Every year, the Mayor of King’s Lynn celebrates the businesses of our region with an awards evening. This event gives us the chance to nominate individuals and enterprises that stand out for a variety of reasons.
Throughout West Norfolk businesses operate out of anywhere from garden outbuildings to huge grey anonymous ‘sheds’ hidden at the bottom of the labyrinthine trading estates. They often function happily and profitably under our noses without us even realising they exist and although some make it on to the stage to collect an award, they all need our encouragement and a pat on the back.
A quick scan of your surroundings when you’re peering at your SatNav reveals the trading names of all sorts of almost invisible companies who obviously exist and do something and yet the chances are you’re oblivious to them and what they do. Try it…you’ll be amazed. What’s even more staggering is to deviate from your usual route into Lynn and dodge down Bergen Way or take a detour into the Hardwick Estate and see the diverse and eclectic collection of operations all bustling about and loading trucks and lorries with stuff that is destined for somewhere. My personal favourites are the small units that look like nothing’s going on and a sign outside declares it to be the offices of ABC Ltd. which tells you nothing and automatically your mind goes into overdrive. What could they do? Saucy underwear? Chopsticks? Christmas tree lights? Vintage car clutches? Goodness only knows, but one thing’s for certain. Someone’s working in there, generating business and paying tax and an accountant and doing something for the local economy.
We need to take a lot more interest in our surroundings and the people who take the risks that we all benefit from and without the bravery and sometimes bonkers enthusiasm of these pioneers we would not have the employment opportunities we need to maintain our communities and see our region grow in prosperity and stature.
For those of us who just turn up for work every morning it can be hard to understand how the money that arrives in our bank every month has been generated. Who exactly is the person who flogs your precisely-made ‘cormthrusters’ and ‘titanium widgets’ to manufacturing companies across the UK and maybe the world? Who buys them? Why do they buy ones from West Norfolk and not somewhere in Taiwan? It isn’t just engineering that would feature on any top ten list of local businesses that might benefit from some public recognition. You might know of an enterprise that makes a point of promoting from within, or takes on apprentices or takes its responsibilities as an equal-opportunitiesemployer a step further than the legal minimum. Whatever your reason it will be valid and taken on board by the panel But you need to nominate and to do that you must visit the website. Go on! Support the people who are supporting us.