Our annual awards showcase the achievements and outstanding performance of Staffordshire’s best businesses. We are incredibly proud of our county’s business heritage, current successes and the opportunities being created for the future. Our annual awards are the perfect way to celebrate that success, bringing together businesses from across Staffordshire who are achieving amazing things. The sponsors of this year’s awards represent some of Staffordshire’s leading companies and organisations. We are extremely grateful for their support. Key dates for this years awards are -
Monday 1st April - Awards open for entries
Wednedsay 10th April - How to write award-winning entries workshop
Wednesday 15th May - Entry deadline
Monday 20th May - Finalists revealed
Thursday 13th June - Pre Awards finalist celebration event hosted and sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Stoke
Thursday 4th July - Awards evening celebration dinner sponsored by West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
All businesses entering the awards should be based, or have a significant presence, in Staffordshire. There is no limit to the number of categories a business can enter.
Entries must be submitted electronically via the entry platform by 5pm on Wednesday 15 May 2019.
The steering committee will review all entries and select the shortlisted finalists for each category. The judging panels will then visit each finalist at an agreed date between 20 May - 17 June to discuss their entry and see relevant aspects of the business.
Winners will be announced at the Awards dinner on Thursday 4 July 2019 at the Staffordshire County Showground, the evening events will be sponsored by West Midland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association.
Finalists will have first refusal on tickets for the event, which is usually a sell-out.
The Awards ceremony is a celebration of the achievements of all finalists, as well as being an excellent opportunity to network with other shortlisted organisations and sponsors. More details about the event and how to purchase tickets will be announced after the entry deadline.
THIS YEARS CATEGORIES
BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
This ultimate Award is selected by the judges from all the finalists across the other categories (excluding the individual award categories). The Business of the Year is considered by the judges to possess key, winning qualities with an excellent, all-round performance across a range of attributes important for sustainable business success.
MOST PROMISING NEW START-UP
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).
ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
New to 2019, 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.
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR
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.
MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR
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 2016). 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.
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 create exciting, effective campaigns.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OF THE YEAR
This award will recognise excellence within a professional services company, business or
organisation. The entry can relate to a specific product or service, or relate to the 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.
YOUNG EMPLOYEE/APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR
Awarded to an outstanding individual who is under the age of 25 (on 4 July 2019) 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.
SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Recognising excellence within a business or company of less 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.
RETAIL, LEISURE, CULTURE AND TOURISM AWARD
Recognising excellence in a consumer facing cultural, tourism and leisure business within Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. The business can be independent or part of a chain, but the entry must relate to business activity in the City and Staffordshire including business performance, staff development, community involvement, sales and marketing, and future plans.
EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR
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.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE AWARD
Designed to recognise companies who excel in exporting any product or service. This may be one product or service to a single overseas customer, or a range of products/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.
MEDIUM BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
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 and social responsibility.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION AWARD
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.
ENVIRONMENTAL/LOW CARBON AWARD
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.
Many thanks for our Print Partners, Pre Awards Drinks Sponsor and our Awards Evening Sponsors.