20th August 2020
THE QUEEN’S AWARD FOR ENTERPRISE IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SURREY BUSINESSES TO SHINE
That 2020 is a year that has emerged as one of immense challenge cannot be held in doubt. The health, social and economic challenges have stretched the capabilities of the nation to cope but they have also revealed our resilience in this endeavour.
It is set against a backdrop of immense challenge and hardship for so many businesses that have had to face head on the severe challenges created by Covid-19. Challenges that for many have already led to the heartbreak of business closures and for others a fight for survival. I know from my own experience with our family business, Loseley Park, that the leisure sector along with many others has been fiercely challenged.
This is a pressing and crucial moment for the Surrey economy with effects not only for business but for culture, charities and communities. I would not for a moment underestimate its impact, and I shall come back to the issue in future ’Surrey Views’. But part of the response to this, and something I see in abundance, is an enterprising attitude to solve problems and move forward. It is an attitude that encourages us to dig deep and one that empowers people with the positivity to make progress.
You see this in our entrepreneurs the length and breadth of Surrey. And what an abundance of brilliant businesses we have. From advanced technology businesses like Vision Engineering, to large firms like Rentokill , to the innovative pet products business The Company of Animals and Zone 3 the specialist triathlon equipment business in Merrow.
I mention these companies because the thread that binds them is that they are all Surrey winners of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise, which acknowledges “outstanding achievement by UK businesses.”
Now, to be outstanding might sound a little daunting but my experience of visiting businesses throughout our county is that outstanding is not the exception it is the rule.
Businesses that have been life lines to local communities at our moment of greatest need. Businesses that have kept people in jobs and made advances often against all of the odds. Businesses that have and will keep an eye on the industries and markets that will inspire our future world.
And if you are one of those businesses that everyday do extraordinary things then The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is an opportunity to be acknowledged and to receive powerful acknowledgment for the difference that you and your team makes.
This September nominations will close and they represent, to my mind, an important opportunity to reflect our outstanding firms and the enterprise spirit of our county. An opportunity to celebrate achievement and to inspire others to go for it.
It matters because we must not only survive, we must also thrive. By thriving the road to renewal and recovery becomes something that more can benefit from and the first step begins with confidence.
The importance of confidence is something that a great many people in business know a lot about. My own experience working in our family business taught me the lesson early on that customers not only want to have faith in the product they also want to believe in the integrity and future vision of those they do business with.
This is all part and parcel of a positive attitude and optimistic outlook that better days lie ahead. It is something that inspires everything exceptional endeavour. It is something at the heart of the enterprising attitude.
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise reflects all of this and more, which is why my message is don’t just think about it, do complete the entry. Past winners have noted the benefits it receives from market recognition to increased commercial value and a boost to team culture and morale.
Next April, nothing will give me more pleasure than to be able to recognise the achievements of our Surrey winners. In this year of great challenge they will have shown the enterprising attitude, can-do approach and innovative spirit that we need now perhaps more than ever before to face the challenges ahead with confidence.
This comes with my very best wishes to you and your families.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey