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Over the last 22 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. In recognition of the twentieth anniversary of the awards, there will be a special Champion of Champions category for previous Company of the Year winners.

The showpiece award is for the most successful company based on its all-round performance.

Entries will be assessed on:

  • Financial track record
  • Pursuit of excellence
  • Leadership skills
  • Customer service levels
  • Sales and marketing strategy
  • Staff training and development
  • Environmental policies
  • Innovation and ambition
  • Commitment to the community
  • Awards, testimonials and accolades

This category is for previous Company of the Year Award Winners only

In the 20-year history of the Shropshire Chamber Business Awards, some fantastic Shropshire businesses have lifted the company of the year prize? But whose achievements have been the greatest over the past two decades to earn this special award.

Previous winners will be assessed on:

  • All-round financial performance
  • Longevity and track records
  • Commitment to the community, and the county
  • Customer service levels, awards and accolades
  • Demonstration of sustainable growth
  • Innovation, ambition and plans for the future

This award is to be given to businesses that have developed a digital innovation that has transformed the lives of their staff, customers or people of Shropshire whilst adding social value to their bottom line. This will include those that have introduced or developed innovative health & wellbeing practices, employment processes or technology that can be either for use within their own business or for the marketplace.

The award will be judged against the following criteria:

  • Evidence of the successful Digital Innovation, its application and social impact
  • Level of Innovation required to implement the product or process
  • Impact of product or process on the business, the productivity of their staff, their customer feedback and wider Shropshire Community
  • Level of engagement with staff and alignment with their business values
  • Sustainability of approach and potential for future adoption and development.

This award is designed to recognise a company dedicated to the employment of apprentices and a star apprentice.

Entries will be assessed on:

  • Examples of an outstanding apprentice, or apprentices, who have transformed both their own lives, and made a positive impact on the company
  • Proof of promotion and development of apprenticeship schemes, internally and externally
  • Strategies for developing the skills of apprentices through training or mentoring
  • Opportunities for apprentices to progress through the business
  • Testimonials from current apprentices about what the company has done for them

For environmentally aware businesses which have introduced or developed innovative environmental practices, processes or technology either for use within their own business or for the marketplace.

Entries will be assessed on:

  • Level of innovation that has been required to implement the product or process
  • Success of product or process within business or marketplace
  • Impact of product or process on business, environment and local community
  • Sustainability of approach and potential for future development

To recognise the increasing awareness around the need to support staff within the workplace.

Entries will be assessed on:

  • Workplace initiatives around relaxation (e.g. yoga), physical activity (e.g. active travel), mindfulness
  • Training for staff to recognise and address issues relating to physical and mental health issues, including stress related illnesses
  • Programmes to support specific groups of employees, for example those who are also carers
  • Staff benefit packages which support physical and mental health – both preventative and treatment

This award is for businesses which “put something back” into their local communities.

Entries will be assessed on:

  • Relationships built up with residents, schools and/or community groups.
  • Financial support through donations or sponsorship of local causes.
  • “Keeping things local” by working with Shropshire traders or suppliers.
  • An environmentally-friendly approach promoted by bosses, and adopted by staff.
  • Turning work experience into employment opportunities for local people.

This award is aimed at companies keen to show how they are harnessing latest business thinking and technology to keep them at the cutting edge.

Entries will be assessed on:

  • Evidence of successful innovation across the business
  • Problem-solving skills, research and development
  • A forward-thinking approach to creating business success
  • A determination to strive for continued success by pushing the boundaries
  • An appreciation of how new technology can deliver a competitive advantage

This award is for a manufacturing company or plant that best demonstrates a continuous improvement to achieve world-class manufacturing standards.

Entries will be assessed on:

  • Evidence of an engaged workforce that is developing through training & diversity and evidences a culture of continuous improvement from apprentices to management level.
  • Adopting processes or investing in new technologies to achieve efficiencies within the business, increased competitiveness and to comply with environmental regulations.
  • Achieving growth for example in new markets, product development, export or sales and marketing etc.
  • Evidence that the company clearly understands providing value to the customer and customer service.

