THE determination of Cheshire's businesses to succeed in the current tough economic climate was rewarded at the fifth Trinity Mirror Cheshire Business Awards last Friday night.
The glittering awards ceremony took place at the Chester Crowne Plaza hotel where hundreds of the region's business people, dignitaries, politicians and celebrities gathered to pay tribute to the enterprise and vision of the county's finest firms.
The awards are judged in nine categories, Business Start-Up, Small Business, Medium Business, Large Business Employer of the Year, Community Award, Young Business Person, Woman in Business and Business Person of the Year.
The standard of the nominees was so high that our independent panel of judges had a difficult task deciding on the winners.
Eric Langton, Editor-in-Chief of Trinity Mirror Cheshire said: "The awards have confirmed Cheshire's boast of fantastic knowledge-based companies, quality manufacturers and businesses revolutionising the service industry.
"Just as pleasing as the quality of new business ideas was the evidence that company directors and managers are putting even greater emphasis on developing their staff and creating happier and more positive working conditions."
The evening was hosted by TV news presenter Lucy Meacock who paid tribute to the determination of the county's firms to hold their nerve in a difficult economic climate.
Guest speaker was Deirdre Bounds founder of the ethical travel company i-to-i. Deirdre revealed the secrets of her own journey through the business world which began with a vision of changing the way people travel and led to her selling her company for millions of pounds.
Business Start-Up Award
1. Ignite Strategic Partners Ltd
2. Adam Butler Ltd
3. 37 Point5 Ltd
Winner: Ignite Strategic Partners Ltd
Judges comments: This company are able to demonstrate a professional approach to business. They have clearly laid the foundations for a longer term, dynamic business.
Small Business of the Year
1. Holland Damp Roofing (UK) Ltd
2. Rail Operations Development Ltd
3. Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre & Country Park
Winner: Rail Operations Development Ltd
Judges comments: This is a business based on knowledge and experience and one that has demonstrated an innovative development of an old cheshire industry. They have clearly created a reputation in the market that they exist as a good solid business.
Medium Business of the Year
1. SIRA Test & Certification Ltd
2. Park Royal Hotel
3. Event Marketing Solutions (EMS)
Winner: Event Marketing Solutions (EMS)
Judges comments: The entry submitted by this winning company was well thought out and produced. It clearly illustrated an impressive increase in profits and presented itself as a strong, established business with a good customer basis. This company controls costs and invests for the future- this is a company that is central to Chester's visitor economy.
Large Business of the Year
1. Meadow Foods
2. RSK Group
3. Citation PLC
Winner: Meadow Foods
Judges comments: This is a business close to the heart of the county producing dairy products which benefit our rural economies. This is a highly competitive business that offers stability to farmers and demonstrates high standards all round.
Employer of the Year
1. Nice ‘n’ Naughty
2. VKR Logistics
3. EA Technology Limited
Winner: EA Technology Limited
Judges comments: This winning company is owned by it's employees which results in an excellent system of development and promotional opportunities for staff. Their commitment to creating a stimulating work environment and offering quality fringe benefits was clearly illustrated in their entry
1. Robert Smith & Son, Crewe Funeral Services
2. BiG Storage Cheshire Storage & BiG Storage
3. Taylor Richards
Winner: BiG Storage Cheshire Storage & BiG Storage
Judges comments: This is a very successful new business run by relatively young people. They use business skills to reinvest in the community creating a feel good factor. This company should be rewarded for it's consistency in contributing to the community.
Women In Business
1. Janet King, Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre & Country Park
2. Yvonne Richards, Taylor Richards
3. Trish Murray, Nice ‘n’ Naughty
Winner: Janet King, Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre & Country Park
Judges comments: From an existing business, this winning lady has created a unique tourist attraction in the heart of Cheshire.
Young Business Person of the YearWinner: Adam Butler, Adam Butler Ltd
Judges comments: Having just lost out in the Business Start-up category, the judges were happy to declare this young man the title of Young Business Person of the Year.
Business Person of the Year
Winner: Robert Davies, EA Technology