Let me take you back to 2012 at the first ever Haworth Beer Festival. There I was enjoying real ale and networking with other local businesses. By this time I’d had a few and chit chat was flowing freely. It was then that I bumped into (literally) Phil Smith from the KTCA. We said hi and began to chat about his organisation Keighley Town Centre Association and mine which is BNI Airedale Aspire. It became apparent that we both had the same goals in mind – to help Keighley businesses.

It was at this time that the light bulb went off and Phil suggested that we have an awards night of some kind to celebrate local businesses and bring some awareness to the business community of Keighley about all the great things here.

That, in a nutshell is how the first ever Keighley Business Awards began.

To that end, myself and Phil started to put together a team of people to form a steering committee, their task, to deliver the awards as something which could be duplicated year on year. Over the last 12 months, everyone on the committee has taken time out from their usual working life to ensure the awards happened.

As it was the first ever, we we’re a little apprehensive in terms of take-up and interested businesses. At one point it was touch and go as to whether it was actually an achievable goal.

But, on Friday 22nd March 2013 at The Octagon in Sandbeds. The first ever Keighley Businesses Awards dinner was underway at 7pm sharp. We sold out, with over 180 attendees, 10 awards categories and a fancy award to boot.

I would like to thank everyone involved, the steering committee, everyone who has donated services free of charge and most of all Keighley’s local businesses. Without them we wouldn’t have had an award.

Next year’s event is already on the cards. We want it to be bigger and better. Keighley is not just a drive through town. Its somewhere where you can recognised as a leader of business.

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