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Winners from prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise announced

Her Majesty The Queen has named 201 businesses as among the best in the country in the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise to celebrate Her Majesty’s 93rd birthday.

The winners include businesses leading the way in a huge range of industries – from construction, agriculture, motoring and software development. This year, three quarters of the total are SMEs, 30 of which have fewer than 10 employees. They will join more than 6,000 British businesses in receiving the prestigious honour and will have the privilege of displaying the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise emblem for 5 years.

The Awards, now in its 53rd year, are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses, with companies from across the UK recognised for their contribution in the 4 categories.

There are:

  • 129 International Trade winners
  • 61 Innovation winners
  • 6 Sustainable Development winners
  • 5 Promoting Opportunity winners

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

These prestigious awards help shine a light on all that is great about UK business today. I am extremely impressed to see such a wealth of talent and innovation from across the UK being recognised today by Her Majesty The Queen.

These awards recognise the innovative products and services being provided by British businesses that are in demand across the world, as well as the sheer determination and hard work that comes with starting and running a business.

Many of these winners are small businesses – the backbone of our economy – and we are backing them to grow, increase their productivity and create more jobs and opportunity across the UK through our modern Industrial Strategy.

Antonia Romeo, Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Trade, said:

The winners of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are brilliant examples of what can be achieved by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by exporting and the full range of support available. It was very good to chair the very competitive international trade panel, and select highly successful trading firms to benefit from the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in international trade.

I strongly encourage UK companies to take advantage of the Department for International Trade’s full range of services and support for exporting.

Among the double-award wining businesses recognised for outstanding achievements in both International Trade and Innovation categories are:

  • DriveWorks Ltd, a software developer
  • Ideal Boilers Ltd, a leading boiler manufacturer
  • Niftylift Ltd, one of the largest manufacturers of ‘cherry pickers’
  • driving simulation software company rFpro
  • tool manufacturer Snap-on UK Holdings
  • innovative technology company Markes International Limited
  • Niftylift Ltd is the only company to get the double award twice, having won awards for International trade and Innovation in 2013.

Roger Bowden, Niftylift’s chairman and founder said:

We are honoured to be recognised for not one, but two prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in 2019. These awards help to illustrate how our dedication to design and innovation, together with our attention to detail and strong customer focus, have allowed us to compete so successfully in this global marketplace.

I am very proud of the strong and close-knit team we have here at Niftylift and I’d like to thank them all for their professionalism and commitment to ensuring our worldwide reputation and success over the years.

Shaun Edwards, CEO of Ideal Boilers, which won awards for International Trade and Innovation said:

It is an honour and a privilege to receive these awards, which reflect our continued commitment to innovation and international relations. This high recognition emphasises and reflects the hard work and determination of all our employees whose core values of excellence, integrity and an entrepreneurial spirit will continue to drive our business further towards greater achievements.

Tim Hawkins, managing director of Markes International Ltd, which won in International Trade and Innovation said:

It is a great honour to be recognised by Her Majesty The Queen for our excellence in Innovation and, for the second time, International Trade. We take great pride in introducing new technologies to our field of analytical chemistry, and alongside our valued trading partners, have been successful in supporting customers around the world and enhancing scientific progress.

Chris Hoyle, technical director at rFpro, which also won in International Trade and Innovation said:

We are delighted that the hard work of everybody at rFpro has been acknowledged by the Queen’s Awards judging panel and we are so proud to be one of just a few companies to achieve a double award. Our contribution to making the world’s road networks safer is reward enough, but it is fantastic to receive such prestigious recognition.

Applications for the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2020 open on 1 May 2019 and close on 10 September 2019. They are free to enter, and it is a self-nominating process. Applicants may apply for more than one award and entries are welcomed from all sectors. For more information and to apply, visit https://www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise

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Italy to cut deficit from 2020, provides relief to markets

Italy will cut its budget deficit targets from 2020 and reduce its debt over the next three years, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday, easing fears about fiscal policy in the euro zone’s third-biggest economy.

The ruling coalition last week stunned investors by tripling Italy’s previous deficit target for the 2019-21 period to pay for tax cuts, welfare for the poor and a planned revision of an unpopular pension reform.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of ministers, Conte said the government would push ahead with its expansionist fiscal programme but would keep its spending in check.

“We will show courage above all in 2019, because we believe that our country needs a budget that calls for strong growth,” said Conte, flanked by deputy prime ministers Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini, and Economy Minister Giovanni Tria.

Conte confirmed a deficit target of 2.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 and said this would fall to 2.1 percent in 2020 and 1.8 percent in 2021.

He predicted the debt/GDP ratio would fall beneath 130 percent next year and hit 126.5 percent by 2021. It is currently around 131 percent, the second highest in Europe after Greece.

The government did not release growth targets, but Tria said the gap between Italian growth and the rest of the eurozone would halve next year. The IMF has forecast growth of 1.0 percent in Italy in 2019 against 1.9 percent for the eurozone.

News the coalition planned to cut the deficit faster than previously indicated caused Italian government bond yields to fall sharply on Wednesday, while the Milan bourse outperformed other major stock exchanges in Europe to close up 0.9 percent.

Investments

The coalition came to power in June promising to slash taxes and boost welfare spending, and says an expansionary budget is needed to lift Italy’s underperforming economy, which is some six percent smaller than it was a decade ago before the sovereign debt-crisis exploded.

Tria said the 2019 budget would include a lift in public investment and would offer tax breaks to firms investing in equipment and staff. The jobless rate would fall from around 10 percent now to as low as 7 percent, the prime minister said.

European Commission officials and EU allies had expressed their concern over Rome’s spending plans and there was some relief over the reduced targets.

“It’s a good signal that the trajectory has been revised because it shows the Italian authorities are hearing the concerns and remarks from their partners and the European Commission,” EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said in Paris.

Italy’s minister for European affairs, Paolo Savona, went to Strasbourg on Wednesday to try to reassure EU lawmakers that Rome was not being irresponsible.

“I think there is no chance that Italy will default on its public debt,” said Savona, who has previously called into question Italy’s membership of the euro currency.

“I do not intend to take any action against the euro. On the contrary, I want to strengthen it,” he said on Wednesday.