New awards celebrate Sheffield visionaries leading us through the pandemic

The Star’s new awards recognise the businesses and organisations that shone in dark times.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 5:21 pm
Vision 2021 awards celebrate those who showed the way through dark times. Picture: Chris Etchells

‘Vision 2021’ aims to highlight those who, through their efforts and ideas, have improved lives and secured jobs and created a blueprint for post-Covid success.

They led the way in the pandemic and met extraordinary challenges with extraordinary innovation.

Widespread working from home, shuttered shops, pubs and restaurants; booming online delivery services and a love of homegrown and independent businesses are all new.

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The Star Business Editor David Walsh.

Some firms were forced to change direction, while others triggered long-held plans in order to survive. Builders kept building and manufacturers kept making despite a raft of new rules.

We also witnessed the vital role played by the NHS and charities, prompting an outpouring of goodwill and support from business.

Sheffielders pulled together like never before. Now, it’s time to honour and celebrate their achievements.

Across 12 categories, we will spotlight the beacons who gave us hope.

The winners will receive publicity only the region’s largest multi-media organisation can generate, with a five-minute video on your company, a feature online and in the newspaper, social media support, a podcast and invitations to a round table and audio visual seminar.

The Categories:

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

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. Entry to more than one category is permitted.

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.

Since it launched, 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 the form of workshops, one-to-one training and mentoring, which is 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 with a net economic contribution of more than £140m.