The 2021 Awards have now been launched

Entries will be accepted until Friday 24th September. The exact timelines are shown below.

The Business Awards have been running for ten years and have gone from strength to strength. They are overseen by a Steering Committee consisting of representatives from the two partner councils and sponsors. The Steering Committee are responsible for reviewing all entries and selecting the finalists in each of the categories. Judging Panels then visit each finalist to further understand the business and ‘story’ behind their entry.

Please contact us if you have any questions or want to get involved as a partner or sponsor.


Timeline for the 2021 Awards

Wed 7th July

Launch of awards. The Official Entry Form is now available to download and entries are being accepted.

Thurs 30th Sept

Finalists announced, judging visits commence.

Fri 24th Sept

Deadline for entries (5pm, must be on official entry form).

Mon 4th Oct

Tickets on sale for finalists & guests.

Tues 28th Sept

Steering Committee review all entries & select finalists.

Thurs 11th Nov

Gala Awards Evening (sponsored by CMC Business Advisers) at Pirelli Stadium, Burton on Trent (home of Burton Albion FC).

The Award Categories

There are 11 different categories that businesses and organisations can enter. Entries into multiple categories is encouraged, as long as sufficient evidence is provided. All entries should be completed on the same Entry Form which is now available to download.

Most Promising Start-Up Business

New businesses that have started within the past three years (after July 2018). Criteria include Innovation (identification of an opportunity and development of a product/service), Launch (successful delivery to market), and Growth (strategy for expansion and further development).

Small Business of the Year (less than 20 FTE’s)

Excellence within a business of less than 20 employees (including FTE contractors). Covers all aspects of the business including, leadership, management, staff development and training, innovation, social responsibility, financial performance, future growth plans, and business sustainability.

Medium Business of the Year (21-100 FTE’s)

Excellence within a business with 21-100 employees (including FTE contractors). Covers all aspects of the business including, leadership, management, staff development and training, innovation, social responsibility, financial performance, future growth plans, and business sustainability

Best Use of Innovation or Technology

Utilising technology or innovation within the past 3 years (since July 2018) to enhance an aspect of business performance. This should be new to the business and preferably to the sector too. The benefits should be clearly evident within some aspect of business performance.

Manufacturer of the Year

Recognising businesses that have excelled in this sector over the past 3 years (since July 2018). Covers all aspects including product design, testing, development, production, marketing & sales, & performance. Can relate to a new product, product range, or modification of a product.

Best Customer Service Performance

Outstanding customer service for clients and/or customers over the past 12 months. Includes surveys and feedback from customers and clients (especially where unprompted), and where above and beyond that expected relative to the service, product and sector.

Leisure, Hospitality & Retail Award

Excellence in a consumer facing business that operates in the entertainment, tourism, leisure, retail, or food and beverage sectors. The business can be independent or part of a national chain, but in all cases the entry should relate to local activity in East Staffordshire or South Derbyshire, including product and service, commercial performance, staff development, sales & marketing initiatives, and future plans.

Young Employee or Apprentice of the Year

Recognising individuals who are under the age of 25 (on 7th July 2021) and have been working within a company for more than 12 months. Includes personal development through study, training, qualifications, and a proven contribution to the business as a whole.

Rising Star Award

Recognising an outstanding employee over the age of 25 who has progressed significantly over the past 12-24 months. This may include professional development, management responsibility, innovation, or any other performance criteria relevant to their role within the organisation.

Employer of the Year

Showcasing human resource and staff engagement strategies. This includes recruitment, training, development, communication, employee working practices (including work-life balance), environment, community outreach & corporate social responsibility.

Business of the Year

The ultimate award of Business of the year is selected by the Steering Committee and judges from all the entries across all categories. The winner will be announced at the Awards Evening, and is recognition of truly outstanding business performance.