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Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce is delighted to announce that applications for the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Business Awards 2021 are open. We are proud of the business heritage, success and future opportunities in our county, and the Business Awards will showcase the very best achievements and performances across 15 diverse categories

The awards ceremony will take place on 18 November 2021 and will follow government guidance applicable at the time of the event.

Awards Categories below

Business of the Year

Sponsored by HSBC

Employer of the Year

Sponsored by West Midlands Armed Forces

Awarded to the business or company that has an outstanding human resource and staff engagement strategy. The judges are looking at all aspects of the strategy including recruitment, training, development, communication, employee working practices (including work-life balance), environmental impact, community outreach and corporate social responsibility. Success should be evident in staff feedback, retention, community recognition and overall business performance.

Employee/Charity Employee of the Year

Sponsored by Ornua

Awarded to an outstanding employee who has delivered exceptional and sustained business performance over a prolonged period (minimum 12 months). The judges will be looking for somebody who has shown exceptional dedication, advancement and contribution within their role and the business as a whole. This includes personal development and a contribution to the development of other colleagues or staff too.

Young Employee/Apprentice of the Year

Sponsored by Trentham Estates

Awarded to an outstanding individual who is under the age of 25 (on 19th November 2020) and has been working within a company for more than six months. The judges will be looking for somebody who has shown exceptional dedication, advancement and contribution within their role and the business as a whole. This includes personal development through study, educational courses, additional training and qualifications. We will also look to recognise any contributions to the local and wider community.

Most Promising New Start-Up Business

Sponsored by Access Covers

Celebrating a new business or company that has started within the past three years (incorporated after April 2016). The judges will be looking at all aspects associated with a successful new business, including: innovation (identification of an opportunity and development of a product, strategy and business plan), launch (delivery of the product to market & successful business performance) and growth (strategy for expansion and further development).

Small Business of the Year
(1-50 FTEs)

Sponsored by Infinity IT

Recognising excellence within a business or company of fewer than 50 employees (including FTE contractors). The judges will be looking at all aspects of the business including financial performance, leadership and management, staff development and training, environmental performance and energy efficiency, innovation, social responsibility, long term business sustainability, and future growth plans.

Medium/Large Business of the Year (50+ FTEs)

Sponsored by Dains Accountants

Recognising excellence within a business or company of more than 50 employees (including FTE contractors). The judges will be looking at all aspects of the business including financial performance, leadership and management, staff development and training, environmental performance and energy efficiency, innovation, social responsibility, long-term business sustainability, and future growth plans.

Sustainability and Environment Award

Sponsored by Keele University

This award recognises organisations that can demonstrate a proactive approach to protecting the environment and reducing their carbon footprint. Judges will be looking for innovative solutions that have had a dramatic impact in terms of energy efficiency, resource management and environmental impact.

Online Business of the Year: Retail, Leisure, Culture & Tourism

Sponsored by LilaConnect

This new category for 2021 aims to shine a light on businesses who have taken an innovative approach to online sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the country entered the first lockdown in March 2020 most businesses were forced to make changes to their operations. We want to hear from businesses who have utilised online communications and sales methods to diversify their product offer or to target new markets. This category is open to businesses in all sectors, but we particularly want to highlight the creativity and resourcefulness of those sectors hit hardest by the pandemic and encourage applications from the Retail, Leisure, Culture and Tourism sectors.

Science, Technology and Innovation Award

Sponsored by Wolverhampton University

Awarded to a company that has utilised science, technology or innovation over the past three years (since April 2016) to enhance an aspect of business performance. The judges will be looking for an idea, product, method or process that is new to the business and preferably new to the business sector too. The benefits should be clearly evident within some aspect of the business, for example commercial performance, operational efficiency, product enhancement, or customer experience.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by Staffordshire University

This award recognises the achievement of an individual who has been instrumental to the success of a business. Entrants for this award may have exploited an opportunity to develop a successful business from scratch or radically improved the performance of an existing business.

Professional Services of the Year

Sponsored by Finest

This award will recognise excellence within a professional services company, business or organisation. The entry can relate to a specific product or service, or to overall business performance. The judges will be looking at all aspects including leadership, management, staff development/training, social responsibility, future growth plans and business sustainability. Focus will also be given to performance above and beyond that expected for the service and sector.

Manufacturer of the Year

Sponsored by Michelin

Staffordshire has long been recognised for its manufacturing history, and this award will go to a business or company that has excelled in this sector over the past three years (since July 2015). The judges will be looking at all aspects of the manufacturing process including product design, testing, development, production, marketing, sales and overall business performance. This may relate to a new product or product range, or an existing product that continues to lead the way within its field.

International Trade Award

Sponsored by the Department for International Trade

This award recognises companies who excel in exporting, whether that is one product or service to a single overseas customer, or a range of products or services to the global market. The judges will pay particular attention to the whole export process including identification of the overseas opportunity, product or service development to meet market requirements, strategic international partnerships, overseas sales and marketing, and the overall benefit the international activity brings to Staffordshire.

Digital Transformation Award

Sponsored by Synectics Solutions

This award recognises companies at the cutting edge of digital design and technologies who are boosting Staffordshire’s growing reputation as a digital hub. Judges are keen to hear compelling examples of how digital technology has been used to transform businesses processes, customer experience or to create exciting, effective campaigns

Student of the Year

Sponsored by South Stafford College

This new category for 2021 seeks to recognise outstanding and exceptional students aged 16-21 in full-time education who have overcome the challenges to education brought about by COVID-19. The movement to online learning in 2020 has seen students tasked with much more than just learning subject matter. Mastering virtual platforms, utilising electronic sources of information and a shifting dynamic with peer groups and teachers has seen students thrown into a whole new way of learning and interacting. This award will recognise students who have overcome barriers to learning, assumed authority of their academic achievement and gone above the expectations to achieve something truly great during an incredibly turbulent period for higher and further education.

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