Organisers delighted at response to Suffolk BME Business Awards

Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, left, and Boshor Ali, chairman of the Bangladesh

Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, left, and Boshor Ali, chairman of the Bangladeshi Support Centre (BSC), right, with other supporters of the Suffolk BME Business Awards from Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, the University of Suffolk and the BSC. Photo: Nigel Brown - Credit: Archant

More than 40 nominations have been received for the inaugural Suffolk BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Business Awards.

The initiative, launched in August, is a partnership involving the Ipswich-based Bangladeshi Support Centre (BSC), the Suffolk Business School (part of the University of Suffolk), the East Anglian Daily Times and its sister title the Ipswich Star.

The aim is to recognise the multi-million pound contribution to the local economy of the hundreds of businesses run by members of minority ethnic communities in Ipswich and across Suffolk – and the partners involved in the awards are delighted at the response.

Boshor Ali, chairman of the BSC, said: “This is an important initiative and BSC is delighted to be working with our partners to highlight the contribution of Suffolk’s BME businesses, which is much-needed in the current climate.”

Mojlum Khan, BSC centre manager, added: “We have received more than 40 nominations, from accountants, electricians, builders, caterers, social enterprises and wholesalers. We were taken aback by the response; nominations have been received from across Suffolk.”

Following the deadline for entries on September 30, an independent panel of judges met to sift through the applications. Dr Will Thomas, deputy head of the University of Suffolk’s business school, said: “The panel of judges were very impressed by the quality of entries. We are delighted that so many BME businesses responded to our joint initiative.”

Terry Hunt, editor of EADT, added: “We are delighted to be supporting such an important initiative. Suffolk’s BME businesses are an integral part of our local economy and it is only right for us to highlight their contribution and achievements.”

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The Suffolk BME Business Awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, October 26, at the University of Suffolk from 7pm. More than 100 people are expected to attend, with a limited number of free places still available.

Anyone interested in attending should visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/suffolk-bme-business-awards-2016-tickets-27894146142 .

For further information about the awards, call the BSC on 01473 400081 or visit www.bscentre.org.uk