Liz Henson Photography ‘Most Trusted Event Photographer 2020’

The SME News Business Elite Awards – acknowledges the success of small and medium sized companies, which organisers say are often overlooked in some of the larger awards.

Despite 2020 being the most challenging of years for business, in the Lancashire awards – Chic Boutique Travel, Grow Your Mindset and Liz Henson Photography, all of Rossendale, won titles.

Lisa Mousley runs Chic Boutique Travel in Helmshore, which opened in 1992. With the travel industry being particularly hard hit by the pandemic, Lisa was delighted to win Lancashire’s ‘Most Outstanding Boutique Travel Agency’.

She said: “I have worked throughout the pandemic and I have been there to help customers rebooking their holidays, which they suddenly found had been cancelled.

“I have made sure I kept up to date with the ever changing government guidance so I can help the many people who are desperate to get away as soon as they are allowed to.”

Former primary school teachers Gemma Sanchez, from Waterfoot, and Liz Cronshaw from Greenmount run Grow Your Mindset and were delighted to win Lancashire’s ‘Most Reputable Business Training and Coaching Provider 2020’.

They began developing the business while they were at Greenmount and Gemma continued to develop the programme when working at Broadway in Haslingden.

She said: “We provide workshops and training opportunities for businesses and educational settings around growth mindset.

“It is about developing yourself as a learner and being more positive in yourself around health and mental wellbeing and instilling the knowledge that people have the chance to change.”

Their business kept busy over the pandemic offering online workshops, mindset motivation with children, online workshops with Cooperative Banking Group and helping parents who suddenly found themselves teaching.

Commercial photographer Liz Hall, from Stacksteads, began Liz Henson Photography when she was still salaried, then in 2013 she went full-time.

For the second year running her business has been awarded Lancashire’s ‘Most Trusted Event Photographer’

Liz, who currently works part time as she has young daughter, said: “As with a lot of businesses the Covid-19 pandemic took its toll, and events I would normally cover were cancelled, but I was still employed to do commercial shoots for clients.

“I also worked hard to complete online study, took time to evaluate my business, continued to network and hold online business meetings and made sure I was business-ready. I am delighted things are getting going again.”