If evidence of the resilient mindset of Lancashire businesses was ever needed, this year’s Hot 100 list provides it.
Lancashire Business View’s annual celebration of the county’s most profitable SMEs, fittingly published in our 100th edition, is a roll call of true grit and determination.
For many it has been anything but business as usual as they have grappled with the emerging impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But despite that uncertainty there remains a sense of stability, with so many of the businesses we feature in our 100 well-known to previous students of our much-anticipated annual list.
Others have departed by growing their businesses so well, even in the face of adversity, that they no longer meet the criteria and have become ‘too big’ to be considered this year.
This latest roll call of honour also sees 35 new entries, down from 41 last year, though many of these ‘new names’ have featured on previous lists, again adding to the sense of stability.
As usual there have been winners and losers, but again, because of the pandemic and the impact it has had, this is put into even sharper focus.
Unsurprisingly, hygiene product manufacturers and those in healthcare are among those that have fared well. Recycling businesses also feature this year, highlighting the growing green agenda.
Lancashire Business View publisher Richard Slater said: “This is a Hot 100 like no other, compiled as we still grapple with the impact of the pandemic that, as our research shows, has had an impact from day one on businesses in all sectors.
“Yet, what shines through is the determination of Lancashire businesses to keep moving forward, whatever the challenges and obstacles they find in front of them.”
Dean Rodgers, client manager at Haworths Chartered Accountants, who once again compiled the Hot 100 for us, said: “Though 2020 and 2021 so far have – to say the very least – been turbulent periods for the business landscape, we were delighted to find out that the resilience of so many companies across Lancashire has seen many who placed on the list last year, placed again today.”
That’s not to say those businesses have emerged unscathed. For most companies whose figures we highlight this year, the unfolding pandemic affected just the last two to three months of trading.
So, with next year’s figures set to include the greater part of the pandemic, it is anticipated that next year’s Hot 100 will provide grater clarity on the full impact the virus and the lockdowns we have all endured have had.
As Dean explains: “Those working in hospitality and tourism, for example, are only now being given the opportunity to begin rebuilding back to normality.
“Though these have been dark times for several sectors, we know business owners in the area have such sheer determination that we can expect to see them on the Hot 100 list again next year, showing others how it’s done.”
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