Yesterday was a pretty big day for us here at Awards Writers. Instead of being at home awaiting news from awards ceremonies, our chief wordsmith Louise was giving the opening speech at a set of awards we created.

Before you ask, we didn’t write entries for anyone (that wouldn’t be ethical!) but instead teamed up with business support organisation BiY to create the BiY Inspired Awards for micro and small businesses across Yorkshire. Louise also chaired the judging panel, which included Darren Shaw, MD of BiY and Simon Hartley, of Be World Class.

 The awards were an idea we’ve had buzzing around for about two years now as research told us there were none for small businesses in Yorkshire.

We couldn’t quite believe it when we kept turning up blanks as potential clients approached us to ask what there was available for them to enter.

Sure, you could have a crack at the Yorkshire Post’s awards, but as a small or micro business you’d be in a category which included companies with turnover up to £10m. A pretty tough nut to crack, we’d argue.

So, necessity being the mother of invention, we created the BiY Inspired Awards and yesterday held an awards lunch for more than 70 people at the beautiful Met Hotel in Leeds.

Louise opened with some facts about small businesses from the Government’s latest analysis:

of the 4.5m businesses in the UK, 4.3m employ less than 10 people
those businesses account for 32% of business turnover and employ 18% of the workforce
in Yorkshire there are 354,000 businesses. A whopping 99.7% of these employ less than 249 people

That’s an amazing contribution to our economy, providing jobs and working with the larger corporations which seem to get so much coverage in [...]