Closing date announced for awards honouring businesses that led in the pandemic

The closing date has been announced for The Star’s Vision 2021 Awards for those who have improved lives, secured jobs and created a blueprint for post-Covid success during a uniquely difficult year.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 4:43 pm

Entries close on Monday April 11.

There are 12 categories (details below) apply now: email [email protected]

Sheffield communications company Counter Context has entered the Business Champion Award ‘for those that helped other companies survive, whether through direct advice, helping them to develop a new strategy, or signposting to assistance’.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Harriet Knowles, director at Counter Context

Counter Context director Harriet Knowles said: “Over the past 12 months, the Counter Context team has delivered innovative and insightful communications solutions which have allowed vital infrastructure projects to continue. I’m very proud of what the Counter Context team has achieved in challenging circumstances and it’s equally uplifting to read how other companies entering these awards have adapted.”

The winners will receive a five-minute video on their company, a feature online and in the newspaper, social media support, a podcast and invitations to a round table and audio visual seminar.

Email entries to: [email protected]

The categories:

Vision2021 Awards.

1. Best Work From Home Employer - For the company that has gone the extra mile to help staff forced to work from home. This could include emotional and mental health support, extra allowances, equipment, recognition or help with childcare and staff socials

2. Best Reinvention — Recognising firms that were forced to pivot – completely change direction - to survive and have made a success of it

3. Best Lockdown Innovation - Companies that have introduced new products or services, perhaps putting into action long-held ambitions, to remain viable

4. Lockdown Launch - Celebrating the most successful start-up who launched despite - or perhaps because of - the most trying circumstances

David Walsh, business editor.

5. Best Home Delivery Service - The company that helps keep independent and homegrown businesses in business. Delivering products, revenue and satisfaction with the best and easiest-to-use service

6. Business Champion - Providing services that have helped other businesses to survive, whether through direct advice, helping them to develop a new strategy, or signposting

7. Community Champion - The business or organisation that has had the most impact supporting charities and the wider community with donations, free products or expertise, innovations or hours worked

8. Best Tech - A new app or platform developed during the pandemic to help companies stay alive and thrive

9. Manufacturing Innovation - The best new product to combat Covid, be it a spray, mask, dispenser, ventilator or even software

10. Best Covid-Safe Office - The firm that has gone above and beyond installing, implementing and maintaining safety systems producing the happiest and most secure staff

11. Big Idea - The new project with the biggest potential impact on Sheffield, for the better

12. Best Property Conversion - The best, most ambitious, most impactful scheme that breathes new life into a beloved building and offers the most potential benefit to both occupiers and the city as it stages a recovery.

Nominated companies/people must be based in Sheffield City Region. Entry to more than one category is permitted.

Email entries to: [email protected]


The Best Reinvention Award is sponsored by Future Life Wealth Management, one of the country’s top financial planning firms.

It has been listed in the New Model Advisor Top 100, a national list of the top financial planners, every year since 2013.

Based in Renishaw, it was established by Jillian Thomas in 2009 and today employs 11.

The Lockdown Launch Award is sponsored by Launchpad, a programme to inspire and support new entpreneurs in Sheffield City Region.

Launchpad has helped more than 7,000 people to transform their ideas into a commerical reality and has delivered nearly 70,000 hours of business support in workshops, one-to-one training and mentoring delivered by experienced business advisers based in the Sheffield City Region.

It is delivered by a consortium led by Barnsley Council, with Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Bassetlaw councils and The Prince’s Trust. Funding is provided by each partner and the European Regional Development Fund.

The Business Champion Award is sponsored by Finance for Enterprise, one of the most trusted and respected alternative lending providers in the North.

The company delivers the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme and Start Up Loans, helping new business owners access up to £25,000.

Over the past five years, FFE has provided £37m in loans, helping to create more than 1,400 jobs, safeguard 1,800 and boost the economy by more than £140m.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper.

Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.