Cathy Frost, finalist with Loveone gift shop in Ipswich

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.

Delhi Fair 2024

‘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 LtdEthos NursingNotting Hill Gate OpticiansOne Of A Kind (OOK)Sarah’s Creative Kitchen.

Bricks and Clicks award for best small businesses using multiple channels with innovation and skill. Nominees – ELJ Drinks LtdLucy Kemp JewellerySauce & Brown LtdWorld SecretsYoung Blooms

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 LtdDelivered SocialKintsugi ClothingMartha

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 – &KeepCarriages Ltd Ma Baker, Seventh HeavenWe 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 streetNominees â€“ Florence & Amelia’s LtdHetty & Betty LtdLoveoneMad LiliesThe 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 FurnitureHigh Class ShoesMinar JewellersSpice Kitchen UKWindsor 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 FridgesNemi Teas LtdOLCOTWISH CICView from my WindowWelsh Marine Life RescueWiltshire Digital Drive

Net Hero award for small businesses demonstrating exceptional commitment to the environment, placing sustainability at the heart of operations. Nominees – ECO.ITLocal eSourcedMake It WildVindico 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 sakeSimply Noir / Opal Corporation LtdThe British Craft HouseThe Practical Planning CompanyValiant 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 TherapiesLiz Drury VoiceoversNajmas Catering and EventsScrubbiesUKVicky 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 ConsultancyDavid A Parker LtdEllievision AVEPS Oxford / Event Production ServicesThe 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.

Receive the latest news to your inbox

Read our privacy policy
for more info.