economy.

Some indication of those companies providing the resilience and determination to progress us quickly forward remain anecdotal.

Our ears, as hosts of the East Cambridgeshire annual business awards, are close to the ground.

John Bridge, chief executive of the Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce, and a long time supporter of our awards, is candid though about where we are.

“Indicators for May 2020 suggest that the number of employees in the UK on payrolls is down over 600,000 compared with March 2020,” he says, grinding through the data.

He says the period to the end of April 2020 “show weakening employment rates, with the self-employed and men seeing some reduction in employment.

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“The largest changes are seen in the number of people temporarily away from work, including furloughed workers, which rose by six million at the end of March into April, leading to a large fall in hours worked”.

There are a few sectors where employment prospects look hopeful and Stephen Lancaster, operations lead for the Department of Works and Pensions, is anxious to help.

“Upskilling and offering the opportunity to get back to work” is one of his department’s missions.

“More importantly too is suggesting to people where they can find – and we care about people’s welfare too,” he says, explaining how important it has become to mentor and coach those unexpectedly now looking for work.

You could argue that’s a bleak canvass to background this year’s business awards, which are, as always, a celebration of success and entrepreneurship in East Cambridgeshire.

But in post-lockdown Britain we should not lose our ability and will to succeed. To motivate ourselves and our businesses. To champion our successes. And to share those aspirations and achievements with others.

The Ely Standard 2020 business awards may feel a little different this year.

And they may look a little different as we, rightly so, extend the deadline for entries and put the ceremony back to December.

But we do hope you feel confident – and inspired –enough to download an entry form that could take you through to our winners’ ceremony.

For those that have been before you they will testify to its positivity and we would encourage you to take part.

2020 may have had the stuffing knocked out of it and there may be a fragile road to recovery but we’re less than midway through the year and the bounce back we hope has begun.

This year we have the following categories available to enter:

• New Business of the Year

• Small Medium Enterprises of the Year

• Family Business of the Year

• Supporting Young People Award

• Commercial Business in The Community

• The Customer Service Award

• Business Growth Award

• Business Person of the Year

• Employer of the Year

• The Innovation Award

Criteria for each of the categories can be found on the awards website.

The Judges’ Award & The Business of the Year Award - These awards are not directly entered but chosen by the judges & will be announced on the night.

Entry deadline for the 2020 awards is on September 30 2020 . All entries can be made through the awards website www.elybusinessawards.co.uk

Award ceremony: Moved to Friday, December 4 2020 at Ely Cathedral.