The International Trade Award is for companies which have excelled in the fields of either export or import and built healthy links with suppliers or customers overseas.

Entries will be assessed on:

  • A forward-thinking and structured approach to trading overseas
  • Understanding of different cultures and practices in foreign markets
  • Training of staff to communicate efficiently and effectively with overseas clients
  • Tailoring of products or processes to meet needs of different marketplaces
  • Evidence of international trade improving the performance of the business

This award is for companies who go “the extra mile” in looking after customer needs and provide levels of customer service ahead of their competitors.

Entries will be assessed on:

  • Having a reputation for excellent customer service
  • Evidence of exceeding customer expectations in a cost-effective way
  • Training and development in customer handling and service skills
  • Measuring customer satisfaction, and acting on customer feedback and suggestions
  • Awards, accolades and customer testimonials

This award is for the best new sustainable business formed on or after June 1 2017. Entries will be assessed on:

1-5 employees

  • The business idea and strength of vision which motivated you to form a new business
  • The planning that went into launching it, and the progress made so far
  • Evidence of business planning, financial objectives and sustainability and success to date
  • Ongoing marketing and product or service development strategy, to secure the company’s long-term future
  • Factors which give your business a sustained competitive advantage

This award is for the best new sustainable business formed on or after June 1 2017. Entries will be assessed on:

6+ employees

  • The business idea and strength of vision which motivated you to form a new business
  • The planning that went into launching it, and the progress made so far
  • Evidence of business planning, financial objectives and sustainability and success to date
  • Ongoing marketing and product or service development strategy, to secure the company’s long-term future
  • Factors which give your business a sustained competitive advantage

This award will go to a small business with 1-5 employees, demonstrating a high level of success in its sector. Entries will be assessed on:

  • Ability to compete in an extremely competitive environment
  • Gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage
  • Implementation of strategic plans for future expansion and growing market share.
  • Innovative, forward thinking and progressive approach
  • Demonstrating a commitment to staff development and training.

This award will go to a small business with 6 to a maximum of 20 staff, demonstrating a high level of success in its sector. Entries will be assessed on:

  • Ability to compete in an extremely competitive environment
  • Gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage
  • Implementation of strategic plans for future expansion and growing market share.
  • Innovative, forward thinking and progressive approach
  • Demonstrating a commitment to staff development and training.

This award is designed to recognise a company dedicated to supporting young people currently in education in order to inspire them and help prepare them for the world of work.

Entries will be assessed on:

  • Examples of robust and consistent school engagement, which could be delivered in a multitude of ways, including work experience, mock interviews, classroom presentations
  • The employer has embedded this activity into their work ethos and encourage employees to engage with schools and provide time for them to do so.
  • The company understands the value of providing employer encounters to students in education
  • Testimonials from schools or other relevant parties on the value of their engagement with education
  • Engagement has made a notable difference to an individual or group and the impact on their wider workforce.

This award is designed to recognise a company dedicated to supporting young people currently in education in order to inspire them and help prepare them for the world of work.

Entries will be assessed on:

  • Examples of robust and consistent school engagement, which could be delivered in a multitude of ways, including work experience, mock interviews, classroom presentations
  • The employer has embedded this activity into their work ethos and encourage employees to engage with schools and provide time for them to do so.
  • The company understands the value of providing employer encounters to students in education
  • Testimonials from schools or other relevant parties on the value of their engagement with education
  • Engagement has made a notable difference to an individual or group and the impact on their wider workforce.

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 community.

Unlike other awards, the John Clayton Award will require nominations not applications.

A nomination template will be available via the Awards Website and will allow for up to 750 words in support of the individual and their activities.

The Chamber Board members will review all nominations and select the winner. The award will be presented on the evening of the Business Awards.

The criteria will be very simple as they seek to identify the nominated person who has significantly contributed to community within Shropshire over the past 12 months.