Sara’s Blog: Staffordshire Chambers Business Awards 2021 and Net Zero Week

The Staffordshire Chambers Business Awards are a high point of our year.

They are all about celebrating success and achievements. After the last year, it might seem that it will be trickier to find outstanding businesses – but not so! It has been another extraordinary year in which Staffordshire businesses, charities and education providers – and the people who work for them – have done extraordinary things.

The quality of entries last year was extremely high, and I am expecting the same again, if not even higher this year. In spite of many still being so adversely affected by Covid, Staffordshire businesses have once again been up to the challenge to work through these tough conditions.

Award categories cover every size and sector of businesses – from brand new start-ups to large, established companies – and there are also awards for individuals who have excelled.

The overall winner from the 15 categories will take home the coveted Business of The Year Award, sponsored by HSBC.

The awards celebrate positive news and mutual support, and we could not stage the competition without the generosity of our sponsors and judges, who I personally thank for their engagement and support.

Entries open from Monday 19th July and close on 24th September and are open to any business based in Staffordshire. Shortlisted entrants will be notified following the judging and a special gala award event – both live and streamed – will take place in November.

Award categories in full

Business of the year – sponsored by HSBC – chosen by the sponsors from all other entries.

Employer of the year – Sponsored by West Midlands Reserve Forces & Cadet Association (WMRFCA)

Employee of the year/charity employee of the year – sponsored by Ornua

Young employee / apprentice of the year – sponsored by Trentham Estates

Most promising start-up business – Sponsored by Access Covers

Small business of the year (1-50) – Sponsored by Infinity IT

Medium / large business of the year (50+ FTEs) – Sponsored by Dains

Sustainability and environment – Sponsored by Keele University

On-line business of the year: Retail, leisure, culture & tourism – Sponsored by LilaConnect

Science, technology and innovation – Sponsored by Wolverhampton University

Entrepreneur of the year – Sponsored by Staffordshire University

Professional services of the year – Sponsored by Finest

Manufacturer of the year – Sponsored by Michelin

International trade – Sponsored by Department for International Trade (DiT)

Digital transformation – Sponsored by Synectics Solutions

Student of the year – Sponsored by South Stafford College

More information on the awards and entry details: www.staffordshirechambers.co.uk/awards

Next week is Net Zero Week, a focal point for generating awareness and momentum for businesses and consumers who are starting out on the journey to decarbonise.

It is less than four months to the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow and the UK has a real opportunity to show we mean business by our actions rather than hollow words.

The Government is promising innovative solutions and aggressive policies to help the UK achieve carbon neutrality with a target of cutting emissions by 78 percent by 2035 to 1990 levels and being three quarters of the way to net zero by 2050.

It is our role as business leaders to hold the government to account on its ambitious targets and to lead by example showing that we can provide the solutions that will help to achieve, and hopefully exceed, their targets.

West Midlands Combined Authorities are hosting a useful webinar on Thursday 22nd July entitled: Demystifying net zero – Support for West Midlands businesses.

The webinar will set out the basics of starting to address carbon emissions and will signpost support. You can register here: Net Zero Week: Demystifying Net Zero – Support for West Midlands businesses (wmca.org.uk)

As part of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) national research programme they are conducting a Net Zero Survey, currently underway until 23 July. This looks at: measures firms are taking to reduce carbon consumption, barriers, and preferred support, as well as other issues relating to the Coronavirus reopening process. You can fill in the survey here: https://bit.ly/3hEwqz4 You can get more information on Net Zero Week at: https://bit.ly/3hDvafB

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, including funding, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email: info@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

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