Over 20 years of Shropshire Chamber Business Awards ceremonies it has been very clear that this is not just about businesses being recognised as success stories – it’s about business owners recognising the success their employees bring, and as such we would urge every Shropshire business to get involved.

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 wellbeing strategies
  • Commitment to the community, and environment
  • Effective response to Covid challenges
  • Awards, testimonials and accolades

For businesses in any sector, formed since January 1st 2020. Entries will be assessed on:

  • Strength and originality of business vision
  • Strong and sustainable business plan
  • Evidence of progress and clear financial objectives
  • Creative and ambitious marketing and growth plans
  • Originality – what makes you different and better than the rest?

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, and wellbeing
  • Clear and creative marketing and growth plans
  • Accolades, testimonials, and evidence of financial success

For companies which go the extra mile in looking after the needs of their clients. 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 customer testimonials
  • Adapting to the challenges presented by Covid

For companies which recognise the importance of supporting both the physical and mental wellbeing of staff. Judged on:

  • Evidence that health and wellbeing of employees is embedded in business culture
  • Training to recognise and address ‘hidden’ issues such as mental health and stress
  • Examples of robust wellbeing policies and their impact on the workforce, and wider business
  • Commitment to flexible working and healthy work-life balance
  • Response to challenges of Covid issues such as home working and furlough

For companies with impressive export or import track records, and strong overseas links. Judged on:

  • Evidence of cross-border growth and commercial success
  • Overcoming barriers such as language, Covid or Brexit
  • A forward-thinking and structured approach
  • Understanding of different cultures and foreign practices
  • Innovative approach to establishing or entering new markets

For any business which has had to regroup, rebrand, relaunch or reposition itself as a result of the pandemic. Judged on:

  • Scale of the obstacles which have been overcome
  • Swift, positive and decisive action to pivot the business
  • Appreciation of staff health and wellbeing needs
  • Strong and clear internal and external communication
  • Evidence of success, and a clear future strategy

For companies which ‘make things’ and are continuing our proud industrial heritage. Judged on:

  • Commitment to continuous improvement
  • Innovation and customer satisfaction
  • Investment in new technologies to achieve efficiencies and comply with latest environmental standards
  • Growth plans and evidence of financial success
  • Customer service standards, and client testimonials

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

  • Use of technology to improve customer service and engagement
  • How creativity has improved business processes and efficiency
  • Imaginative techniques used to identify and attract customers
  • Feedback from customers and staff – and financial success
  • Sustainability and potential for future growth and development

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
  • Evidence of successful ‘green’ initiatives and programmes
  • Cross-company commitment to ‘make a difference’
  • Substantial and quantifiable improvements in environmental and commercial performance

Open to anyone aged 30 or below in January 2022, 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 and/or work colleagues

As a member of the Shropshire Chamber Board for over 28 Years, it is appropriate that John is remembered at Shropshire’s premier business awards.

The introduction of the John Clayton Award in 2015 is a fitting way to honour his memory.  John gave his time, wisdom and energy to numerous organisations providing support for communities across wide sectorial and geographical areas.  It is therefore without question that this award is given to a person who will be independently nominated for their outstanding contribution to the community within Shropshire over the past 12 months.