Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb said:
From bakers selling bara brith to America to cutting-edge social media marketers - this years finalists for the Daily Posts Business Awards demonstrate the enormous range of exciting companies that call North Wales their home.
This impressive shortlist, with export successes like Henllan Bread and Livetech alongside Tir Prince Leisure Group and KK Foods, conveys the spirit of a vibrant region where businesses are outward looking and confident about the future.
With an impressive mix of big exporters and SMEs, North Wales is setting the pace for business development in Wales. Earlier this month, I got a real sense of that ambition when I came to North Wales and met with leading figures from business and industry. They have a clear vision of what they want North Wales to be: hungry for growth; benefiting from low taxes and less red tape; and thriving as an integral part of the Northern Powerhouse.
The Northern Powerhouse, which stretches from North Wales to Newcastle is hugely significant for this part of Wales. By improving links between the northern cities and passing powers down from the centre, the Government is unlocking the potential of this whole region. The cities of the North are setting the pace as the Government rebalances the economy away from its over-reliance on the financial services sector of London and the South East. North Wales is perfectly placed to benefit.
The Daily Post has been right behind this vision. This newspaper has a proud record of supporting businesses in North Wales and challenging governments in both Cardiff and London to create the best conditions to help them succeed. The Daily Post knows North Wales and champions its dynamic and distinct identity.
With the Northern Powerhouse vision now rapidly gaining momentum, this is an exciting time for North Wales and it is the kind of companies competing in the Daily Posts business awards that are leading the charge. Their boundless energy and determination for success is good news for jobs, good news for prosperity, and good news for everyone who lives and works here.