A BRADFORD-based tailor has been named a Small Business of 2020 by Lloyds Bank, after providing PPE to local clinics and delivering food packages during the pandemic.

Imran Khan, owner of IK Collections, was forced to close his two shops to the public following government guidance during the pandemic.

Jannat by IK Collections specialises in bespoke outfits for the Asian market including Sherwanis, suits and bridal wear, and IK Collections is where traditional suits are handmade in store by a team of tailors who have occupied the building since the 1960s.

The closures were followed by several cancellations from customers who had to postpone weddings and special occasions due to lockdown restrictions.

Virtual appointments did continue but Mr Khan had spare time that he wanted to put to good use.

To help those in need during the pandemic, he began putting food packages together for vulnerable people shielding, checked in on neighbours in the community, and worked with his team of four to produce PPE for at least 70 medical professionals across Bradford.

Asian Image: Inside the IK Collections shop in Bradford Inside the IK Collections shop in Bradford

Mr Khan was also touched by the story of Captain Sir Thomas Moore who was raising money for charity in the lead up to his 100th birthday.

He contacted the Keighley-born fundraiser last summer and tailored a suit free of charge, as a thanks for the efforts he made to help others.

Now IK Collections have been named a winner in the Lloyds Bank Small Business of 2020 awards, in recognition of the efforts Mr Khan made to support his local community during 2020.

The prize is a mentoring session with businesswoman, Sharmadean Reid, the founder of Beautystack, a networked marketplace app for influential beauty professionals.

In the session, Mr Khan will get insight and support to help him navigate opportunities and grow his business in the year ahead.

The Lloyds Bank Small Business of 2020 competition celebrates the small and local businesses across the UK and their inspiring energy and resilience in meeting the challenges of 2020.

Almost 900 businesses across the country were nominated by their local communities and 24 winners were picked based on how creatively and quickly they adapted to events since March, and how they went over and above expectations.

Mr Khan said: "When Covid-19 hit, my usual order book had slowed, and I knew I wanted to use this time to help my local community. I reached out on Facebook and started putting plans in place to support people in need however I could.

“I organised the production of PPE for local clinics, dropped off food packages for my neighbours, and a personal highlight was making a suit for Captain Sir Thomas Moore. He’s a true inspiration and a reminder for everyone to do what they can to help others during this difficult time.

"Last year, the fashion industry was hit particularly hard by the pandemic, especially for students hoping to start a career in the industry.

"I want to use the mentoring session to learn from Sharmadean about how I can inspire others like she has, and how I can reach more people across different social media platforms to support future talent."