Give praise where it is due in the Bury Free Press Business Awards 2017

Kelly Dawson receives the Business Person of the Year 2016 award from Chris Barrett,left, and compare Paul Sinha
Kelly Dawson receives the Business Person of the Year 2016 award from Chris Barrett,left, and compare Paul Sinha

The annual Bury Free Press Business Awards for West Suffolk companies are now open for nominations with categories for everything from the newest start up to a business person with a lifetime worthy of marking.

The awards evening on October 13 marks the end of the 10-day West Suffolk Business Festival, but we need nominations by August 13, so over the coming weeks we will cover all 10 categories.

Bury Free Press Business Awards 2017 sponsors and partners

Bury Free Press Business Awards 2017 sponsors and partners

The awards allow people to nominate their own businesses and staff or those of clients or companies they deal with.

One of the most prestigious awards is Business Person of the Year, looking for the person whose peers feel stands out in their field.

Last year the award went to Kelly Dowson, of Bury St Edmunds’ Good Sense Research.

This year it is sponsored by Box-It East. The Risby-based company specialises in document management for organisations throughout the east of England, offering hard-copy storage and retrieval, confidential waste disposal, scanning and archive relocation.

Whatever people predict about the ‘paperless office’, Box-It East has just received planning permission to double the size of its facility.

Claire Brooks, managing director of Box-It East, explained why they support the awards: “Some of us don’t own the company, we run it for someone else. I don’t own Box-It East so I have to have goals – I have to go for something that’s all mine.

“Having these awards is special – there’s one night of the year where these people can say ‘I did that.’”

She feels it is good for business people to get recognition that shows others admire what they have done, but she added: “It’s good for business leaders to see how others do things. It’s a brilliant way of learning.

“The best have got confidence in themselves, their businesses. It might not work 100 per cent of the time but they pick themselves up and carry on and that deserves recognition.”

But it is not just the bosses who can win accolades. There are classes for the employee and apprentice or trainee of the year and for customer service, nominated by happy customers.

Companies can also be recognised for their contribution to the community and for encouraging green business. See the categories and nominate at http://buryfreepressbusinessawards.imlevents.co.uk