I’ve spent most of this week judging the finalists in the Falkirk Herald Business Awards.
It’s always been an interesting and informative process, and I’m constantly amazed by the diversity of the businesses operating in the area.
It’s become something of a cliche but, having also been involved in the shortlisting process, I can testify to the fact that everyone who has reached the final is indeed a winner in their own way.
These companies and organisations are the lifeblood of our community and give me plenty of hope for the future.
That’s why it was so disappointing to log on to our website during a break in judging on Tuesday and see the devastating news that Ineos is to close its petrochemical plant in Grangemouth.
So many of our small businesses rely on their bigger neighbours to stay afloat and, if Ineos does indeed press ahead with its plans, the shockwaves will be felt right across the district.
All I’ve read and all that’s been written in the columns of this newspaper would indicate that there could be a future for the Grangemouth plant.
Let’s hope this is not an act of brinkmanship by all those involved which goes that one step too far.