Great UK SMEs celebrated as part of Heathrow and FSB SMEptember!


By Heathrow

Published 2nd September 2016

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Heathrow has teamed up with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to launch SMEptember, a month long promotion of UK SMEs, and a £5,000 grant competition! Throughout the month we’ll be showcasing great UK SMEs – starting with our first three below: Gourmets Choice, RubyBlue, and LC Energy Ltd.

Small and medium sized businesses are at the heart of the British economy, underpinning vital growth and job creation throughout the regions and nations.

It’s estimated that in the UK, SMEs account for over 99% of all private sector businesses, employ over £15 million people, and generate a combined annual turnover of over £1 trillion (Source: Department for Business, Innovation & Skills via FSB, 2015).

These businesses are also crucial for Heathrow with 30% of the airport’s supply chain being SMEs. The Heathrow Business Summit, now in its 20th year, is key to connecting SMEs to work in our supply chain with the next event in Leeds on September 29 (click here for more information on this year’s events).

Gourmets Choice

The Sutherland family began their business selling locally caught seafood to the villages around Portsoy in 1908 smoking Scottish Salmon, haddock, kippers and mackerel. Fast forward 100 years and 5 generations and the Sutherland Family continue to produce top quality seafood for customers in both the UK and abroad.

Gourmets Choice enjoy a very buoyant wholesale trade selling to upmarket luxury hotels and restaurants to busy bars, bistros and farm shops. Their aim is to access more international markets and currently use air freight via Heathrow to transport produce to India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.


Stuart and Barbara Hughes founded RubyBlue Spirits back in 2010 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland producing home made vodkas and fruit liqueurs. Their RubyBlue Premium Vodka is Ireland’s first potato distilled vodka and since first operations began have grown rapidly, being awarded varies international awards including the Global Vodka Master Gold, New York Wine & Spirit Silver & International Liqueur Master.

Currently Ruby Blue’s customer base is predominantly in the UK & Ireland, however, Stuart and Barbara have ambitious plans to enter the German, Italian, U.S. and Canadian markets. Small shipments and samples bound for Australia and North America frequently pass through Heathrow.

LC Energy Ltd

Managing Director Mark Lebus established LC Energy in 2007 by working with the Duke of Northumberland to convert low grade/value timber into biomass for the local market. Their proven track record in wood chip and wood pellet fuel supply and services to public, private and commercial sectors range from primary schools and care homes, to global hotel groups and international airports.

LC Energy have worked with Heathrow at the airports Energy Centre helping us with system designs and engineering services. The additional biomass heating network required with Heathrow expansion provides exciting further opportunities for both businesses.

CALLING ALL SMEs! Win a £5,000 development grant with our SMEptember competition

Heathrow has teamed up with the Federation of Small Business (FSB) to launch a competition for an SME to win a £5,000 development grant to help them expand and grow. For more information and to enter click here.


By Heathrow

Published 2nd September 2016