250 business leaders joined Downtown in Business for their annual ‘Livercool’ event at the city’s convention centre yesterday (Thu 10th Dec 2020) for what is thought to be the first major business networking event to be hosted in the UK since lockdowns began back in March.

The event, described by DIB Liverpool chairman David Wade Smith as ‘historic’, implemented a mandatory COVID-testing programme for all those who were attending and dispensed with the usual revelry associated with big business gatherings.

However, DIB chief executive, Frank McKenna says that meeting the additional challenges and making the event a more low-key affair was worth the effort.

“We have to start to demonstrate to people what we CAN do rather than constantly talking about what we can’t do. We have demonstrated that, done in the right way, you can host a major event. You can continue to bring people together to discuss the important issues that are impacting on our economy. We can celebrate success ‘live’ rather than via Zoom.”

The delegates heard from the chief executive of Liverpool City Council Tony Reeves, who talked about the city’s economic recovery and investment plan; the chief executive of the ACC M&S Arena Bob Prattey and the Managing Director of Livercool 2020 headline sponsor the Sedulo Group Paul Cheetham.

The winners of the 2020 Livercool awards were also announced. The winning companies and individuals this year were:

Male Networker of the Year 2020: Mark Waldron, Move Netwalking

Female Networker of the Year 2020: Marian Cotter, Stay City

Community Impact 2020: Crossfield Group

Employer of the Year 2020: Fazenda

Employee of the Year 2020: Rachael Patterson, Knowledge Quarter

Customer Focussed Business of the Year 2020: Gino D’Acampo My Restaurant Liverpool

Venue of the Year 2020: Pins Social Club

Hospitality Personality of the Year 2020: Paul Askew, The Art School

Business Development Manager of the Year 2020: Sophie Park, City of Liverpool College

Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2020: Craig Greenwood, Everkool

Recruitment Company of the Year2020: Hays

Law Firm of the Year 2020: Glenville Walker

Accountancy Firm of the Year 2020: LJS Accounting Services

PR & Marketing Agency of the Year 2020: Jayne Moore Media

Digital & Creative Agency of the Year 2020: Kaleidoscope

Property Professional of the Year 2020: John Morley, Legacie Developments

Decade of Excellence 2020: Sutcliffe

Man of the Year 2020: Bill Addy, Liverpool BID Company

Woman of the Year 2020: Claire Liddy, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Business of the Year 2020: The Guide Liverpool

Chairman’s Acknowledgement 2020: Alan Robson, Project Four Safety Solutions

Chief Executive’s Acknowledgement 2020: Claire McColgan, Culture Liverpool