OPINION: Firms pick up Royal honour

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Sometimes, it must be great to be Queen.

You get to visit Sheffield Cathedral and give Maundy money to deserving people while being feted by adoring crowds.

And then, to celebrate your birthday which is today, you get to hand out awards to the very best businesses in the country.

A Queen’s Award for Enterprise is industry’s most prestigious honour. Every year hundreds of firms apply and every year South Yorkshire is well represented.

This time, five companies have won, four for export, proving once again our region can cut it with the best of them on the international stage.

Satisfyingly, three are manufacturers, including next-door neighbours, steel fixings firm Ancon and President Engineering at 9 and 11 President Way, Attercliffe, respectively.

Little Barnsley chemical company Nanoflam – with only 11 employees – has also proved the world is full of opportunities. The fourth exporter – Pricecheck Toiletries – sells health and beauty products to 50 countries.

Between them they are helping to employ people and reduce the UK’s trade deficit, so we can start to pay off the national debt.

The next Government must pull out the stops to help them.