IT'S been a tough year for firms the world over but Glasgow's business community is still buzzing with success stories.
And the top businessmen and women are about to be honoured with the launch of the biggest event in the city's industry calendar.
The Glasgow Business Awards, now in their 15th year, will culminate in a glitzy awards ceremony in October.
Firms across all sectors are now being urged to enter to be in with a chance of scooping one of 15 awards on the night.
Some of the city's best known names – including Slater Menswear, Rainbow Room International and Barrhead Travel – have been crowned winners in the past.
And biscuit tycoon Boyd Tunnock scooped the 2011 Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Award for Lifetime Achievement.
The Evening Times is once again sponsoring Glasgow's Favourite Business category – and we want you to vote and tell us who you rate as the race begins to find out the true industry stars.
Last year, this accolade went to Glasgow Taxis Ltd.
The firm's vice chairman, Stephen Flynn, 47, dedicated the honour to the 2000 drivers as well as the thousands of happy customers who voted for the black cab company.
"It's all about the drivers," said Stephen, who has been a cabbie himself for 21 years.
"Glasgow Taxis is a co-operative.
"We're not a company that's out there to make profit, we're out there to supply the business to the drivers
"It's a co-op. All the money goes back out to the drivers, there's nobody taking big bonuses."
Glasgow Taxis Ltd launched in 1997 from a merger of the city's major cab companies.
The firm grew from an association of Glasgow Licensed Taxi Operators which was formed in the 1950s.
Stephen says a recent £1.8 million technology upgrade has moved the company on considerably from the days of the humble radio.
A new IT despatch and telephone system, a new online booking system plus a smart phone app are all helping the firm win fares.
The economic downturn has affected every business and the first thing that people often cut back on is taxi trips.
"The biggest problem now is a lack of work," admitted Stephen.
"People are watching what they're spending. The rising cost of fuel is also a big issue."
Despite the doom and gloom, the firm hasn't stopped giving to charity.
The highest profile event they are involved in is the Glasgow Taxi Outing, the annual seaside trip for sick children, which this year takes place today.
The tradition, which has been going since 1945, sees cabbies from the West of Scotland, many in fancy dress and driving decorated cabs, take 400 youngsters with special needs to Troon.
In the past 10 years Glasgow Taxis Ltd has raised £63,000 for the Glasgow Taxi Outing Fund.
They are also heavily involved with the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, providing them with a dedicated taxi service.
The firm is now preparing for one of the biggest sporting events to come to Glasgow... the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
"We're pushing for company workwear for the 2014 Games," said Stephen.
"We want to show people from other cities that Glasgow Taxis is the professional choice."
This October's business awards mark a 10-year milestone for Bank of Scotland, which returns as the title sponsor of the 2012 event.
Stuart Patrick, Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: "Our city's business sector continues to shine despite the consistently gloomy economic climate forecasts reported on a daily basis both nationally and globally.
"Glasgow continues to grow and prosper and it is of paramount importance that we continue to recognise, encourage and reward those people who are working so hard at the tip of the spear – in a business sense – to put Scotland's biggest city front and centre as a positive economic beacon for the country."
n To nominate your favourite Glasgow business, send the name to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can view full details of the other award categories and download the category specific entry forms from the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce website: www.glasgowchamberofcommerce.com.
For more details, contact the Glasgow Business Awards 2012 Information Helpline on 0141 249 6660 or email email@example.com
The closing date for applications for the Evening Times Favourite Glasgow Business is Friday July 6.