Over the last 12 years of 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 that their employees bring, and as such we would urge every Shropshire business to get involved.

Company of The Year

The showpiece award is for the most successful company in Shropshire, based on its all-round performance. Entries will be assessed on:

  • Financial track record
  • Pursuit of excellence
  • Leadership skills
  • Customer service levels
  • Sales and marketing strategy
  • Staff training and development
  • Environmental policies
  • Innovation and ambition
  • Commitment to the community
  • Awards, testimonials and accolades

Online Business of the Year

Open to any Shropshire business trading online, this award will go to the candidate that can best demonstrate consistent growth and strong financial performance from e-commerce.

  • Judges will look for evidence of concept and product development
  • Exceptional implementation, customer engagement & functionality and innovation.
  • Entrants for this award must show how they have been successful in delivering key goals, competitor advantage, growth and innovation.
  • Judges will also look for excellent customer service, future growth plan
  • How the business is developing its employees and the leadership of the business.

Customer Service

This award is for companies who go “the extra mile” in looking after customer needs and provide levels of customer service ahead of their competitors. Entries will be assessed on:

  • Having a reputation for excellent customer service
  • Evidence of exceeding customer expectations in a cost-effective way
  • Training and development in customer handling and service skills
  • Measuring customer satisfaction, and acting on customer feedback and suggestions
  • Awards, accolades and customer testimonials

Business In The Community

This award is for businesses which “put something back” into their local communities. Entries will be assessed on:

  • Relationships built up with residents, schools and/or community groups
  • Financial support through donations or sponsorship of local causes
  • “Keeping things local” by working with Shropshire traders or suppliers
  • An environmentally-friendly approach promoted by bosses, and adopted by staff
  • Turning work experience into employment opportunities for local people

Best Small Business

This award will go to a small business with a maximum of 15 staff, demonstrating a high level of success in its sector. Entries will be assessed on:

  • Ability to compete in an extremely competitive environment
  • Gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage
  • Implementation of strategic plans for future expansion and growing market share.
  • Innovative, forward thinking and progressive approach
  • Demonstrating a commitment to staff development and training.

Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality

Open to all travel, tourism & hospitality businesses in Shropshire, entries will be judged on their positive contribution to the county through enhanced visitors and employment, as well as how they embrace adoption of technology. Entries will be assessed on:

  • Commitment to promoting tourism, encouraging leisure pursuits and promoting customer focused hospitality venues in Shropshire
  • Evidence of business growth
  • Adding value to the county as a leisure and hospitality focused sector with an understanding of the importance of tourism both nationally and internationally to Shropshire
  • Creating employment and proven development of staff for the industry in Shropshire
  • Evidence of customer feedback detailing satisfaction with the service / facilities on offer

Technology, Enterprise & Innovation

This award is aimed at companies keen to show how they are harnessing latest business thinking and technology to keep them at the cutting edge. Entries will be assessed on:

  • Evidence of successful innovation across the business
  • Problem-solving skills, research and development
  • A forward-thinking approach to creating business success
  • A determination to strive for continued success by pushing the boundaries
  • An appreciation of how new technology can deliver a competitive advantage


This award is designed to recognise and individual who has excelled within their company whilst on an apprenticeship programme.

To enter an apprentice of the year category you must either be currently undertaking that level or have completed it within the last 12 months.

Stronger entrants for this category have usually completed more than 6 months of their current apprenticeship and are able to provide more evidence to substantiate their answers.

There are usually several entrants in this category so you need to make sure your application stands out from the rest.

Judges are looking for exemplars that showcase the difference they have made to the organisation they work in.

They will be using the following criteria to score your application:

  • 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 in your own life and within the company
  • testimonials: from fellow employees including colleagues and managers and where appropriate, customers.

International Trade

This is an award for companies which have excelled in the fields of either export, or import, and built healthy links with suppliers or customers overseas. Entries will be assessed on:

  • A forward-thinking and structured approach to trading overseas
  • Understanding of different cultures and practices in foreign markets
  • Training of staff to communicate efficiently and effectively with overseas clients
  • Tailoring of products or processes to meet needs of different marketplaces
  • Evidence of international trade improving the performance of the business

Best New Business

This award is for the best new sustainable business formed on or after January 1 2013, with a base in Shropshire. Entries will be assessed on:

  • The business idea and strength of vision which motivated you to form a new business
  • The planning that went into launching it, and the progress made so far
  • Evidence of business planning, financial objectives and success to date
  • Ongoing marketing and product or service development strategy, to secure the company’s long-term future
  • Factors which give your business a sustained competitive advantage

Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics

This award is for a manufacturing company or plant that best demonstrates a continuous improvement to achieve world-class manufacturing standards.

  • Judges will look for evidence of an engaged workforce that has developed (or clearly developing)
  • A culture of continuous improvement.
  • Judges will be looking for evidence that the company clearly understand providing value to the customer.
  • Results can be demonstrated by showcasing manufacturing processes, new product development, sales and marketing, purchasing and procurement and general, all-round best practice.

John Clayton Award

As a member of the Shropshire Chamber Board for over 28 years, it is appropriate that John is remembered at Shropshire’s premier business awards.

The introduction of the John Clayton Award in 2015 is a fitting way to honour his memory. John gave his time, wisdom and energy to numerous organisations providing support for communities across wide sectorial and geographical areas. It is therefore without question that this award is given to a person who will be independently nominated for their outstanding contribution to community.

Unlike other awards, the John Clayton Award will require nominations not applications.

A nomination template will be available via the Awards Website and will allow for up to 750 words in support of the individual and their activities.

The Chamber Board members will review all nominations and select the winner. The award will be presented on the evening of the Business Awards.

The criteria will be very simple as they seek to identify the nominated person who has significantly contributed to community within Shropshire over the past 12 months. This award has become part of the annual Shropshire Business Awards from 2015.