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Last week (3rd May) saw Ice Factor Group celebrate its latest significant achievement as a finalist in the category of Digital Business of the Year in the Federation of Small Businesses National Final Awards in London.

Ice Factor Group, that incorporates Ice Factor Kinlochleven in the West Highlands and Snow Factor Braehead was among twelve businesses from throughout the UK vying for the prestigious Digital Business of the Year accolade.

With awards in eleven categories, over 400 guests attended the event in Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. Ice Factor had progressed to last night’s final after its success in January, when it was named ‘Digital Business of the Year’ in the inaugural Scottish section of the Federation of Small Business (FSB) ‘Celebrating Small Business Awards 2018.’ Shortly after that success, Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution visited Snow Factor Braehead to learn more about the business; and to try snowboarding!

According to the FSB, judging of the Digital Business of the Year category considered how a company had ‘maximised all aspects of e-commerce to achieve growth and (demonstrate) a strong financial performance through exceptional customer experience.’

Snow Factor Braehead has seen online sales achieve over 60% growth year-on-year since 2012 and after adopting a digital first strategy across its businesses. This has included launching new websites, introducing new online booking structures, improving management of SEO and PPC and maximizing customer engagement through social media channels.

Reaching the UK final follows a number of industry awards for Ice Factor Group that in 2001 was founded by Lochcarron born mountaineer and entrepreneur Jamie Smith.  Last month, the Group received the Business Growth of the Year Award at the Scottish SME Business Awards 2018.

Jamie Smith, whose business is also the preferred operator of a new snowdome being constructed in Middlesbrough and scheduled to open in 2019/2020, commented: “The whole team at Ice Factor Group is very proud to have been named / reached the UK final in the Digital Business of the Year (category).  As one of Scotland’s leading adventure destinations, we are passionate about ensuring our customers consistently enjoy the highest standards of service and our digital first strategy is an integral part of how we conduct business.

“In recent year, Ice Factor Group has made considerable investment across our digital platforms.  I believe this has been recognised by our ongoing results, including increased online bookings and improved engagement with customers. As a business that throughout the year gives skiers, snowboarders and climbers of all ages and ability the chance to enjoy winter fun, we are now thrilled to be recognised as a finalist in the FSB’s Celebrating Small Business Awards.

“Congratulations too to the many other finalists and award winners who reflect hard working SME’s throughout the country.”

When Derek Mackay MSP visited Snow Factor in February, he commented: “Small and medium sized businesses are fundamental drivers in securing sustainable economic growth. In Renfrewshire we are fortunate to have a high number of quality businesses and enterprises now operating, bringing jobs and economic growth to the local area.

“It also brings visitors to Renfrewshire. With the success of online bookings and digital promotion, businesses, such as Snow Factor, can attract visitors from across the West of Scotland and further afield to the area.”