Tough test for judges to pick top businesses

Midlothian Business Awards
Midlothian Business Awards

Judges are set to begin the difficult task of choosing the winners in this year’s Chamber Business Awards.

The shortlists for each category have been revealed, and the prizes will be handed out at a dinner and exhibition next month.

Organised by Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce, the awards celebrate the businesses which set the standard for others to follow.

And the standard of entry has never been higher.

Keith Barbour admitted that the judges will have a hard task in picking a winner for this year’s eventual winners.

The organisation’s chief executive officer, who is on the judging panel, revealed that the quality of submissions was extremely high.

Final judging will take place in the next few weeks and Mr Barbour said: “The judges will have a difficult task. The awards have been on-going for the last 11 years and the standard of entries has increased year-on-year.

“Overall, the range of businesses and the quality of them shows what an array of talent we have in this area.”

The shortlist of nominees covers a wide range of businesses - from a music school and children’s nursery to transport, mortgage advice and electrical testing across nine different categories.

Whisky Frames from Rosewell uses former Scotch single malt whisky barrels and turns them into elegant but rustic picture frames.

The business is in the short-list for Business Start Up of the Year in the Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber Awards.

Opposition comes from Cross Borders, a microbrewery based at Dalkeith and is the brainchild of two school friends.

Jonny studied brewing and distilling at Heriot-Watt University and with Gary launched the company at the Stockbridge Tap in Edinburgh. Gary does the paperwork.

They produce five core beers - pale, IPA, porter, heavy and braw - and have also released two seasonal brews (Spring and Summer) and have plans to release further seasonal and experimental beers.

They now claim to be one of Scotland’s most sought after new breweries and their beers can be found in craft beer and real ale pubs in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Borders.

Fayre Tasty claims to be a healthier takeaway and outside catering company who aim to deliver on taste, value for money and contribute to helping local companies, farms and suppliers.

No preservatives or additives are included to the freshly produced filled wraps, paninis, focaccia’s and other daily prepared items.

Other categories are Business High Growth, Environmental Impact, Commitment to Student and Graduate Engagement, Commitment to Youth Development, Business Ambassador of the Year and Excellence in Customer Service.