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Online bonanza for chamber awards

Eighty-two companies will be competing next month to be named Greater Birmingham’s top business in the region’s biggest online awards extravaganza.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) awards, normally part of the UK’s largest business dinner at the ICC, will take place online on Thursday, July 23.

Supported by headline sponsors Birmingham City University and HSCB, the free-to-watch ceremony will be hosted on the Chamber’s website where the winners of 12 categories will be named before the overall Business of the Year is revealed.

President Steve Allen will also unveil the recipient of his President’s Award. He is also dedicating the evening to raising money for his Presidential charity, which continues to be the Woodlands House Appeal at Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

He said: “This is an amazing project and I had no hesitation in nominating it for my first year as president. The ambitious aim is to raise £3 million towards creating a caring environment for parents who are grieving from the loss of their baby”. 

Awards proceedings will begin at 7pm with a welcome from compere Ed James, the host of Heart FM’s Drive Time Birmingham, followed by GBCC chief executive Paul Faulkner. The awards are expected to close at about 8.30pm.

Entertainment will include appearances from Aston Performing Arts Academy, and Casey Bailey - a writer, poet and spoken word entertainer.

Mr Faulkner said: “The Chamber’s 2020 annual awards and dinner was originally scheduled to take place in March, with over 1,400 guests due to attend what has become the largest such business gathering in the country. With the Coronavirus situation rapidly developing at the time, we took the decision to postpone the event in the interests of everybody’s safety.

“After careful consideration, we have now decided to bring the awards ceremony online this year and to proceed with recognising those businesses who put themselves forward for an award earlier in the year, and embody the spirit of enterprise and ambition that is a hallmark of our regional economy.

“While the ceremony will be different from usual, we are embracing the spirit of change and relishing the opportunity to shine a positive spotlight on our regional business community at this difficult time, and I very much hope that people will enjoy tuning into the programme that we have planned on the night.

“The judges had the unenviable task of whittling down the entries to 82 companies, who all deserve recognition because we know that entering awards like this is no small task and we greatly appreciate those who made the considerable effort to take part. We also owe a great debt to our supporters and sponsors and I would like to place on record my thanks to them for sticking with us in these difficult times.

“On the evening we will also recognise the challenges the world and indeed the local business community face right now. These can only be overcome if we all work together, shoulder to shoulder. This is an attitude and approach that is very much woven into the Chamber’s DNA, and we look forward to bringing that to the fore on the 23 July.

“And we are already planning for the dinner and awards to return to the ICC next year, with the date of the 2021 Chamber annual dinner and awards being Thursday, April 1.”

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