Business of the Year

Open to all sectors of business, the judges will be looking for an outstanding organisation whose track record sets them apart from the rest. 

The blue riband award will go to the company with an impressive turnover that has delivered a top flight performance across every part of their business and sets the standard within their industry – the very best in the region.

Entrants will need to show strength in the following areas:

  • Commercial performance
  • Leadership and management
  • Outstanding commitment to customers
  • Innovation
  • Investment in staff
  • Commitment to the local community

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Best Use of Technology

Has your company created, introduced or developed new technology that has had a positive impact on your business? If so, we would like to hear from you.

In your submission the judges will be looking for evidence of how technology has:

  • Improved processes 
  • Reduced costs
  • Increased revenue 
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction

This award is open to established and new businesses alike.


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Community Champion

The judges are looking for a company that displays, on a regular basis, a commitment to corporate social responsibility over and above their daily business demands and can show how this has had a positive impact on the surrounding area.

This may be getting involved with a local school or organisation, or encouraging staff to work voluntarily on community projects.

The award will be presented to a company which demonstrates the following:

  • Staff engagement in the local neighbourhood
  • The benefit to the community or a specific social cause from staff endeavours
  • Contribution to personal development of employees
  • Plan for sustainable commitment to the cause on an ongoing basis 

Please note that not-for-profit organisations are excluded from this category

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Family Business of the Year

The judges are looking for impressive businesses that are actively owned or managed by a family and will be looking for entrants to demonstrate:

  • Profitable growth achieved in the last three years
  • How they achieve a balance between family and business
  • How they combine family heritage and boardroom agility/innovation
  • Effective leadership in pursuing market opportunities 

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Growth & Innovation Award

Businesses will need to have a minimum turnover of £5M and have achieved impressive growth over the last three years to enter. They should be able to tell an inspirational story that will encourage others and be able to motivate other companies to maximise opportunities for growth.

The judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • The development of an outstanding product or service through innovation
  • Fresh markets having been identified and a great sales plan being put in place
  • New customers gained and market share increased
  • A commitment to exceptional service
  • A strong management team that has sustainable development plans to build on its success in the future.

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Manufacturing Champion

The eventual winner of this category will probably combine the best of traditional skills with new technology, while continuing to strengthen the regional economy.

All finalists will demonstrate a dedication to manufacturing excellence with particular attention paid to:

  • Quality
  • Sales performance
  • Sustainability
  • Investment in people and plant
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Environmental responsibility
Express & Star Business Awards 2018 Sponsor UTC Aerospace Systems

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Micro Business of the Year

This category is open to businesses employing between one and 10 people. A minimum of 18 months trading is required for any new business to consider this category.

Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • Dynamic leadership
  • Tangible level of success
  • Robust business plan
  • Flexibility to adapt to market changes
  • Marketing plans to maximise future growth
  • Smart working practices
  • Top level customer service
Express & Star Business Awards 2018 Sponsor Wolverhampton City Council

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Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year 

If your business employs between 11 and 200 people and is outstanding in a number of ways, this could be the category for you.

The ultimate winner is likely to be an innovative company that is looking forward to the challenges ahead.

The strengths being sought are:

  • Innovation in products/services
  • First class customer service
  • Outstanding leadership and management
  • Committed workforce
  • Coherent business plan 
  • Sustainable strategy for future expansion
  • Investment in employees’ continuing professional development
  • Investment in developing the skills of young people relevant to the needs of the region’s economy
Express & Star Business Awards 2018 Sponsor Higgs & Sons

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Young Business of the Year

The judges are looking for a young business, five years or less at January 31 2018, that is likely to be a strong all-rounder, already a leader in its own chosen area of expertise.

They must be able to demonstrate:

  • Effective leadership and management
  • Innovation in products, services or processes
  • A robust marketing strategy
    Investment in staff development
  • A tangible level of success
  • Significant growth or expansion and potential to sustain this

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Tradesperson of the Year

This category is open to everyone whose job involves manual labour of
any sort and has worked for a minimum of two years (not including an
apprenticeship) either as a sole trader or an employee of a company.

The judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • Educational qualifications and achievement of industry standards through relevant training
  • Use of new technology to enhance performance and improve the offering from the business
  • Outstanding customer satisfaction scores from the public and feedback from colleagues
  • How the individual has had a positive impact on the business (not only financial)
    An awareness of current and pending legislation 
  • Plans for professional development and business growth in the future

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Business Person of the Year

This is an individual award that singles out business owners, entrepreneurs and senior management for their leadership, contribution and for having a substantial impact on their business in the past year.

The judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • High levels of business skills and acumen
  • An imaginative and inspirational manager
  • Innovative and entrepreneurial leadership
  • Someone who has given the business a competitive advantage
  • A role model within their own business and beyond

Individuals may nominate themselves but anyone can put forward an individual for this category.

Express & Star Business Awards 2018 Sponsor Made in the Midlands

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