Finance

Trawlermen fish firm crowned UK small business of the year


A Peterhead fish firm that switched from wholesale to e-commerce has landed the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Small Business of the Year 2022 award.

Amity Fish Company, led by Jimmy Buchan, star of the BBC’s Trawlermen TV series, netted the overall prize at the event hosted by TV personalities Clare Balding and JJ Chalmers in Glasgow yesterday.

Beating more than 3,000 other entrants and dozens of regional and national winners, Amity’s ingenuity and resilience impressed the judges.

During the pandemic, the business switched from exclusively supplying restaurants and the hospitality trade, to delivering seafood products directly to people in their homes.

Although intended to be a temporary move until the hospitality sector reopened, demand for home delivery grew. The company went on to invest in a new custom-built website and e-commerce platform that allows customers to easily land their catch. This change led to the business doubling their turnover and increasing their headcount.

This is the third year in the row that a business located in Scotland has been crowned overall UK champion at the FSB awards.

Buchan, managing direction of Amity Fish Company, said: “I am stunned that our wee business has been crowned FSB’s UK small business of the year.

“I have worked in the fishing industry for more than four decades, and the last few years have been amongst the most challenging on record – but thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of my team, not only have we made it through but we’re landing new customers.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed the award ceremony, stating: “Smaller businesses are critically important to our local economies and communities – it is a ringing endorsement of our entrepreneurial spirit that, for the third year in a row, FSB’s small business of the year is based in Scotland.

“As these awards demonstrate, the Scottish Government is helping make Scotland one of the best places in the UK to start and run a small business through new measures to revitalise town and city centres and regenerate local economies.”

Martin McTague, national chair of the FSB, said: “Congratulations to Amity Fish Company; a company that innovated to survive through the pandemic, adopting digital skills.

“It takes grit and talent to thrive in the face of constant challenges but, despite all the headwind, this is a brilliant example of ingenuity, innovation, creativity – a perfect illustration of how vital small businesses are to the economy and to our communities.”



All the award winners

UK category winners for 2022:

Beyond Retail

2022 Awards

South West

Wellbeing Award of the Year

Amity Fish Company

2022 Awards

Scotland

Digital/e-commerce Business of the Year

Archaeological Research Services

2022 Awards

East Midlands

High Growth Business of the Year

OLPRO

2022 Awards

West Midlands

International Business of the Year

Glawning

2022 Awards

Yorkshire and The Humber

Micro Business of the Year

Platts Agriculture

2022 Awards

Wales

Family Business of the Year

Solinatra

2022 Awards

East of England

Environmental/Sustainability Award

Team Evolve

2022 Awards

North East

Start-Up Business of the Year

Trenches Law

2022 Awards

South East

Business & Product Innovation Award

Sahan Cares CIC

2022 Awards

London

Young Entrepreneur of the Year (aged 30 and under)

Inksters

2022 Awards

Scotland

Self-Employed/Sole Trader of the Year

Scottish law firm Inksters Solicitors won the Sole Trader award at the UK-finals.

Founder Brian Inkster operates as a sole trader, supported by a range of self-employed solicitors in offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Eigg, Forfar, Inverness, Lerwick, Portree, Thurso and Wick, with back office support provided from a base in Glasgow.

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