01/02/2024 - Permalink

2024 Shropshire Chamber Business Awards are launched

Related topics: Economic growth / Partner organisations

News from our partners Shropshire Chamber of Commerce

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce has officially launched its 2024 business awards to champion the local economy’s ‘vibrancy, innovation and success’.

Nearly 200 business people attended the Mercure Albrighton Hall Hotel near Shrewsbury for the launch event to hear from organisers, judges, previous winners, and sponsors.

Shropshire Business Awards logo

Shropshire Business Awards logo

Entries are now open for the showpiece awards, which will be presented at a glittering black-tie ceremony at Telford’s International Centre this summer.

Details can be found at www.shropshirechamberbusinessawards.com.

The 2024 competition, which is free to enter, is open to all businesses with an operational base in the county of Shropshire or Telford & Wrekin – whether or not they are a Chamber member.

It includes the return of long-running categories including Company of the Year, Best New Business, Best Small Business and Outstanding Customer Service.

There are also several new-look categories this year including an Outstanding Business Growth award, and a return of the category recognising Retail, Leisure and Hospitality.

At the awards launch are Shropshire Chamber chief executive Ruth Ross, front, with directors Matt Lowe and Rahcel Owen, and events and training manager Kelly Riedel

At the awards launch are Shropshire Chamber chief executive Ruth Ross, front, with directors Matt Lowe and Rachel Owen, and events and training manager Kelly Riedel

“The Shropshire Chamber Business Awards are firmly established among the largest events of their kind in the country, with a history stretching back more than 20 years,” said Shropshire Chamber chief executive Ruth Ross.

“The past few years have been an extraordinary journey for us all. Instead of dwelling on the challenges, we’ve embraced them as opportunities to grow, adapt, and create.

“Shropshire businesses have shown remarkable agility and determination, evolving in ways we couldn’t have imagined, while delivering new products and services to a broader array of markets

“We take immense pride in presenting businesses of all sizes that shine as beacons of excellence in their respective fields.

“These are the businesses that have not only raised their own profiles but have also elevated the stature of Shropshire businesses on a larger stage. Winning one of these awards can be a real boost for you, your employees and your business.”.

The closing date for applications is 12 April, and winners will be announced at the awards night on June 21. Tickets are now on sale through the awards website.

Here is the full list of categories for 2024, and the criteria which will be used by the shortlisting panel to judge the entries:

Company of the year

The showpiece award for an all-round star performer, flying the flag for Shropshire business excellence. Judged on a combination of:

  • Financial track record, and pursuit of excellence
  • Creativity, innovation and ambition
  • Leadership and customer service skills
  • Training, people development and marketing strategies
  • Commitment to the community
  • Effective response to economic challenges
  • Awards, testimonials and accolades
  • A commitment to staff wellbeing and sustainability

Best new business

For businesses in any sector, formed since January 1st 2022. Entries will be assessed on:

  • Strength and originality of business vision
  • Clear and dynamic business plan
  • Financial objectives, and evidence of progress
  • Creative and ambitious marketing and growth strategies
  • A commitment to staff development, wellbeing and sustainability

Best small business

For businesses in any sector employing up to 10 full-time equivalent staff, demonstrating a high level of success. Judged on:

  • Innovation, and forward-thinking strategies for growth
  • Gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage
  • Commitment to staff development, wellbeing and sustainability
  • Clear and creative marketing and growth plans
  • Accolades, testimonials, and evidence of financial success

Outstanding customer service

For companies which go the extra mile in looking after the needs of their customers. Judged on:

  • Ways of consistently exceeding customer expectations
  • Measuring customer satisfaction, and acting on feedback
  • Training and development in customer handling and service skills
  • Awards, accolades and testimonials
  • A commitment to staff wellbeing and sustainability

Outstanding business growth award

For companies demonstrating substantial growth over the past 36 months (Evidence will need to be provided during the application process). Judged on:

  • Evidence of strategic and profitable expansion including last three years of accounts, evidence of new products/services and expansion into new markets
  • A dynamic and scalable business model
  • A growth in staff numbers and/or turnover, evidence of payroll growth for three years
  • Ability to break into new markets, at home or overseas
  • A commitment to staff development, wellbeing and sustainability

Community champion – business in the community 

For businesses which believe in the philosophy of ‘putting something back’ into the Shropshire community. Judged on:

  • Top-to-bottom ‘buy-in’ from staff at all levels, over and above statutory requirements
  • Examples of projects which have made a real difference to local people’s lives
  • Promoting the value of community work through company vision and values
  • Supporting Shropshire suppliers by ‘buying local’
  • Fostering links with schools, colleges and community groups

Excellence in manufacturing and engineering 

Celebrating the contribution being made by companies of all sizes in the manufacturing and engineering sectors. Judged on:

  • Innovation and customer satisfaction
  • Quality control processes, and use of new technology
  • Effective leadership and management
  • Testimonials, and evidence of financial success
  • Wellbeing and sustainability policies and processes

Retail, leisure and hospitality achievement award

For companies making a positive contribution to some of Shropshire’s most important sectors. Judged on:

  • Established market position and strong financial performance
  • Overcoming challenges to gain a competitive advantage
  • Commitment to staff development, wellbeing and sustainability
  • Clear and creative marketing and growth plans
  • Awards, accolades and testimonials

The trailblazer – innovation award

For companies who have spotted a gap in the market, and thought outside the box to fill it. Judged on:

  • Your USP: What makes you stand out from the competition?
  • Innovation in products, services or processes
  • Evidence of profitability and effective leadership
  • Testimonials, awards, and potential for future growth
  • A commitment to staff development, wellbeing and sustainability

The eco award

For environmentally aware businesses which promote innovative practices, processes or technology. Judged on:

  • Embracing green technology to lower the carbon footprint
  • Promoting or producing eco-friendly products and services
  • A cross-company commitment to ‘make a difference’
  • Substantial and quantifiable improvements in environmental and commercial performance
  • A commitment to staff development, wellbeing and sustainability

Young business person 

Open to anyone aged 30 or below in January 2024, who demonstrates flair, commitment and an entrepreneurial spirit. Judged on:

  • Evidence of a significant influence on the business
  • A commitment to training and personal development
  • Entrepreneurial attitude, reliability and work ethic
  • Strong people skills and maturity beyond their years
  • Testimonials from managers, colleagues, and/or customers.

The John Clayton Award, named after a previous Shropshire Chamber president and chosen by Chamber directors, will also be presented to someone judged to have made an outstanding contribution to the local business community.

The Shropshire Chamber Business Awards has been firmly established as the largest business event in the county for nearly a quarter of a century.

More than 13,000 people have attended the presentation evenings since the event was first launched in 2001.

Winning a trophy is a real badge of honour which has become recognised as a kitemark of excellence. Nearly 300 trophies have been awarded over the years.