YORKSHIRE’s fastest growing companies must not retreat into the “denial corner” and miss the chance to forge lucrative ties with the European Union after Brexit, according to one of the region’s best known entrepreneurs.
Larry Gould, the founder and chief executive at the Leeds-based international translation company thebigword, told the audience at the Yorkshire Fastest 50 awards that our trading partners in the EU still admired the quality of British goods, and the honesty of the UK’s business people.
Mr Gould was the keynote speaker at the awards, which honoured and celebrated the region’s fastest growing companies. Mr Gould told the lunchtime gathering of 240 business leaders in Aspire in Leeds, that the European Union would still be an important market for the UK after Brexit.
“Do not neglect the EU markets you are in,’’ he told the audience. “Don’t be scared off by it; it’s still there.
“There are all sorts of things you need to be looking at, like opening a local business in the European Union. Now there is a cost to that, you have to employ people.
“So if you are currently working in the European Union think of the consequences..Let’s start learning about hedging on currency, and the consequences it has and the opportunity it offers.
“Don’t sit in the denial corner, get up, go out and look at what’s happening,” said Mr Gould.
“One thing I’m worried about the European Union is that we’re already thinking, ‘Because we are leaving them, we can’t work with them.’
“We can. They love our products, they know how honest they are, they know our quality and they will still deal with us, although there will be challenges.”
Mr Gould founded thebigword as a start-up in 1981, providing translation services to businesses mainly based in Yorkshire. Since then, thebigword has expanded to become one of the largest companies of its kind in the UK with a fast-growing international presence.
Phil Jordan, a partner in the commercial team at Ward Hadaway’s Leeds office, who presented the awards, alongside Mr Gould and Greg Wright, the deputy business editor of The Yorkshire Post, told the audience: “The Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 is all about highlighting and celebrating, swift sustainable business growth and reflecting on the importance of fast-growing companies to the Yorkshire economy.
“The 50 businesses in this year’s list have the statistics to live up to their billing. The total combined turnover of the 2017 Yorkshire Fastest 50 is an impressive £1.54bn. In the last three years, these companies have grown their turnover by a total of £753.6m - effectively doubling in size.”
In-depth research carried out by independent economic experts has been used to put together the Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 for 2017.
Figures from a company’s previous three years of accounts are analysed, and then an average annualised growth figure is produced for each of the companies.
HISENSE UK was the big winner at the Yorkshire Fastest 50 awards 2017.
The Leeds-based subsidiary of the Chinese-based Hisense Company, which is one of the world’s largest electronics and consumer goods manufacturers, triumphed in the fastest growing large and overall business categories.
Azzure IT, the Sheffield-based Microsoft Gold partner, was the fastest growing small business and headoffice3, from Pudsey, was the fastest growing medium business.
To be eligible, companies need to be privately owned rather than publicly listed plcs, to have an annual turnover of at least £1m and to have made a profit for each of the previous three years.
Businesses must also be locally owned in Yorkshire or, for foreign-owned companies, have local control. A report on the awards, together with analysis, will appear in a special supplement in The Yorkshire Post on Tuesday March 21.