THE STAR SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS: Small but mighty firms celebrated

The Star Small Business Awards: Star Editor Nancy Fielder with Business Editor David Walsh and Tanya Dearden of hosts Virgin Money Lounge.
The Star Small Business Awards: Star Editor Nancy Fielder with Business Editor David Walsh and Tanya Dearden of hosts Virgin Money Lounge.
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Small is beautiful, dynamic and exciting.

Small is beautiful, dynamic and exciting.

Today marks the launch of The Star Small Business Awards - to celebrate the unsung heroes of our economy.

We believe firms that have survived the start-up phase, proved they’re viable and have their sights set on growth have arguably the most exciting story to tell.

But unlike other business competitions we are not seeking entries, we will choose contenders from among the hundreds of firms we write about, hear of and speak to every year. And then pick the winners.

Our aim is to discover and publicise as many interesting, new - and worthy - companies as possible.

The Star Small Business Awards: Star Editor Nancy Fielder with Business Editor David Walsh and Tanya Dearden of hosts Virgin Money Lounge.

The Star Small Business Awards: Star Editor Nancy Fielder with Business Editor David Walsh and Tanya Dearden of hosts Virgin Money Lounge.

By doing things differently we will avoid the situation where organisations hire awards writers and buy themselves an advantage.

The judges include senior staff at The Star - business editor David Walsh, managing editor Rob Hollingworth and editor Nancy Fielder - and our four sponsors.

There are 10 categories for firms with fewer than 50 employees and less than £10m turnover:

* New Business

* Customer Service

* Manufacturing/Construction

* Innovation

* People Development & Training

* Technology

* Business Personality/Entrepreneur

* Professional Services

* CSR

* Family Business

Look out for the shortlist coming soon.

We want the ceremony to be informal and fun, so we’ve organised a no-jacket-required event hosted by Virgin Money Lounge on Fargate in Sheffield city centre on Thursday July 19.

For the winners, The Star promises the kind of publicity only the region’s largest media organisation can generate.

@SheffieldStar has 163,000 followers on Twitter, 100,000 followers on Facebook and David Walsh has 5,000 business connections on LinkedIn.

We’ll be running two articles a week in the run-up to the event and then make a splash with a double-page spread announcing the results.

And we’ll be doing extra updates online.

The Star Small Business Awards is set to be an annual event, so although companies can’t enter this time, they can put themselves forward for the next.

To nominate an organisation and for more details go to: www.thestar.co.uk/smallbusinessawards/

And if you’re a small business in Sheffield doing something extraordinary save the date on July 19, there’s a chance you could be celebrating.

BIG THANKS TO OUR AWARDS SPONSORS

SHORTS CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS -Leading edge accountants and tax advisers

LUPTON FAWCETT - An integrated commercial law firm offering a full range of legal services

MK PUBLIC RELATIONS - Sheffield-based professional PR services

AZZURE IT - The leading Microsoft Dynamics 365 support partner