The finalists in a nationwide search for the UK’s smallest and greatest firms have been announced for the 2021 Small Awards
From lockdown start-ups, to Britain’s best high street heroes, sole-traders, digital stars and community-driven businesses, over fifty incredible small businesses have been shortlisted for the Small Awards that showcase the UK’s dynamic small business economy, across all sectors.
Loveone gift shop in Ipswich was thrilled to be shortlisted for the High Street Hero award. Owner Cathy Frost wrote on her Instagram feed: ‘So very proud to be an indie high retailer. Even though it’s been a very tough year, the support we have received from our customers, friends and family has been immense.’
In the run-up to this November’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) the finalists for a new Small Award category – the Net Hero award – have also been announced, celebrating small businesses demonstrating exceptional commitment to environmental sustainability.
In its fifth year, The Small Awards is organised annually by Small Business Britain, which champions, inspires and accelerates small businesses in the UK. This year it received a record number of applications from small businesses, many sharing their experiences of responding to the Covid-19 crisis in their communities.
‘After what has been a tumultuous year for small businesses it is inspirational to hear about the phenomenal determination and resilience that small firms have shown throughout the pandemic,’ said Michelle Ovens CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain.
‘We received a record number of applications this year, with an incredibly high standard of entry, and are particularly impressed by the number of exciting new start-ups and businesses that had to adapt entrepreneurially to the crisis. All small businesses deserve recognition for the challenging time they have faced, but these shortlisted firms should be really proud of this achievement.’
The winners of all categories, plus the overall winner of the Small Business of the Year award, will be chosen by a judging panel of leading enterprise experts and announced on 13 May 2021. The small business finalists shortlisted across the eleven Small Award categories comprise:
At your Service award for best small service business, with a track record of serving their target customer set. Nominees Ayegardening Ltd, Ethos Nursing, Notting Hill Gate Opticians, One Of A Kind (OOK), Sarah’s Creative Kitchen.
Digital Star award for best digital only business, which recognises smallbusinesses that operate only through digital channels, using the internet to market, sell and promote their product and service. Nominees – Badass Mother Runners Ltd, Delivered Social, Kintsugi Clothing, Martha Brook, ShopAppy.com.
Heart of Gold award for the small business contributing that bit extra to their local community through working with other small businesses, local charities, schools, local councils or their local residents. Nominees – &Keep, Carriages Ltd, Ma Baker, Seventh Heaven, We Are Tilt Ltd.
High Street Hero award, sponsored by TSB, which recognises a strong high street business that has a proven record of contributing towards the success of their street. Nominees – Florence & Amelia’s Ltd, Hetty & Betty Ltd, Loveone, Mad Lilies, The Bead Shop Nottingham.
Legacy award for best family business, demonstrating involvement and contribution from family members as well as business success over a period of time. Nominees – Fullers Finer Furniture, High Class Shoes, Minar Jewellers, Spice Kitchen UK, Windsor Carriages.
Mission Possible award for businesses and social enterprises driven by mission over and above financial performance, that benefits a group, a community or society more widely. Nominees – Mid-Surrey Community Fridges, Nemi Teas Ltd, OLCOTWISH CIC, View from my Window, Welsh Marine Life Rescue, Wiltshire Digital Drive.
Net Hero award for small businesses demonstrating exceptional commitment to the environment, placing sustainability at the heart of operations. Nominees – ECO.IT, Local eSourced, Make It Wild, Vindico ICS.
New Kid on the Block award for the best new start-up, that has launched in the last eighteen months and demonstrated considerable progress to grow and develop. Nominees – for peat’s sake, Simply Noir / Opal Corporation Ltd, The British Craft House, The Practical Planning Company, Valiant Lingerie.
Sole to Sole award for best self-employed sole trader that celebrates the tenacity and drive it takes to go it alone. Nominees – Kelly Anne Therapies, Liz Drury Voiceovers, Najmas Catering and Events, ScrubbiesUK, Vicky Yorke Designs.
Supply Chain Champion award for best B2B business, which recognises small businesses that are working within the business supply chain, and other businesses large and small. Nominees – BRIC Consultancy, David A Parker Ltd, Ellievision AV, EPS Oxford / Event Production Services, The Daisy Chain platform.
This year, in light of current covid-19 restrictions, Small Business Britain will again be hosting its award ceremony as a lively virtual event, instead of the traditional glittering gala dinner. Small businesses across the country will Zoom in together for an evening of fun celebrations, featuring entertainment, special guests, speeches, networking and more.