JUDGES have revealed the finalists who have made the cut in prestigious awards showcasing business success stories in our region.

Entries have closed for the Federation of Small Businesses' Yorkshire and The Humber 2022 awards, with the shortlist including a host of entrepreneurs in York.

The FSB will announce the winners at a ceremony at the Principal Hotel, York, on Friday, February 25.

At the 2020 Awards, judges crowned 12 businesses of different shapes and sizes from across various sectors of the economy, from self-employed businesses to established larger businesses with up to 250 employees.

A spokesman said: "The standard was fantastic and this year we hope to celebrate even more great businesses."

Carolyn Frank, FSB development manager for York and North Yorkshire, said: “We are so excited to welcome all our finalists and guests together next to month at The Principal.

"This will be a great celebration of the resilience and success of the small business community and one of our first large-scale face to face events for a long time.

"Everyone who entered was a winner, that’s absolutely no cliché this year. In a tremendously difficult trading period, the self-employed have dug in and achieved against all odds and are leading the economic recovery.”

She added: "Our finalists reflect our wide variety of members from sole traders to high-growth and international business and the 12 categories reflect this.

"Winners in York will go on to represent Yorkshire & The Humber in our prestigious national final, flying the flag for our region against the rest of the UK and we are proud of each and every one of them already."

Tracey and Georgia Rae, the mother and daughter duo who launched Rae & Rae Independent Opticians, in Bishopthorpe Road, York, during the pandemic, are contenders in the micro business category.

The Potions Cauldron Ltd, which has just opened the Potions Express at York Railway Station, in addition to its shop in Shambles and Hole in Wand attraction in Coppergate, is in the running for the high growth business title.

Contenders for the self-employed/ sole trader title include York-based Experience Heritage, which brings history to life through innovative digital storytelling; and Little Seed Group, a marketing, PR and social media agency, also based in the city.

Also in the running is Mr B Hospitality, set up by Philip Bolson, former general manager of The Grand, York, to help individuals, SMEs, organisations and developers achieve goals, from starting a business to developing in confidence; along with Sharmini's Inspirational Indian Cuisine, a York-based cookery school set up by Sharmini Thomas.

Meanwhile, marketing consultant Bethan Vincent Digital Marketing Consultancy is among the finalists for start-up business.

Other categories include digital/e-commerce business; international business; wellbeing; young entrepreneur; business and product innovation; and the community award.