WEST & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce has backed these Telegraph & Argus business awards from the start, writes Mike Cartwright.

We think the awards are a good opportunity to raise the collective profile of the local business community.

Further, they give the chance for firms that have been operating under the radar to be noticed. In other words, they give profile to firms.

We have many ‘unsung heroes’ in Bradford, in many different communities, and I think that we should include business in that too.

Yes, businesses aim to make a profit and are not simply in it for altruistic reasons but much more goes on behind the scenes in terms of the contribution they make to the overall picture.

These days, many firms have schemes to encourage their staff to take part in wider community projects – what used to be called corporate social responsibility – while many business leaders give up significant chunks of their time to voluntary and other non-paid roles where their knowledge and expertise is put to good use.

These awards don’t cover for everything in relation to that but they do give us the opportunity to highlight some of the good work being done.

As the chair of this year’s judging panel, I can confidently say that there have been some great ‘runners and riders’ among this year’s nominations – it made our task difficult, that’s for sure.

The Chamber of Commerce will once again join in the celebrations to praise all that’s good about being in business in Bradford.