Over the last 19 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.

The showpiece award for an all-round star performer, flying the flag for Shropshire business excellence. Judged on a combination of:

• Financial track record
• Pursuit of excellence
• Leadership skills
• Customer service levels
• Strategies for dealing with Covid-19
• Staff training and development
• Environmental policies
• Creativity, innovation and ambition
• Commitment to the community
• Awards, testimonials and accolades

For companies adapting to changing times in hi-tech ways which enhance the lives of staff, customers or the community. Judged on:

• Use of digital technology and applications to improve processes and/or efficiency
• Evidence of impact, and feedback from customers, staff or partners
• Sustainability and potential for future growth and development

For companies which recognise the importance of supporting both the physical and mental wellbeing of staff. Judged on:

• Management-backed initiatives around relaxation, physical activity, mindfulness, and staff benefit packages
• Training for staff to recognise and address ‘hidden’ mental health issues, and stress
• Adapting to the home working or furlough challenges presented by Covid-19

For companies who go the extra mile in looking after customer needs. Judged on:

• Evidence of exceeding customer expectations, measuring customer satisfaction, and acting on their feedback
• Training and development in customer handling and service skills
• Awards, accolades and customer testimonials

For businesses employing up to 10 (FTE) people which demonstrate a high level of success in their sector. Judged on:

• Innovation, and forward-thinking strategies for growth
• Gaining and sustaining a competitive environment
• Commitment to staff development, and financial success

For companies helping to prepare the next generation for the world of work. Judged on:

• Engagement with schools or colleges to offer placements, deliver workshops, or provide work experience
• Encouraging schools or colleges to build closer links with the business community, with tangible benefits
• Testimonials from education providers on the value of their engagement, or mentoring partnerships

For environmentally aware businesses which have introduced innovative practices, processes or technology. Judged on:

• Levels of innovation and creative thinking required
• Success of product or process within the business, in the environment or on the local community
• Sustainability of approach and potential for future development

For businesses which “put something back” into their local communities. Judged on:

• Evidence of support provided through donations or sponsorship of local causes
• Strategies for supporting Shropshire-based traders or suppliers
• Turning work experience into employment opportunities for local people

For companies which have excelled in the fields of either export or import and built healthy overseas links. Judged on:

• A forward-thinking and structured approach, including understanding of different cultures and foreign practices
• Tailoring products or processes for different marketplaces, backed up by staff training
• Brexit-readiness

For a manufacturing company achieving world-class standards, and committed to continuous improvement. Judged on:

• Evidence of an engaged workforce that is developing through training, from shop floor to management
• Investing in new technologies to achieve efficiencies and comply with latest environmental standards
• Growth plans, customer service standards, and client testimonials