The best businesses across the district were showcased at the ninth annual Bradford Means Business Awards on July 18th.
Held in a grand marquee in Bradford’s City Park, in partnership with Bradford Council, the finalists gathered together to celebrate the people putting the city on the map.
The night has become a much-anticipated event in the business world which recognises their success stories and dedication to building up the district.
T&A editor Nigel Burton said: “These awards shine a spotlight on businesses big and small to ensure their stories are told and celebrated.”
The ceremony was hosted by ITV presenter Kate Walby with a special appearance from celebrity hypnotist, Krystyna Lennon.
Allan Jefferies won The Broadway’s Winners of Winners award in the first-ever live vote from the audience.
The motorcycle dealer was also voted Family Business of the Year with Louise Jefferies feeling both “absolutely delighted and shocked” at the win.
Judges for the award, sponsored by Armstrong Watson, chose the company after it showed it could pair economic success with its family values.
The Small Medium Enterprise of the Year award, sponsored by BHP, was given to Exa Networks.
MD Mark Cowgill, who has built up the company over 16 years, said: “I’m a Bradford lad. Of all the awards we’ve ever won it’s the one I’m most proud of.”
Lewis Aird, head of technical support, was humbled by the win which left him feeling “surprised and overwhelmed”.
For Nick Garthwaite, Christeyns MD, treating employees like family is what makes his business a success.
Christeyns won the Employer of the Year award by Solenis.
Mr Garthwaite said: “They’re friends, they’re colleagues and I’m so proud of the work they do.
Meanwhile the owners of Sherwood Green Nursery were left shaking after winning Job Creator of the Year by Mitton Group.
Owner Sal Ahmed felt “ecstatic” at the news whilst colleague Emilia Olkowska could not hold back tears.
It was a timely win for the business which has just signed the lease for a new nursery school in Wyke.
The business owner said: “I think a lot of the bad press that Bradford gets is the bad press that’s in every city. Bradford is amazing.
“Our business model is about the community, it’s about diversity and acceptance.”
Younis Chaudry, who won AD:Venture’s Business Entrepreneur of the Year award, also feels the city is “the ideal place” to do business.
The team at Edwards Street Bakery, who won the Customer Service Excellence Award, said the city’s diversity makes their business thrive.
Fi Gavaghan and Lisa Fraser collected the award which was sponsored by a number of top businesses including Juice Media, Sparqs, Aagrah and Cobra Beer.
The pair said a key part of their work is employing the “right” people – like bakery trainer Katie Boxton.
Miss Fraser said: “She’s just brilliant. If you were to try to teach it you couldn’t.”
Alice Copeman of Solenis was later crowned Apprentice of the Year by City Training Services.
Lab supervisor Ben Glennon, who collected the award on Alice’s behalf, said: “She’s very polite, very good at her job, she’s got a great work ethic.”
The mentor urged businesses to start up their own apprenticeships.
He said: “The experience needs passing onto a younger generation.”
Sarah Khan-Bashir MBE, who won PWC’s Contibution to the Community award, says there are plenty of “amazing” young people in the district who would benefit from mentoring.
The businesswoman would like to see every business in the district connect with at least one local school or college.
“Every workshop that I go to I see young people that just want to show off their skills.”
Cardinal’s Tim Considine, who won Manufacturer of the Year by Thorite, says manufacturers should “keep evolving” despite Brexit concerns.
Rich Sutcliffe, who won Bradford BID’s New Business of the Year award, said it represented people making “real change” together.
The Agency For Good Ltd said: “For Bradford there’s a lot of social good. It’s massively diverse.”