COMPANIES from York and North Yorkshire have been named among the 100 ventures to be celebrated by Small Business Saturday, the campaign that culminates in the UK’s dedicated day for small businesses on December 3.

They are Duncombe Sawmill, a 120-year old manufacturing and retailing sawmill in Helmsley, and Homeward Creative, an independent bespoke furniture and homeware business based Acaster Malbis, near York.

Duncombe Sawmill provides trade and retail customers with timber products that range from gates, fencing, garden furniture and cut timber.

Emma Wood bought the business in 2003 after it closed for financial reasons. With the help of her team and the support of customers, they have turned the business around.

“We feel that we offer a unique service,” she said. “We buy round saw logs from within a 20-mile radius, cut the timber on site and then turn it into timber buildings, gates, fence panels, and garden furniture. We are the only sawmill in North Yorkshire that makes FSC timber products out of British timber.

“We are known for our craftsmanship and use traditional joinery techniques and work hard to preserve rural skills. We have now expanded our market to sell throughout the UK and have started exporting our gates and other products to France, Holland and Scandinavia.”

Homeward Creative makes one-off bespoke pieces. The wood used is hundreds of years old, all reclaimed and recycled, and often from Yorkshire. Each piece the company makes is unique, and its rustic farmhouse style designs are heavily inspired by the traditional art of woodworking. The business is only two years old.

It was born when founder Emma Bailey and her partner, Dave Parker, were living in London. Both were unhappy in their jobs and wanted a complete change of career. Woodworking was something Mr Parker had always had a passion for and the couple decided to bite the bullet and move back to York, their home, to launch the business.

Since then, Homeward Creative has gone from strength to strength. Last year they moved into a large workshop and currently sell their furniture and homeware online and at markets.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Small Biz 100 this year,” said Ms Bailey. “Our business is only two years old but we have already seen that demand for our furniture is high. We’re determined to grow from strength to strength so that one day we can realise our dream of opening a furniture showroom.”

Meanwhile, in another boost for the Ryedale town, Helmsley in Business has been shortlisted for the Best Community Group category of North Yorkshire County Council’s annual Community Awards.

Those shortlisted have made a positive and continued impact in their community. Helmsley in Business beat off fierce competition to make the list. Winners and runners-up will be announced in October.