Business awards heroes honoured

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HEROES of the recession have been hailed at the annual Wigan Business Awards.

Representatives or companies large and small flocked to the Kilhey Court Hotel in Standish to discover who had clinched this year’s coveted 10 prizes.

And the biggest winner, with the coveted Business of the Year title, was metal-plating engineering specialist Karas Industries.

Two businesses managed to secure a brace of awards. Gallimore’s restaurant in Wigan town centre celebrated both the Environmental and the We’re Backing Wigan awards, both of which are conferred, for different reasons, to those who go the extra mile for making the town a better place.

And Ince-based maintenance firm Link Contracting landed both the Family Business of the Year trophy and the prize for employers supporting apprentices.

Patsy Slevin, who runs Prospect Brewery in Standish, now has the Small or Medium-Sized Business Award to add to her growing collection.

The Wigan town centre-based Royal Perfumery, which recently expanded into larger premises for the second time, celebrated the Independent Retailer of the Year award.

And Create Creative Consultants of Pemberton now has the Exporting/International Trade award to show off.

School Lettings Solutions, which maximises school building use outside class hours, was Start-up Enterprise of the Year and Leigh’s Fashion PA Boutique clothes store was handed the Entrepreneur if the Year Prize.

Among the guest speakers was Amand Barker, Wigan President of event organisers Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

She congratulated all the entrants and winners, adding: “Karas Industries have achieved stunning business success with a strategy of targeting business customers ahead of market need and creating bespoke products above and beyond the expectations of their clients.”

She also singled out Howard Gallimore for his We’re Backing Wigan award, saying that when there was a rumour that the Manchester riots would spread to Wigan (which thankfully did not happen) he did not board up his premises but opened for longer hours to feed and water the emergency service personnel on duty and those helping them.

To see photographs from the ceremony and profiles of the winners see our sister paper The Wigan Observer out tomorrow.