Cumbria Crack

FSB North West Awards recognises local business heroes

North West award winners

The Federation of Small Businesses’ Celebrating Small Business Awards North West Area finals took place this week, where the region’s finest small businesses were recognised for their endeavours.

The FSB’s Awards, now in their second year, saw businesses from across the North West battle it out for honours in eleven categories, which included Business & Product Innovation, Micro Business of the Year, and Family Business of the Year.

The eventual winners, whose entries had dazzled judges, were announced during an afternoon event at The Manchester Deansgate Hilton Hotel on Thursday 31 January.

Shaun Morton, of Event Sponsor Prism IT Solutions opened the event saying: “We are consistently in awe when we see some of the fantastic businesspeople going the extra mile to do the very best for their staff and their customers.  The judges have been wowed by the quality of entries and we are here today to recognise all the businesses which have made it to the Area Final”.

Winners now go through to the FSB’s UK National Finals to be held in London this May, where they will go head-to-head with other regional finalists from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The 2019 FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards North West winners are :

International Business of the Year – Kendal Nutricare Limited.  This Kendal-based manufacturer now export their infant formulas and other products to countries all over the world.

Ethical-Green Business – SE Recycling.  This Manchester-based firm recycles IT equipment to the benefit of local schools and communities.

Business & Product Innovation Award – Hawkshead Relish.  This Cumbrian firm has brought a great new range of pickles, preserves and relishes to market.

Micro Business of the Year – Global Air Training.  This Tattenhall business was a runner-up in 2018 but came back stronger with their specialist aviation industry support.

Start-Up Business of the Year – Tac-grid Ltd.  Leyland-based Tac-grid developed an innovative grid system to replace the existing pavement tiles used at pedestrian crossings to assist visually impaired people.

Scale-Up Business of the Year – Centre of Excellence.  This Macclesfield-based business provide an e-learning platform and have 1200 courses taken up in over 160 countries.

Family Business of the Year – Half Acre House Residential Care Home.  Rochdale-based Half Acre House impressed the judges with their inclusive attitude to engaging staff and residents as well as having multiple family members involved in the business.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Lauren Hart, Bluebell and Ivy.  Lauren, of Ulverston, Cumbria has established a florists in the town which excels in customer service and is reaching out to customers way beyond its locality through its digital presence.

Employer of the Year – Bennett Staff Bureau. This Hyde-based recruitment business have a great record of developing their own staff, and have seen great retention rates as a result.

Community Business of the Year Award – Toyland Toyshop.  Blackpool-based Toyland Toyshop go above and beyond in their community, regularly engaging with schools and offering work placements to people from a variety of backgrounds.  Their team also volunteer at local schools, tourism festivals and charity days.

Digital Innovation Award – AWOL Adventure Limited.  The judges were impressed with this Kirkham-based business’ revolutionary approach to creating an online sporting social network, which has evolved into a photo-sharing platform for mass participation events.

Chris Manka, FSB North West Regional Chairman, commented: “We congratulate all today’s finalists on their excellent year in business in a competitive range of categories.  Our winners now go on to the finals in London where we hope to see their successes recognised on the national stage.  We are sure they will do us proud.”