THE focus was on family enterprise at this year’s Press Business Awards.

Hundreds of people gathered for last night’s black-tie ceremony at York Racecourse, when the winners of 12 awards categories were announced, as well as the 2016 Press Business of the Year.

That overall winner was Riccall Care, which had already taken the title of Family Business of the Year.

This was a category that had received considerable praise from the judges, who said this year’s finalists were “undoubtedly the highest quality” ever seen in this category.

Riccall Care, an independent, family-run home care agency based at Escrick Business Park, was founded in 1984 and has grown steadily since, employing more members of the wider family as it has expanded.

The judges said they had never before encountered a family business where the members were so united in their vision and who got on so well together, with three generations still involved in some way in its running.

Riccall Care now employs more than 200 people, and places particular emphasis on training for its staff.

A double award winner in both the Technology Business of the Year and the Business Innovation of the Year categories was York-based PureNet, for its cutting-edge work involving the use of artificial intelligence in a commercial setting.

The Large Business of the Year was specialist portable building firm Britcab, of Tholthorpe, while the Small Business of the Year was Langver Engineering Ltd, from Thirsk.

In the Exporter of the Year category the victor was Full Sutton-based night vision specialist and Queen’s Award for International Trade recipient NiteSite, and York vehicle hire firm Autohorn took the title of Socially Responsible Business of the Year.

The Business Personality of the Year was Tracey Smith, the chief executive of York Science Park, while builders Simpson (York) Ltd gained the Achievement Through People accolade.

The recently refurbished Principal York, formerly the Royal York Hotel, won the Retail, Tourism and Leisure category, and Little Green Rascals Organic Day Nursery in York was named as Employer of the Year.

The New Business of the Year was Allies, an ecommerce business based in York partnership with trusted experts in particular fields.

The awards are a centrepiece of York Business Week, and this year for the first time came only a day after Venturefest Yorkshire, a regional festival of enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Speakers at the event included Perry Austin-Clarke, editor of The Press, and Alan Millard, chief operating officer at Hiscox UK, the headline sponsor of the awards.

  • For pictures and full reports from all 12 awards see the business section of The Press next Wednesday.