FRIDAY September 9th 2022 – make a note of this date in your diary.
This is when the Oldham Business Awards – the borough´s celebration of all that is positive about the business community – returns after a pandemic hampered two-year absence.
Founded in 2009, the awards have become part of the Oldham business fabric, with attendance maxing out at more than 600 people – at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Covid regulations and government-led lockdowns mean the awards have not been held since 2019, but the steering group behind the event has been meeting on a regular basis.
Headed by former BAE Systems executive Steve Kilroy, from Chadderton, the group continues to work behind the scenes, meeting by Zoom technology to comply with pandemic regulations.
Plans are set in motion for the awards to return next year. The date is firm in the QEH diary and group members – all volunteers from all sectors of the Oldham economy – are busy liaising with sponsors and previous winners to ensure a smooth return of this much-loved event.
Steering group chairman Mr Kilroy has met with Oldham Council Leader Councillor Arooj Shah to strengthen links between the local authority, which has been hugely supportive of the event from day one when Councillor Howard Shaw was the Executive Leader, and the awards.
He told Business Edge: “None of on the steering group are under any illusions about the challenges we face. Although we have been meeting on a regular basis, albeit thanks to remote technology, we have much to do.
“We had built a momentum and a mountain of goodwill for ten years and this almost feels like we are starting again.
“We have tried to maintain contact with our loyal sponsors, without whom there wouldn´t be an Oldham Business Awards, but they have understandably had other priorities during the pandemic.
“We are all going flat out now make sure that when the pandemic ends and we can return to something like normal, then the Oldham Business Awards can once again be at the forefront of our resurgence as a borough.”
The awards were represented at the Oldham Business Expo at the Eastern Pavilion in September alongside the council´s Get Oldham Working Again team.
Nominations for the 2022 awards will go live in January with the closing date set for the end of March.