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A manufacturer which ships its machinery around the world from its base in Elvington has been named York’s top business.

Sheppee International was the star of the 2013 Press Business Awards, stealing the show with three awards, including the crown of Business Of The Year.

The £8.5 million turnover company also won the Dare To Export Award and the title of Large Business Of the Year. The wins cement 2013 as a year of award success for Sheppee, which earlier this year was presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

The Sheppee brand is globally recognised in the glass container industry, with 95 per cent of its turnover coming from exporting its machinery for hotware handling.

The company has set up an office in China to take advantage of the expanding markets in China, Indonesia and Thailand, and recently began supplying the Australian market.

The awards ceremony also saw Patrick Shepherd, deputy chairman of the Shepherd Group and chairman of York Against Cancer, win the Lifetime Achievement award for his contribution to business and charity. Each year the award is presented as a surprise to one unsuspecting guest on the night. [more]

Pictures from the 2013 Press Business Awards final>>


Sponsored by:


Commercial Banking

Large Business of the Year

Open to all companies with annual turnover of at least £3 million which can demonstrate outstanding organisation, exceptional financial returns, strong growth and innovation strategies plus market prowess in its sector.

Submissions may include:

  • The success of your principal products and services
  • How you market them
  • Obstacles faced and overcome
  • Strategies to motivate and upskill staff
  • Future strategy for maintaining growth and dynamism
  • Responsibility to the community

Sponsored by:

Hethertons Solicitors

Small Business of the Year

Open to those businesses in the region which have been trading for more than a year and have a turnover of less than £3 million.

The judges will consider:

  • The entrant’s financial performance
  • Its strategy and the way in which it has developed
  • Its approach to staff development and customer service
  • The potential for further growth
  • The impact the business has had on jobs and the community

Sponsored by:

York Science Park

New Business Of The Year

Open to start-up businesses which have been in existence for up to a year.

Judges will consider:

  • The concept of the business
  • How the business researched the market
  • How the business has been received by the market
  • Its business plan, including budgets, finance and main objectives
  • Early figures, financial forecasts
  • How the entrant has taken an innovative approach to operational issues, such as human resources, space, suppliers, manufacturing processes, distribution and IT
  • How the business was launched and marketed
  • Potential for further growth

Sponsored by:

City of York Council

Think Green Business Of The Year

Open to all businesses in the region which consciously strive to improve the environment.

The judges will consider:

  • Ways in which the entrant has minimised the impact of its operations on the environment
  • How it has raised environmental awareness in its workforce
  • The impact the business has made in relation to its size
  • What challenges the business has overcome to become greener
  • Ways in which the local community has been enhanced or protected
  • How the business has encouraged others to think green

Sponsored by:

York St John School

Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

Open to anyone aged under 30, whether a sole trader, part of a partnership, limited company or plc, where the venture or a significant part has been successful due to the drive, enthusiasm and vision of an individual, either by themselves or as driving force of a team of people.

The judges will consider:

  • The concept of the business/venture
  • Innovative and professional ways in which the entrant has approached operational issues
  • The motivation of the individual
  • Resources available and what challenges have been overcome
  • How the individual has made a difference to the business, market or community
  • Evidence of success
  • The impact the business has made in relation to its size
  • Potential for further growth

Sponsored by:

York Designer Outlet

Retailer Of The Year

Judges will consider the five "P"s of retail:

  • People – how does the entrant ensure levels of customer service? Are staff passionate and do they understand their product? Can staff interpret and engage with customers' needs?
  • Product - The product range, quality of offering , relevance to target market
  • Price – Are pricing levels in line with the quality of offer and target market? Evidence of delivering a profit
  • Placement - Shop environment, distribution channels, location, layout, presentation of product, customer accessibility, retail “theatre.”
  • Promotion – Evidence of the relevance of promotions. Do they excite the shopper and encourage spend? How well promoted are they? Examples of innovative marketing ideas.

Sponsored by:

City of York Council

Dare to Export Award

This award is open to all business which trade with a country outside of the UK, regardless of size or sector.

