Sara’s Blog: Business Awards success and Grants for second lockdown

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Last night I had the honour to host the live streaming of the 2020 Staffordshire Chambers Business Award results from the New Vic Theatre, with our fabulous guest presenters, Ed James from Heart FM and Kate Beardmore from Synectics Solutions.

The celebration has been a long time coming as it was originally scheduled for July. However, as I hope the hundreds who joined us online will testify, it was well worth the wait.

Our judges had the unenviable task of selecting the finalists for the sixteen category awards and the overall winner of Staffordshire Business of the Year, won by Cheadle based exhaust and emissions equipment manufacturer, Klarius. They really are an exemplar in the way they conduct their business, develop and support staff and apprentices and interact with and support the local community.

Congratulations to Klarius and all the winners and a big thankyou to everyone who has gone the extra-mile to make the awards happen including all the fantastic entrants, main sponsor HSBC and all the category sponsors, The New Vic Theatre, Ed James, Kate Beardmore and to the team at the Chamber who put in the hours and made it all happen.

You can view a full list of finalists, winners and sponsors on our website at:

Some welcome news on the finance front.

In reaction to the latest lockdown, the government has launched the Business Rates Support Grant scheme. The scheme will provide grants to qualifying businesses which have been forced to close rateable premises for three weeks or more due to imposed lockdowns, and has been extended to provide grants of up to £3000 per month (up from £1500).

These grants will be administered by each local council in Staffordshire, pending final details of the scheme, and will be open for application from 20 November at the earliest.

As guidance the amounts are:

• For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks; • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k, £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks; • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over, £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks. Businesses will be excluded if they can continue to operate during the period of restrictions because they do not depend on direct in-person services from their premises (e.g. accountants and solicitors), or if they have chosen to close of their own accord. To apply and for more information visit your local authority website or contact the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Business Helpline on 0300 111 8002

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email

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