Entries are said to be flying in for theSkipton Business Awards 2017 just a few weeks after it's launch.

Co-ordinator Wendy Lawson said the first entry was received within a week of the awards website going live, in the Food and Drink category, and it sets the bar for that category, she said.

The awards are being spearheaded by the Skipton Chamber of Trade and Commerce, and backed by Skipton BID and associate sponsors including The Pentelow Practice and The Mill Shop along with individual category sponsors.

Entry is open to any business with a Skipton BD23 postcode up to the deadline of 16 January. An award ceremony dinner on Thursday March 23 at The Rendezvous Hotel will celebrate the success of the winners and showcase the nominees and runners-up.

Wendy explained: “We are delighted that a number of early entries shows the demand for business awards in Skipton, as owners and managers see the opportunity for PR exposure in the form of sponsorship, nomination and shortlisting, as well the potential kudos of winning one of the twelve categories.”

Over the next few weeks The Craven Herald will be expanding on the award categories and encouraging readers to reach out to their favourite businesses, employers and contacts in Skipton to let them know about the awards.

This week we look at the three categories that are among the first to receive entries:

Best Food and Drink: Open to all businesses involved in food and drink; restaurants, pubs, bistros, cafes, sandwich bars, delicatessens, breweries… Skipton has a plethora of businesses to satisfy many thousands of tastes each year, it would be lovely to include every one. Who do we go to for that best flavour, the quickest snack, the best value meal?

Best Retailer: For years Skipton has been recognised for its distinctive streets and the shops which line them, providing fantastic choice and jobs for many thousands, let’s celebrate them. Not restricted to bricks and mortar, entry is open to online businesses too. The more the merrier.

Best Leisure and Tourism: Skipton is a destination of choice for many in the UK and across the world. As such it has developed a leisure and tourism base of which the town is proud. This category is open to all businesses which provide facilities, service and entertainment for residents and visitors alike. From tourist attractions to event organisers it’s open to all.

Next week we’ll focus on another three categories. Further information on the application process including online entry can be found at www.skiptonbusinessawards.co.uk. Any business owners interested in becoming an Associate or Headline sponsor should contact Wendy Lawson on 01756 798257 or email sba@skiptonbusinessawards.co.uk.