Say farewell to the BOBs and hello to something new next year - By David Callam
2nd December 2009
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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

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Maud T

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Hi - me and my gang champion and promote the best businesses in the Croydon and Bromley Boroughs. If you are a local business owner, then we'd love to help you grow your profile, profits and get more business.

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