North West

 

 

An innovative gin distillery, a global gifts and collectibles business and a Japanese inspired soft drinks manufacturer: The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards North West showcase 2020’s most inspiring small businesses

11 winning North West businesses go forward to the

UK FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2020 final

The Spirit of Manchester Distillery houses ‘Wonder Wend’, a custom-built 1,000-litre copper still, a development which has seen them crowned North West Business and Product Innovation of the Year category winner at the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards.

Fanattik, a licensed collectibles business from Cheshire work with some of the world’s biggest film and game studios and have been confirmed as North West Micro Business of the Year.

Stephanie Buttery is a name we should hear lots about in the future.  Manchester-based Stephanie scooped the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category for her Chu-Lo Drinks business which is making giant strides forward.

Over 200 guests from the most successful small businesses across the North West gathered on Friday 28 February at the Midland Hotel in Manchester to celebrate the region’s finest small and medium sized businesses.

Chris Manka, FSB North West Regional Chair said:

“Congratulations to all this year’s North West FSB Celebrating Small Business Award winners.  They are reflective of the vibrancy, innovation and tenacity that makes up our small business community. It’s been thrilling to see so many businesses enthusiastically take part in our awards and the sheer scale and diversity of those who entered is a testimony to the vitality of the small business community across the North West. The best of luck to all our winners for the UK national award final in May.”

The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards celebrate the best small businesses from the length and breadth of the country, offering national recognition for those who have made the biggest impression over the last 12 months. Twelve area awards finals take place between February and April, with the UK final taking place at a VIP attended awards ceremony on 21 May in London. The North West area category winners, with the exception of the community award, will go through to the UK final.

Our 2020 North West winners were:

International Business of the Year
Advanced Food Safety Limited

 

Business & Product Innovation Awards
The Spirit of Manchester Distillery

 

Community Award (Area Only) Winner
A Family's Best Friend

 

High Growth Business of the Year Winner
Helen Pritchard Online

 

Environmental Award Winner
The Quiet Site

 

Micro Business of the Year Winner
Fanattik

 

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Winner
 Angels Share MCR (Chu-Lo Drinks)

 

Family Business of the Year
Derby Hill Dairy Ltd

 

Start-Up Business of the Year Winner
Gymology

Wellbeing Award of the Year
Bennett Staff

 

Self-Employed/Sole Trader of the Year Winner
Big 5 Catering & Sauces

 

Digital/e-commerce Business of the Year
Coaching Culture

 

 

Business & Product Innovation Awards

Access Personal Checking Services Ltd
www.criminalrecordchecks.co.uk
Access Personal Checking Services (APCS) is the largest umbrella body in the Northwest, providing vetting solutions to over 11,000 organisations; from residential homes, nurseries, local authorities, NHS trusts, schools and recruitment companies, to TV companies and airlines! Whilst working in the care sector, Mark Gardner discovered the issues faced by employers who wanted to make quicker, easier and safer recruitment decisions. Mark’s expertise in criminal record checks lead to another organisation utilising his services, inspiring him in 2002 to found APCS in his fathers’ conservatory, with an initial investment of only £300. APCS is now a multimillion-pound enterprise!

Bio Products Group Ltd
www.biopipe.uk
The business was initially founded in 2015 by Robert Stewart (Founder and CEO), importing and supplying various products to the UK market. It was an attempt at 'can we do this on our own' kind of thing, it wasn't calculated, and it caused trouble, but it was a success. It gave the platform and lessons learnt to explore/research/develop further. With it, the BioPipeⓇ was invented and a change of focus. In 2017 the company changed to Bio Products Group an innovator to re-thinking plastic products and a leading supplier to some of the largest companies in the world.

AFS Group Ltd
www.afsuk.com
AFS Group Ltd is made up of three companies, AFS (UK) Ltd, Synergy Commercial Finance and AFS Compliance Ltd. AFS (UK) Ltd and Synergy Commercial Finance are finance brokerage franchises with a network comprising of industry experienced, finance specialists working in the commercial finance sector providing funding to the UK’s SMEs. AFS Group has grown to be one of the largest independent brokerages in the country sourcing over £360m worth of funds for SMEs up and down the country in 2019 through AFS (UK) Ltd alone. AFS Compliance Ltd holds principal status with the Financial Conduct Authority.

