Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce will officially launch its 2017 Business Awards on Thursday (April 20) with a champagne reception sponsored by Stirling Highland Hotel.

The popular annual awards ceremony, which is now in its 4th year, will be held at Dunblane Hydro on 21 September 2017 to coincide with the Chamber’s 5th birthday.

Michelle McKearnon, CEO of Forth Valley Chamber said, “The Awards are the biggest business event in Central Scotland, attracting hundreds of high quality entries and over 350 guests annually to celebrate the best of Forth Valley. Interest in the event has grown year on year and our sponsors include Stirling Council, Business Gateway, Highland Reserves & Cadets Association, Campbell’s Prime Meats and Family Business Solutions. Local company SV24-7 are also sponsoring this year’s entertainment by Scots pipe and drum band Clanadonia, whose music features in hit TV drama Outlander. Their spine-tingling performance will add a distinctive edge to what is already an unmissable event in the business calendar.”

This year’s keynote speaker will one of the UK’s leading social entrepreneurs, Josh Littlejohn of Social Bite – the award winning and innovative social enterprise café chain which supports homeless people.

Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, Justin Grace said: “Josh will share the inspiring story of how he co-founded Social bite, as well as give us an insight into his latest social ventures: Brewgooder, a craft beer label that donates all of its profits to clean water projects around the world, and Home by Maison Bleue, a restaurant where customers can pay meals forward for the homeless. As a Chamber we recognise the value that businesses committed to social change make and we are delighted to add a new category to the awards this year, Business for Good.”

New award categories for 2017 also include Forth Valley’s Favourite Business, which will be decided by public vote – the first time a category has been judged in this way.

Award entries open at midnight on Thursday 20 April. To enter, book tickets or find out more about sponsorship opportunities see: http://www.forthvalleychamber.com/business-awards