The judges will consider:

  • The entrant's ability to spot opportunities in new markets;
  • How the entrant has used exporting to develop and grow the business in York;
  • The potential for further global reach;
  • Obstacles the entrant has overcome to enter new markets;
  • The impact the business has made in relation to its size
  • How the business has encouraged others to be think bigger

Sponsored by:

York Racecourse

Business Personality Of The Year

Open to all business people in the region who demonstrate inspired leadership.

Judges will consider:

  • The personality’s role and impact in their own organisation’s success
  • How the personality has had an impact on the wider business community
  • Examples of their flair and method for getting things achieved
  • The general style of leadership and values
  • What makes the nominee different from other men or women
  • His or her personal achievements
  • Personal challenges which have been successfully overcome
  • How the personality has provided a role model for others

Tourism & Hospitality Business Of The Year

Open to all businesses in the region designed to welcome, entertain and serve visitors.

Judges will consider:

  • How the business acts as an ambassador for the wider region
  • The systems in place to ensure and improve customer service excellence
  • How the business develops staff
  • Challenges overcome
  • Examples of regular review and improvements to your product or service
  • Clarity of business goals, innovation and investment
  • How you market yourself

Sponsored by:

University of York

Best Business and Higher Education Link

Open to those businesses in the region which have successfully forged positive links with Higher Education Institutions (HEI), such as universities and colleges offering HE qualifications.

Judges will consider:

  • How the business has harnessed innovation
  • The nature of your business, its work with a HEI and how it came about
  • The benefits to your organisation from this activity
  • How your work has developed new or innovative business or technical processes or helped students develop themselves and their careers
  • The approaches you adopted to building your business and HEI link, how this has been received and your strategy to sustain it.

Sponsored by:

Garbutt & Elliott

Family Business Of The Year

This category is open to all established family businesses.

Submissions may include:

  • How they have successfully moved the business forward in the preceding 12 months.
  • Examples of good practice and possibly learning experiences that can inspire and encourage other family businesses to succeed.

Sponsored by:


Best Business and Community Link

Open to businesses which have forged positive links with the local community, and offer their staff opportunities to improve the lives of others.

Submissions may include:

  • The nature of your business, its work within the community and how it came about
  • The long-term value of the work to the community
  • The efforts the business has taken to instill community values in its workforce and culture
  • How the activities have been tailored to meet the needs of the business and its staff
  • How the relationship is being developed to provide sustainable support for the community

Sponsored by:

Intelligent Travel York

Best Sustainable Travel Initiative

Open to organisations of any size or sector which have done their best to promote sustainable transport to their employees.

Submissions may include:

  • Investment in facilities to enable staff to use sustainable transport
  • How the business fosters a sustainable culture amongst its employees
  • What obstacles the company has overcome in getting staff to use sustainable transport
  • How have schemes been communicated to staff and how well have they been taken up

Sponsored by:

Federation of Small Businesses in association with Learning City York

Fledgling Business of the Year

Any entrepreneur aged between 11 and 19 can enter the Fledgling Business of the Year category through website.
The entries will be split into two age groups, 11 to 16 and 16 to 19. They will also be split into individual and group entries.
Schools and colleges will also be invited to enter group entries.
The Federation of Small Businesses in association with Learning City York will make four awards – naming an individual and group winner in each of the age categories.
An overall individual and group winner will be chosen from the final shortlist to win awards on the night at The Press Business Awards 2013.

The Judges will consider:

  • The business and entrepreneurial achievements of the individual or group - this could be running a business, a successful project, or making a difference in a part time job.
  • What results or evidence do they have to demonstrate their achievements?
  • How did the group or individual demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit?
  • Where did the group or individual find their motivation for what they did?
  • How well did the group or individual plan their activities?
  • What challenges did the group or individual overcome in their activities and how?
  • What support did the group or individual have access to during the activity?
  • Evidence of Transferable skills - such as communication, teamwork, leadership - that will help them in their future career whether employed or self employed

Sponsored by:


Lifetime Achievement Award

Entries are not invited for this award but if you wish to make a suggestion, please email

If you are interested in sponsoring an award category, contact Lucy Stoakes on 01904 567250

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