600 business people from across Worcestershire, Herefordshire and beyond gathered at the University of Worcester Arena on Thursday 7 June, for the annual Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, sponsored by Sanlam.
This year’s awards saw the biggest number of applications yet, with 68 finalists being shortlisted in the 13 categories ranging from Exporter of the Year, Most Promising New Business and Excellence in Innovation.
Earlier this year, the Chamber announced three new categories for the 2018 awards; Best Use of Social Media, Micro Business of the Year and Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace Award – providing more opportunities for local firms to show off their triumphs at the lavish awards evening.
Guests were greeted by an electric violinist and an ice-themed reception, whilst making use of drp’s popular drinks bar. Attendees were then led into the main arena to enjoy a sumptuous three course dinner and network with other guests on the table.
Sharon Smith, Chief Executive of H&W Chamber of Commerce, welcomed everyone to the evening before host David Meade returned to the stage to host the event for the second year running. Once again, David entertained the crowd with his humour and mind-reading tricks, and led the way in congratulating this year’s winners.
Whilst celebrating the incredible success stories from businesses across the two counties, guests took part in a selfie competition, sponsored by EBC Group, for a chance to win a gin hamper for their table. Attendees also took part in an exciting raffle to generate funds for The Prince’s Trust, the evening raised £2,125 for the local charity – with Barclay’s providing £1,000 of match funding to bring the grand total to £3,125.
Whilst the event was a fantastic chance to celebrate the variety of firms in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, the evening culminated in the announcement of the Chamber Business Awards 2018 winners. They are as follows:
• Best Use of Social Media, sponsored by Worcestershire Business Central – OLPRO
• Best Use of Technology, sponsored by TechTeam – Kinetic 6 Ltd
• Business of the Year – Vision Labs Ltd
• Employer of the Year, sponsored by University of Worcester – Midlands Air Ambulance Charity
• Excellence in Customer Service, sponsored by Handelsbanken – ISO Quality Services
• Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by Malvern Hills Science Park – Indra Renewable Technologies Ltd
• Excellence in Professional Services, sponsored by Worcestershire County Council – Bishop Fleming LLP
• Exporter of the Year, sponsored by Malvern Instruments – ETL Systems Limited
• Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace, sponsored by Proton Partners International – Malvern Hills District Council
• High Growth Business of the Year, sponsored by Hewett Recruitment – Level Peaks Associates Limited
• Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by QinetiQ– Vision Labs Ltd
• Micro Business of the Year, sponsored by Air Products – Ubi-Tech (3R) Ltd
• Most Promising New Business, sponsored by mfg Solicitors LLP – NMITE
• Small Business of the Year, sponsored by Orchard Valley Foods – GreensafeIT Ltd
Several finalists were also recognised this year with the Highly Commended Award, these businesses included; drp Group (High Growth Business of the Year), Focus Ecology (Excellence in Professional Services), Land Rover Experience Eastnor (Excellence in Customer Service), One Creative Environments Ltd (Best Use of Technology), REHAU Limited (Excellence in Innovation), Rock Power Connections Ltd (Small Business of the Year) and Worcester Bosch (Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace).
The culmination of an evening’s worth of celebration was the announcement of the Winners of Winners, presented to Vision Labs Ltd. The judges commended the business for achieving excellence across all categories including technology, export and growth.
Sharon Smith, Chief Executive of H&W Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Chamber Business Awards 2018 was a fantastic chance to celebrate the amazing variety of innovative and dynamic firms in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and beyond.
“It was brilliant to welcome 590 key business leaders for an evening of laughter, networking and celebration. This year’s awards were our biggest one yet, and the calibre of applications was truly outstanding. Congratulations to all the winners!”
The Chamber would like to thank all the sponsors for the Chamber Business Awards 2018, including all the category sponsors, and Worcestershire LEP, Sanlam, EBC Group, TechTeam, F8Creates, Keepmoat Homes, Neoperl, Newsquest, drp, Worcester Racecourse, Warwickshire College Group, Tyrrells, Worcestershire Business Central and raffle prize sponsors.
Pictured: Manufacturer of the Year and Winners of Winners Vision Labs Ltd sponsored by Sanlam