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North East now home to Scotland’s best family and start-up businesses

North East Scotland businesses Blaze Manufacturing Solutions and AV One Solutions Ltd, collected awards for Family Business of the year and Start up Business of the year at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Awards ceremony on Tuesday 23 January.

The awards showcased the best small businesses from the length and breadth of Scotland and were judged by industry experts and our sponsors.

Winners of the Family Business of the Year award were Blaze Manufacturing Solutions based whose head office is in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire.

Blaze, established in 2006, provide technical safety and loss prevention solutions in the oil and gas, renewable energies, mining, commercial and industrial sectors. With thirty five full-time members of staff and a sub-contracting team. Their integrated fire safety solutions improve plant safety and business performance and they continue to invest heavily in the research and development of innovative safety equipment to ensure cutting edge solutions to our clients.

In 2017, Blaze was named as one of the top 1000 UK Companies to Inspire by the London Stock Exchange.

Blaze Manufacturing Solutions Managing Director Howard Johnson said: “Winning the Family Business award means a huge amount to us. 

“We count everyone at Blaze as part of our family. Running Blaze is very much a team-effort and so the recognition deserves to go to our staff and contracting teams who have helped us to grow over the past twelve years. 

“Blaze will continue to believe in, and develop our people and we will never stop innovating and challenging the norm in our industry.”

Scooping the award for Start-up Business of the year was Aberdeen based, AV One Solutions Limited.

The company, based in Bridge of Don Aberdeen was founded 16 months ago, employs five full-time members of staff and provides work to six contractors. Providing AV and technology solutions for events and commercial installations, both onshore and offshore. 

They take pride in providing excellent customer service throughout each stage of a project, from initial design, to fitting, operations, delivery, and uplift working with trusted technology suppliers to provide a professional and reliable service.

A young company who company with plans to expand across the UK and are already making a mark with this award.

AV One Solutions Ltd, Managing Director, Graeme McGuire said: “We are delighted to have won the award and for the hard work, dedication and expertise of our team to be recognised with this accolade. The people who work at AV One are the biggest strength of our business and this has helped us to achieve a lot and deliver some fantastic client projects over the first 16 months we have been operational. 

“We work with amazing technology every day and love what we do, so our commitment to continually research, learn and innovate will ensure we continue to support our clients, offer pioneering solutions and ultimately grow the business.”

Andy Willox, the FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: “Congratulations to both Blaze Manufacturing Solutions and AV One Solutions on their awards. They are reflective of the vibrancy, innovation and tenacity that makes up the North East’s small business community and I wish them, and all the winners from the Scottish Awards best of luck in the National Final on 3 May 2018 in London.

Commenting on the event, headline sponsor Hugh Lightbody, Chief Officer at the Business Gateway National Unit, said: “Business Gateway provides free practical help and advice to tens of thousands of businesses across the whole of Scotland no matter what stage they’re at in their business life cycle. 

"Over the last 24 months the DigitalBoost programme has given SMEs even more reason to contact Business Gateway, providing them access to a suite of free resources to help them with their digital skills and expertise including 1:1 sessions, workshops, online guides, a digital healthcheck and online tutorials that can be accessed 24/7.  The FSB and Business Gateway work closely in Scotland and we’re thrilled to be partnering with them to deliver these fantastic awards.”