ANOTHER year has passed and the country is still pondering the Brexit equation.

Without a crystal ball we cannot be certain of the outcome of the latest, October 31 deadline, but we do know that as far as businesses are concerned, the show has to go on.

And it goes without saying that it is more important than ever to support our growing number of business organisations, traders, entrepreneurs and young people who continue to fly the flag for the city’s corporate sectors.

Bradford is a great place to do business.

The city welcomes newcomers and their fledgling trades. We know their input is at the primeval stage of an exciting career move which can grow into an established business, providing services for others and potential future jobs and training. The city centre is now becoming well established for businesses. There is also progress further afield towards the top of town with the recent opening of TJ Hughes and Boyes in Kirkgate Shopping Centre, suggesting a resurgence in the area and offering a bigger and better shopping choice for everyone and encouraging people to stay local.

This faith by well-known companies to open their doors should surely cement the views that the city is prospering.

I am delighted the Telegraph & Argus is once again playing its part in celebrating the city’s, and indeed the whole district’s, achievements, but Bradford has far many more strings to its bow than retail.

Manufacturing is a hugely important element and will play a huge role in determining what our country will look like post-EU, if the politicians decide that is what will be. We already boast the fourth largest concentration of manufacturing employment in the UK. That is quite an accolade and it bodes well for the future.

Engineering and technology also has a strong base in the district and forward-thinking thinking companies have recognised the advantages of doing business here.

Training is another vital ingredient of success and enough cannot be said of the importance of our young population status.

Our university and colleges work closely with businesses, keeping them at the forefront of the game and at the ready to pounce on any opportunity to help them stay ahead and prepared for chance. They also provide a pivotal role in training the next generation of programmers, designers, engineers and managers that we will need to keep up momentum.

For nine years now our annual awards have recognised and honoured the district’s leading performers, large and small. This year is no exception and our finalists can be proud of the fact they are making a difference to their city in their chosen path.

Again there has not been a shortage of category nominations. And there is the further prize of being crowned the eventual winner of winners which last year went to Gordon Rhodes & Son. This company, which had been crowned manufacturer of the year earlier in the night, proved that determination and faith in what you do can overturn even the worst case scenario.

The company showed its steely reserve to literally rise from ashes after a devastating fire at its spice and seasoning manufacturing premises the previous year.

Together with our partners, Bradford Council, we look forward to many more years of celebrating such successes in our district.

We thank our sponsors for their support and salute the achievements of every business and individual on the shortlist.

Tomorrow evening’s glittering award promises to be the best ever and will showcase far and wide that Bradford really does mean business.

We will also be announcing our Bradford Means Business summer networking event on July 31.