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YABA Awards commend the ‘unrecognised’ impact of Yorkshire’s Asian businesses

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IMG_0658 (326x450)Businessmen and women from across Yorkshire gathered at Bradford's Cedar
Court Hotel last week to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the
region's leading Asian businesses at the inaugural Yorkshire Asian Business
Association (YABA) awards.

Organised to recognise the ever growing contribution Asian enterprises make
to both the local and UK economy, over 500 people attended the glamorous
evening hosted by BBC's Tommy Sandhu and David Parkin.

Six categories were covered on the night, including Emerging Entrepreneur of
the Year, Food & Drink Business of the Year, Professional of the Year,
International Business of the Year, Retail Business of the Year, and SME
Business of the Year.

Special awards were also presented to individuals who made a significant
contribution to the region with co-founder of the Asian Express Newspaper,
Andleeb Hanif, amongst the recipients.

IMG_0709 (305x450)Mrs Hanif established the Asian Express with husband and managing director,
Nadim, over 15 years ago and today they claim a circulation of 1.6million.

"Whether we are well-established successful businessmen and women or budding
entrepreneurs, professionals of the highest calibre or those starting a new
career - we all strive to leave a legacy of some kind because that is a
testament to our struggles, passions and individuality," Mrs Hanif said.

"The truth is the mis-representation and huge under-representation of the
ethnic communities by the mainstream press is what fuels our passion to
change the media landscape. I was deeply humbled to receive this award as a
recognition of what Asian Express strives to do."

Also accepting the special recognition awards were Nazir Ahmed of Parklane
Properties, Amjad Pervez of food wholesalers Seafresh and Sir Gary Verity of
Visit Yorkshire.

IMG_0437 (301x400)Meanwhile, a diverse range of businesses were in the running for the six
categories highlighting the positive impact Asian businessmen and women
continue to make on their local economies.

With judges asked to select winners against the criteria of innovation;
contribution to the region and UK; business integrity; and leadership, every
finalist was commended for their continued efforts.

YABA Chairman, Amarjit Singh, said the nominees all exemplified
'extraordinary' work ethics and congratulated the winners of each award.

"Asian businesses have come a long way and have traditionally punched above
their weight both in terms of their contribution to the UK and the diversity
of business models," he said.

"All too often these businesses go unrecognised and YABA are delighted to be
changing that through the YABA awards and our ongoing efforts to accelerate
the growth of business across the region.

IMG_0674 (300x290)"We hope that the characteristics of success our winners demonstrated will
act as a beacon for others, and go some way towards challenging perceptions
within the region of what Asian businesses do.

"We would like to thank our incredible and diverse board, our sponsors and
of course our members."

Amongst the esteemed judging panel on the night was Baroness Sayeeda Warsi,
internet pioneer Ajaz Ahmed, and General Manager at Microsoft, Clare
Barclay.

Ms Barclay added: "We are proud to support YABA with their work across the
region. We work with over 3,000 Microsoft Partners across Yorkshire, many of
which are Asian businesses so I am delighted to see YABA go from strength to
strength and recognise winning performance."

YABA now plans to launch a series of events later this year and into 2016,
focusing on international trade and export as Asian businesses continue to
grow beyond their British markets.

 

The 2015 YABA Award winners:

  • Retail business:

Ahmed Mulla, Mullaco Dewsbury

  • Food and drink business:

Bobby Patel, Prashad

  • Professional:

Qari Asim, DLA Piper

  • Emerging entrepreneur: Sukhvinder Javeed, Milkysnugz
  • SME business:

Zak Patel, Talk Direct

  • International business:

Arnab Basu, Kromek Group

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Kirkgate market rent reductions

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ISAPPOINTED: Mr Bhardwaj has run his stall in Kirkgate Market for over 15 years and says he has lost up to 70 per cent of his business due to development work

ISAPPOINTED: Mr Bhardwaj has run his stall in Kirkgate Market for over 15 years and says he has lost up to 70 per cent of his business due to development work

Council attempts to appease businesses whilst traders label offer ‘ridiculous’

Businesses at Leeds Kirkgate Market will continue to benefit from an extended reduction in rent whilst major refurbishment works take place, despite calls from traders that it is still ‘not enough’.

Last week, Cllr Gerry Harper, Leeds City Council’s markets champion, announced the decision that the current  20 per cent rent reduction, which was due to expire soon, has now been extended until at least the end of the financial year in March 2016.

The rates were set to return to their usual fee this month for indoor traders and in December for outdoor traders.

Refurbishment work has been underway for the past six months onsite and although efforts have been made to minimise disruption to trade, Leeds City Council has agreed to extend the existing arrangements to offset the current trading conditions.

Cllr Harper said: “We realise that during our substantial £13.7 million refurbishment programme of Leeds Kirkgate Market there will continue to be some disruption to both businesses and customers, which is why we have taken the decision to extend the 20 per cent reduction in base rents for traders.

“This will mean that regular traders at Kirkgate indoor and outdoor markets will continue to benefit from this financial support whilst works continue, which is a signal of our continued commitment to supporting businesses at Kirkgate Market during this exciting time of change.”

Despite the announcement, some traders remain unconvinced at the long term benefit for their businesses.

Mr Bhardwaj has been working at the site for the past 15 years whilst his wife also runs a stall from the same premises.

BUSY: Kirkgate Market is one of Europe’s largest indoor markets, selling a huge range of products

BUSY: Kirkgate Market is one of Europe’s largest indoor markets, selling a huge range of products

As the Victoria Gate development continues to be developed on Kirkgate Market’s former car park, , Mr Bhardwaj says his stall has suffered a fall in sales by as much as 70 per cent.

“What they (Leeds City Council) have done to the market and what they are offering in this rent reduction is ridiculous,” he said previously.

“They were warned well in advance that this would happen but they didn’t listen and now they are just trying to whitewash it all by giving us 20 per cent off.

“We’ve lost so much business because people just don’t come in here anymore.”

Once completed next year, the newly refurbished market will form part of a prime retail location for the city, alongside the new Victoria Gate development. These improvements are hoped to make the market even more attractive to existing and future customers and traders.

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