THE BOBs have gone – at least for this year.
The new management at the Croydon Economic Development Company thinks the annual Best of Borough Awards are too inward looking, apparently.
I don’t agree, but I think the disappearance of what has become a much too grand affair gives someone with more credibility among the business community a chance to launch something different.
I was actively involved with the annual awards from the outset, when they were expressly for firms in or very close to Croydon borough.
We could never extract a precise definition from the two founding businesses – an accountant and a solicitor – who saw them as a fishing expedition for new clients and therefore wanted to keep all options open.
The awards expanded gently at first, but then became part of the Greater Croydon movement – we’re really a city; oh yes we are; a city in all but name, so there.
The awards took applications from far and wide – Berkshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex – confusing and alienating established business award initiatives elsewhere. At the time, Croydon’s ambitions knew no bounds. It saw itself as the commercial centre of the south-east, but resolutely kept its back to the rest of Greater London.
Then the wheel turned full circle and the Best of Business awards made a subtle name change to become the Best of Borough awards. Now they are no more.
Well done to all the winners, whatever the awards were called at the time. I hope the prestige and the publicity increased your profits – that was the intention at the outset.
What do we do next? I suggest we persuade The Best of Croydon and/or Croydon Chamber to organise a more modest competition next year – one that will dovetail with the South London Business Awards and offer automatic entry as part of the prize in each category.
A celebration lunch might be more appropriate for the borough awards, leaving the black-tie dinner for those who can then claim to be the best of business in the sub-region. I confidently expect there to be plenty of Croydon firms among them.
David Callam is a freelance journalist and the former business editor of The Croydon Advertiser. For more examples of his work and to see what he could do for your business please visit www.callamedia.co.uk
Member since: 10th July 2012
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