Previous award winners urge businesses to get nominations in

With scores of nominations already received and less than half the entry period left before the deadline, previous winners of the Harrogate Business Excellence Awards have urged would-be entrants to put their names forward and give their business a boost.

By John Grainger
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 3:56 pm
Winning a Business Excellence award can do a lot to raise the profile of your business, says previous winner, Jessica Wyatt of Mama Doreen’s Emporium in Harrogate. PHOTO: Gerard Binks.

Adam Chandler is the founder and managing director of Wetherby-based Reel Film Media and was named Entrepreneur of the Year the last time the awards were held, 
in 2020.

“If you’re thinking of entering, I’d say just do it. It doesn’t take long, and anyway, why wouldn’t you? It gets you and your business out there and in front of people. If you’re serious about your business, you absolutely have to enter,” 
he said.

“Winning was a very proud moment for me, and I was quite shocked when it happened because we were up against competition from much bigger firms.

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“In terms of profile, it definitely helped our business locally. We mentioned our win in tenders and pitches, and I was even introduced at events as ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Adam Chandler’, which felt odd, but good. It really helped to open a lot of doors which otherwise would have been closed to us.”

Harrogate cupcake business Mama Doreen’s was named Family-Run Business of the Year, also in 2020. Owner Jessica Wyatt said: “We won during lockdown, when things were extremely challenging for everybody. It was all about survival then - we were just trying to keep the 
business going.

“Winning was something I’ll never forget. We’d built the business up from nothing, and gave me the motivation to keep on going. It was a real highlight.
“It gives you a sense of achievement, and makes you realise you’re doing something right when it can sometimes feel as if everything’s against you. I’d recommend entering the Business Excellence Awards to anybody; you’ve got nothing to lose.”

The awards, which are sponsored by Knaresborough-based electric heating specialist Ignition Group, are open to businesses based across the Harrogate District, Wetherby, Tadcaster, and surrounding areas. There are 14 categories, and entering is easy – just go to and follow 
the links.

Entries must be received by noon on Friday, April 29. A shortlist for each category will be revealed in a special edition of this newspaper on Thursday, May 19.

The winners will be announced at a glittering black-tie ceremony, hosted by former BBC Look North’s Harry Gration MBE, at Pavilions of Harrogate on Thursday, June 30. It will be the first time the ceremony, which is often regarded as a highlight of the region’s business calendar, has been held live since 2019.

Ms Wyatt added: “What will be really good this year is the opportunity for everybody to get dressed up and celebrate together again. It’s a real pat on the back for the team, great for morale, and brilliant for raising the profile of your 

Each award is sponsored, and there are still category sponsorship opportunities available – you can get in contact with [email protected] for details.

To book tickets for the Harrogate Advertiser Business Excellence awards ceremony on June 30, go to