Digitalent
www.digitalent.agency
Digitalent is a small global recruitment agency who are specialists in recruiting for the most fascinating and in demand technology, creative and marketing roles across the UK and Australia. Digitalent act as trusted advisors to companies who need amazing talent and place candidates in their dream jobs.

BAS (NW) Ltd
www.basnw.co.uk
BAS (NW) Ltd are a Motability partner with nearly 40 years’ experience in the installation and manufacturing of Vehicle Adaptations and are one of the leading companies in their field. They are a company that truly places the customer’s needs at the heart of everything they do, often creating bespoke adaptations to ensure that they can help every customer to live a “life without boundaries”. They have a reputation in the industry for taking on complex adaptations, which require forward thinking and innovation, to ensure the client’s needs are met.

The Bee Centre
www.thebeecentre.org/home
The Bee Centre is a multi-award-winning centre of excellence for bee-related education, breeding and husbandry. Their diverse portfolio of innovative products and services span numerous business sectors, including eco-leisure, tourism, hospitality, farming, education, sustainability, retail, construction, infrastructure, local government, logistics and food/drink, amongst others. Their internationally renowned ‘Bee Experience’ is unusual, memorable and educational. This 90-minute immersion into the world of the honeybee informs, enthuses and inspires participants to act in support bees and pollinators. Driving several national initiatives to improve bee husbandry, The Bee Centre has made the North West the home of Sustainable and ethical beekeeping in the UK.

Handrail Creations
www.handrailcreations.co.uk
Handrail Creations was founded in 2014 by father and son team Martin and Kenny Macfarlane. The company manufactures and installs bespoke timber handrails to staircases in luxurious homes and impressive public buildings across the UK - Working directly for large contractors, architects, interior designers and stairbuilders. The Bolton firm have made and installed handrails in the Houses of Parliament, the US Embassy, Google and Facebook’s headquarters, as well as a plethora of universities and high end shop fit outs like Hermes and Chanel. In less than 6 years the company has seen rapid growth with ambitious and focused sales.

The Spirit of Manchester Distillery
www.manchestergin.co.uk
Seb and Jen met and fell in love over G&Ts. Now, they distill, bottle and label over 100,000 bottles of award-winning Manchester Gin in the heart of the city. They’re a family business with a passion for gin, and a vision to take it around the world. What began as a dream between the two of them has, in just over three years, become a state-of-the-art distillery, a visitor experience and a bar and restaurant, Three Little Words. As a business, they occupy six grade-II listed railway arches which they lovingly restored and opened in 2019.

Connect Solutions Group
www.connecttotraining.co.uk
Connect Training provides a unique solution to organisations across all sectors. The innovative and interactive C-Live, is the UK’s first virtual role-play training platform. Simulation specialists control a variety of avatars with their own distinct personalities, responding in real time to the emotions and reactions of the participant, thus avoiding the costly mistakes of having un-trained staff in risky or critical situations without prior experience. Introduced as a way of preparing trainee teachers for delivering lessons to children with SEND, through development it has become limitless in its application. It’s a realistic yet safe environment to practise navigating difficult situations.

International Business of the Year

Advanced Food Safety Limited
www.allsafe.org.uk
Russell Parry set the business up 25 years ago and became a limited company in 1999. Initially a technical food safety resource for SME's, he soon expanded the business to include the provision of distance learning training and later eLearning training - it was this move that took them to the next level and exporting internationally to over 65 countries. They also provide consultancy overseas in Jordan, Latvia, Macedonia, South America and USA.

Avatar
www.avatar-games.co.uk
Avatar is viewed as a top 6 international games agency around the globe. With a number of awards won and over 20 industry finals, they are growing and so is their international presence. Avatar represent the best talent to the best Video Games studios around the globe, working with major blue chip companies. They have clients across the globe in countries such as; China, Japan, Canada, USA, Germany, Korea, France, Poland, Germany, Spain, Holland, Iceland, Australia, Serbia, Russia, Ukraine and many more.

Pyranha Mouldings Ltd
www.pyranha.com
Pyranha was founded in 1971 as a specialist white water canoe and kayak manufacturer that now also markets as P&H sea kayaks and Venture touring canoes and kayaks. All products are manufactured in Britain, and designed jointly in Britain and in the USA by their team of enthusiasts.

