It would be easy to believe the recession lies at the heart of most problems organisations have faced in the last couple of years, but there have also been indications that not every business has let this, undeniably significant, problem dictate its actions.
So our aim in setting up the Business Heroes Awards with MT was to identify and recognise the companies that have shown resilience and made their mark in the face of adversity. And we weren't disappointed, as British businesses more than delivered on our expectations. This year's participants, and particularly this year's winners, are proof that despite the economic, climatic and volcanic chaos that was the past year, UK businesses continue to show tenacity and fighting spirit; traits that are essential if we are to make any significant progress on the road to recovery.
Research carried out to complement the Business Heroes Awards has shown that nearly 50% of UK SMEs increased their revenues in the past 12 months. Encouraging news indeed, and testament to some of the great work we are seeing across the sector.
From technology to sustainability, international expansion to successful start-ups, the quality of this year's entries has been outstanding. It has been wonderful to see SMEs of all shapes and sizes, not only rise to their own individual challenges but thrive in the wider context of a truly testing marketplace. We congratulate our winners and highly commended entries - and thank everyone who entered the search for the UK's most heroic businesses. The only way is up.