All eyes look to gala awards. . .

Chris Lazoryk, left, and Carol Barrett, owners of The Royal Perfumery, celebrate their move to larger premises earlier this year
Chris Lazoryk, left, and Carol Barrett, owners of The Royal Perfumery, celebrate their move to larger premises earlier this year

JUDGING is now well under way to decide the winners of this year’s Wigan Business Awards.

In less than three weeks’ time contenders will know their fate at a gala dinner at Kilhey Court Hotel in Standish.

But before that November 18 ceremony, the Wigan Evening Post profiles those vying for glory in another two of the 10 category areas.

Start-up Enterprise of the Year sponsored by Wigan Borough Council

This category is open to all enterprises based in Wigan, which have been trading for less than two years up to August 2011. They may be either traditional profit-making businesses or social enterprises, working in the public sector or commercial markets. The panel is looking for innovative enterprises with creativity and entrepreneurial flair, with a capacity for realising their business vision, backed by sound planning strategies. They should be able to show that they not only have an outstanding product or service, but a passion for what they do. They must demonstrate potential for sustainable growth and employment generation.

Active Synergy has built an outstanding reputation for being a creative, exciting and pro-active training provider in the sports and leisure, events and volunteering sectors. The team of six also delivers a number of delivery services, including events and health improvement programmes. They interlink their delivery services with their training programmes to provide immediate vocational experience for learners. This approach has been very successful at progressing learners into further learning and employment.

School Lettings Solutions works with schools to open up their facilities in the evenings, weekends and school holidays to the local community. The team is experienced in the field of community and sports development, and lets the facilities for the good of the school and local community while also creating a range of learning and leisure activities for people (from all ages) to attend. The work they do allows local people access to probably what is one of the best community resources in their area and the school is able to form a better relationship with its local community, while also making a profit. It is the only Community Interest Company in the country doing this.

Need HQ Limited re-defines the age-old recruitment process in the freelance marketplace by connecting companies directly with available freelancers, producing results in hours instead of days or weeks, saving time and money for everybody. The company’s system is built to keep companies’ and freelancers’ details away from unwanted eyes, keeping profiles safe until the point of connection. This cuts out unsolicited calls and e-mails and more wasted time. The company’s short-term goal is to become the first port-of-call when looking for a freelance service provider for the creative, digital and media sectors.

Independent Retailer of the Year sponsored by Wigan and Leigh College

This award will recognise retailers that offer exemplary service and add an extra dimension to shopping in Wigan. The judges will be looking for companies that have been prepared to show initiative to thrive in difficult circumstances, showing real commitment to their local area.

The Royal Perfumery is celebrating 20 years of trading in Wigan this year. It offers designer and niche fragrances for men and women, and provide a consultation service where staff are able to match fragrances to the consumer, sourcing the customers’ favourite then finding an alternative fragrance where required. The team is also able to source hard to find fragrances and are not solely limited to the stock in store. The Royal Perfumery has recently expanded to a larger premises in Standish Gallery and the team hopes to open a women’s clothing boutique in the Galleries outlet.

Based on Market Street in Wigan, Symphony Music and Technology Centre is run by David and Michelle Bamford and has been operating since 2007. Across its three floors, the store sells the leading brands of musical instruments and accessories, alongside offering musical tuition. The company’s ethos of professional retailing dictates that they add the greatest value possible to the best products available. In 2009, they received the Music Industries Association (MIA) Arts Council UK retailer of the award, and have achieved year-on-year growth despite humble resources and operating in a tough retail climate.

Fashion PA Boutique is a Leigh-based fashion store, which offers A-List clothing at high street prices, stocking collections from leading independent designers. One of the business’s key philosophies is to listen to the customer. Through noting what they are looking for, gaining reaction to the store and changing the shopping environment, clients come back time and time again. Fashion PA Boutique prides itself on its friendly, helpful and personal customer service and keeps in touch with customers via social media, posting new styles and sharing news about events and catwalk shows.