BUSINESSES across Huddersfield blew away the gloom surrounding the economy in emphatic style to celebrate success last night.
There was plenty to cheer as the winners of the Examiner Business Awards were announced at a glittering black-tie dinner and presentation ceremony at the Galpharm Stadium.
More than 300 guests attended the event, which rewarded outstanding individuals and organisations in 12 award categories. They included ones for new businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises, exporters and employers.
Sectors represented by the winners and nominees included manufacturing, retailing, catering, business services, construction, education and the charity sector.
The most prestigious award of the night went to Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle, who was named Business Person of the Year for his success building up greetings card business Card Factory and his continued support for the town’s business community.
The award was presented to Mr Hoyle by Jeremy Garside, managing partner of law firm Chadwick Lawrence, which sponsored the category as well as the overall Examiner Business Awards.
Mr Hoyle, who left school with few qualifications, started by delivering cards from a van, but built up a highly successful high street chain of almost 500 shops. His astute management and vision enabled the company to compete with some of the biggest named in retailing.
After selling the business for a cool £350m, Mr Hoyle has turned his attention to sport as chairman of Huddersfield Town.
A lifelong fan of the club, he is bringing the same sense of ambition and purpose to his new role in the boardroom – while continuing to support a host of local business initiatives.
Presenting the award, Mr Garside said: "Our Business Person of the Year has been helping people get their message across for almost 20 years.
"In an age of emails, texts and tweets, his business found success through more traditional methods of communication.
"And he remains a keen advocate of communication – to get the message about business excellence across to young and aspiring entrepreneurs."
Mr Hoyle said: "I am stunned but honoured.
"I was in a position where I had luck, determination and a desire to do well and with all those three you can go a long way.
"This is a great week for Huddersfield Town as well, with news that Lee Clark is staying as manager and has won the manager of the month award.