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This award is open to an apprentice who has shown outstanding progress and commitment to their own personal development. The apprentice Is defined as a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period. The nominee must have been employed by their current employer for a minimum of 12 months before the closing date. This award seeks to acknowledge and celebrate an apprentice’s exceptional contributions to their workplace.

The successful entrant will be measured against the following criteria:

  • Commitment: demonstrates commitment to your personal development and progression
  • Contribution: shows outstanding contribution to your workplace - in particular, areas or projects where you have exceeded expectations
  • Success: demonstrates inspirational levels of achievement and attainment.

Nominations or self-nominations can be made for this category.

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This award aims to recognise businesses which have made an outstanding contribution to the community within which they’re based. Judges will be looking for a business that can show proactive commitment to putting something back into the local community.

This could be by:

  • Providing financial support to charities or community projects.
  • Giving practical assistance in terms of time or expertise.
  • Allowing charity organisations, schools or community groups to benefit from the resources of the business. For social enterprises, the activity should be outside their core purpose.
  • Particular emphasis will be placed upon the proportionate investment by businesses in terms of time and effort, as opposed to pure cash contributions.
  • Entrants need to demonstrate their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
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This category is open to companies with more than 51 employees.

The judges will be looking at all aspects of the company's performance, paying particular attention to:

  • Managerial and financial performance.
  • Evidence of success against targets set.
  • Potential for growth.
  • Long-term plans and company strategy.
  • Product and service development.

PLEASE ENSURE YOU SUBMIT YOUR FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE WITH YOUR ENTRY. Eg Turnover, net profit, year on year performance. All information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

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This category is open to companies with fewer than 50 employees.

The judges will be looking at all aspects of a company's performance, paying particular attention to:

  • Managerial and financial performance.
  • Evidence of success against targets set.
  • Potential for growth.
  • Long-term plans and company strategy.
  • Product and service development.
  • Staff training and development.

PLEASE ENSURE YOU SUBMIT YOUR FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE WITH YOUR ENTRY. Eg Turnover, net profit, year on year performance. All information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

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The Customer Focus Award aims to honour firms which give great service and are truly dedicated to their users.

Judges will be looking at how their customer service strategy has:

  • Increased growth or market share.
  • Improved financial performance.
  • Embedded ethical or sustainable practice.
  • Enhanced customer delivery and engagement.
  • More effective leadership and management.
  • More engaged and motivated staff.
  • Optimised innovation and improved operational excellence.
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This award recognises organisations who embrace diversity and/or have brought to life an excellent example of working towards inclusion for all. The category will cover excellence in all areas of diversity including age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race and religion.

The judges will be looking for a vanguard in business that can demonstrate an effective inclusion and diversity strategy that goes beyond legal compliance and seeks to add value to an organisation, contributing to employee wellbeing and engagement.

Entries must demonstrate how the business has gone above and beyond their corporate social responsibility, shown commitment and dedication to equality and can exhibit positive results on the organisational culture.

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The Employee Of The Year Award has been designed to celebrate someone who really makes a difference to their business and who deserves recognition. It might be someone whose attitude and example really stimulates all those around him or her. Equally, it could be someone who has overcome real difficulties, or someone who shows exceptional customer service.

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Open to business people aged 30 years or over (by 26th September 2022) the Entrepreneur of the Year award will go to someone who has had a big impact, either running their own business or working as part of a business.

Judges will be looking for someone who can demonstrate:

  • How their actions and strategies have been instrumental to the success of the business.
  • Evidence of strong financial performance, including the clear identification of an opportunity that has had a measurable impact on the success of business.
  • Enterprising behaviours such as participation, risk-taking, management and leadership, vision, originality and innovation.
  • How they have overcome barriers to achieve at a high standard (ie social, geographical or physical).
  • A positive impact on the wider economy and local communities through employment, additional work as mentors or in the voluntary sector.
  • Nominations can be made by the entrant if they run their own business, or a sponsor or nominee from the business they work for.
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This category recognises outstanding performance in environmental responsiveness and sustainable activity. The winner of this award will be a company that:

  • Is working towards sustainable development goals and can demonstrate the impact.
  • Taking active green steps towards more environmentally-conscious operations and ethics.
  • Made improvements in energy-efficiency, carbon reduction or sustainable working.
  • You may have introduced environmental policies across your business, are using green communications or endorsing carbon footprint reduction, your stratagem, policies and foresight will reflect a well-considered green approach – rather than fractional, ad-hoc actions.

Our judges want to feel inspired by your powerful story and are looking to see where you’ve come from, the obstacles you’ve faced, what motivates you to keep going and what your biggest achievements are.

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The Innovation and Technology Award will reward the company that has developed the most innovative new product, system or process over the past year, and can demonstrate the positive impact it has had on the business. Judges will be looking for businesses that can show:

  • A clear vision of what the innovation project, product, system or process had to achieve.
  • How the product was developed.
  • Gains in revenue or market share.
  • The overall benefits to the business or its customer.
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The Start-up Business of The Year award will go to an organisation that:

  • Has been established within the past two and a half years.
  • Demonstrates evidence of entrepreneurship and/or innovation.
  • Has defied challenging economic conditions to succeed, grow and thrive.
  • Can evidence future growth potential.
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The judges will be looking for an organisation that:

  • Demonstrates positive commitment to the ongoing training and education of its employees.
  • Can prove how investment in staff training has brought success.
  • Shows staff have gained the necessary skills to maximise their contribution.
  • Can show how its people development strategies have improved its performance and created a committed, motivated and effective workforce.
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For business people under the age of 30 (by 26th September 2022) who have demonstrated a high degree of entrepreneurship, creativity and vision for the future.

The judges will be looking to identify an individual who has set up a business or has had a significant influence in the business, that has set and achieved objectives within its business plans and established a position of sustainable profitability and success. In addition to this judges will want to see an understanding of the relationship between your own development and the success of the business.

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This accolade will be awarded to a key business person in the region who will be heralded for making positive, lasting differences to the local economy and community.

This is a closed category with no nomination process, the winner will be decided by the Editor.

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