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Business Awards 2016

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NOW is the time to shine the spotlight on our region’s businesses that have been exploiting new opportunities, creating wealth, employing more people and contributing to the local economy.
This is the time to shout about their success stories as The Press Business Awards are launched for 2016.
In the only regional awards of their kind, celebrating business from all sectors across York, North and East Yorkshire, the competition recognises the entrepreneurial success of individuals, small and large enterprises in various area of best practice.
This year, which marks the 26th anniversary of the event, we welcome back Hiscox as overall sponsor for the 2016 Business Awards, through which we will celebrate the triumphs of business in 12 different categories, with an overall winner also.
To be in with a chance of being crowned a Press Business Awards winner choose up to two categories from the descriptions below and be a part of this regional celebration of business and entrepreneurship by entering online.
The Press Business Awards 2016 are open to all businesses in The Press’s circulation area of York, North and East Yorkshire. If you have any queries, please email andrew.hitchon@thepress.co.uk



Sponsorship available

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 two years.

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:

University of York

Achievement Through People

Success in this category can take many forms and might include:

  • Providing professional training to ensure that the skills and competencies of staff meet business needs.
  • Focusing on high quality customer engagement to improve customer service levels to positively impact on customer retention and business growth
  • Ensuring effective succession management by matching the business’ needs with the aspirations and abilities of individual employees
  • Reward and recognition schemes which have led to improvements in employee engagement and/or retention and/or productivity
  • Developing a culture of continuous improvement and innovation by encouraging employees with new ideas and approaches.
  • Promoting a culture of trust and ownership within an organisation to enable people to feel empowered to make decisions and act on them

Submissions should include:

  • The nature of your business and your staff
  • Your achievement and how it relates to your people
  • How your business enabled your people to reach this achievement
  • The difference this achievement has made to the overall business

Sponsored by:

York St John School

Socially Responsible Business of the Year

Businesses of any size, sector, or scale can enter the awards.

The judges are looking for entries that clearly demonstrate how the business has incorporated responsible business and sustainability thinking into various areas of business.

The Socially Responsible Business of the year is about:

  • rewarding change
  • encouraging the development of engaged and ethical business practices
  • demonstrating an understanding and commitment to the role of business in society. (Eg. The role that business can play in helping to solve key community/societal problems). This could also involve the development and delivery of ethical business initiatives, social and environmental activities or projects working with the wider community.

Sponsored by:

Retail, Tourism and Leisure Business of the Year

For Retail, Leisure or Hospitality Business of the Year, we want to hear about the highest standards of customer service.

It might be a hotel, pub, restaurant, shop or any business that has day-to-day con-tact with the general public.

Judges will consider the four "P"s of customer service:

  • 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
  • Promotion – Evidence of the relevance of promotions. Do they excite the customer and encourage spend? How well promoted are they? Examples of innovative marketing ideas.

Sponsorship available

Exporter of the Year

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

Sponsored by:

JWP Creers

Employer of the Year

We're looking for employees to tell us why the firm they work for is deserving of this award.

Our judges want to know about the company which, in the opinion of its staff, provides the best working environment, best people-development practices, best skills and training programmes and demonstrates genuine care for the health and well-being of its workforce.

We’ll want to see examples of just why they are a good business to work for, and some specific illustrations of initiatives, projects or gestures that put them in the running for this category.

Sponsored by:

University of York

Business Innovation of the Year

This is a new category sponsored by the University of York. We are looking for the business or organisation that is bringing about change for the better by the application of new thinking and ideas. Innovation could be from the application of creativity to:
Products or service - new or better products or services
Processes – better ways of doing things that have produced great results
Investing in research and development

Perhaps your organisation formed new and exciting partnerships that have changed your outlook and performance; using good ideas from staff, customers or your supply chain to make real change to what you do. Your innovation doesn’t have to change the world; just how you succeed as a business. As an organisation that thrives on new ideas we’d love to hear about it.

Sponsored by:

City of York Council

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:


Technology Business of the Year

Open to all businesses of any age or size that have developed technology and can demonstrate an innovative approach to using and creating technology to solve challenges and/or increase efficiencies across any sector.

The Judges will consider:

  • A forward thinking approach to innovation. How the idea was born and developed
  • The commercial viability of the product and the potential for generating revenue and profit
  • The vision for the technology going forward. Could it progress in its market, or be applied to other sectors? What the company has done in the last year to set it apart from its peers.

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