OPINION: Time to celebrate

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We think it’s a great concept – take the winners of the six biggest business awards in the region and pit them against each other to discover who should be ‘first among winners’.

The launch of the City Region Awards last year was a milestone for business .

With the spectacular staging of the second event last night, they are firmly established.

Hundreds of people attended a black tie gala presentation at Ponds Forge featuring Apprentice star Nick Hewer as speaker.

But the real stars of the show were the companies and individuals who had already proved their excellence in an earlier contest.

They are the ones who have battled through a recession, conquered a dizzyingly demanding digital revolution and exported more, made more, learned more and served better.

And then, at the top of the pile, were last night’s winners.

Their victory is richly deserved and should rightly be enjoyed for years to come. They also become an inspiration to everyone in business.

The awards also mark a milestone in collaboration between Johnston Press, the region’s four Chambers and our sponsors.

We’re already looking forward to the next one!