Environmental Award

The Bee Centre
www.thebeecentre.org/home
The Bee Centre is a multi-award-winning centre of excellence for bee-related education, breeding and husbandry. Their diverse portfolio of innovative products and services span numerous business sectors, including eco-leisure, tourism, hospitality, farming, education, sustainability, retail, construction, infrastructure, local government, logistics and food/drink, amongst others. Their internationally renowned ‘Bee Experience’ is unusual, memorable and educational. This 90-minute immersion into the world of the honeybee informs, enthuses and inspires participants to act in support bees and pollinators. Driving several national initiatives to improve bee husbandry, The Bee Centre has made Lancashire the home of Sustainable and ethical beekeeping in the UK.

The Quiet Site
www.thequietsite.co.uk
The Quiet Site opened its doors as a holiday park in1963. The Holder family bought The Quiet Site in 1985. Many changes and improvements have happened during their time here. They have concentrated on a fully sustainable approach to business for the last 15 years. The future is exciting and will focus on sustainability, quality and a circular economy. The original farm dates from the 16th Century and much of the present site’s infrastructure is housed in the ancient buildings. 400 years ago all the visitors were Herdwick sheep, nowadays the sheep are outnumbered by human tourists!

Blakes The Art Of Hair
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Blakes The Art Of Hair has been established for 22 years. As with any business, it has evolved to inkeep with the current want and need for environmentally conscious practices. The salon staff work hard to ensure all their work fits with the ethos of lowering waste, pollution and harm to the planet. Having this year implemented even more strategies to be environmentally aware, Blakes is excited to share their work with the hairdressing community by entering the awards in this category.

Crowberry Consulting Ltd
www.crowberryconsulting.com
Crowberry Consulting Ltd is an environment, ethics and energy management consultancy based in Chorley, Lancashire. Established in 2006 they work across the UK and Europe to provide training, auditing and consultancy to ISO systems including: ISO14001, ISO50001 and ISO20121. Established by Becky Toal, they are an IEMA approved training provider of sustainability courses, they are an approved BSI re-seller of these ISO standards. They also work with a range of strategic partners to audit to the international standards and support their customers with continual improvement. In 2018 they became an approved consultant to the Chamber Low Carbon programme in Lancashire.

TED enterprises Oakmount House
TED Enterprises - Oakmount House is a residential care home for service users with enduring mental health and/or learning disabilities. It was established in 1990 as a stand-alone service with a good CQC rating.

Micro Business of the Year

LoveRaw
www.eatloveraw.com
LoveRaw is an innovative, vegan confectionary brand. Founded by Rimi Thapar in 2013 with a desire to improve her own well-being by creating 100% natural, vegan snacks, LoveRaw has since disrupted the vegan confectionary market with the launch of its 100% natural vegan chocolate buttercup product, now manufactured in five flavours and sold in major supermarkets and other retail chains across 10 different countries worldwide. With clear plans to drive accelerated growth, LoveRaw has recently received a multi-million-pound investment from venture capitalist, Blue Horizon, two years after Rimi Thapar appeared on Dragon’s Den and rejected a £50,000 investment from Deborah Meaden.

Trolle Trading Limited T/A Kin Toffee Vodka
www.kinvodka.co.uk
Kin Toffee + Vodka Spirit drink was created in the Lakes by Judith Wren in 2013, inspired by a toffee vodka whilst skiing. The production, based in the Old Smithy at the family home, started as a hobby and most early production was given to friends. Feedback from those first recipients was so positive, production commenced. Brand ‘Kin’ was created and promoted through the Lake District being an immediate success. In following years, successful promotion at increasing numbers of food festivals/shows spread the word. Bottling on a larger scale was arranged and stockists have increased on a regular basis.

Sm@rt Technology Ltd
www.smart-technology.org.uk
Sm@rt Technology Ltd is an innovative manufacturer of Smart devices, and Tactile Solutions for the visually impaired and other disability groups. They have developed the most technologically advanced tactile flooring solutions and Smart Devices on the market today. Their systems give information to Visually Impaired people via a Bluetooth earpiece about their surroundings. Crucially for blind people "Hearing is Believing", Sm@rt Technology is helping them to believe there is a better future. During the last 12 months they have been granted over 100 design registrations for their Smart Technology and currently have 6 patents applied for, along with their unique 'Smart' Logo.

Lakeland Artisan
www.lakelandartisan.co.uk
Lakeland Artisan, run by Geoff and Mary Monkman, are multi award winning artisan food and drink producers who pride themselves on producing high quality, handcrafted, locally sourced products, using the finest natural ingredients with no artificial flavours, colours and preservatives. The company incorporates Lakeland Liqueurs, Cumbrian Delights, Mawson’s Traditional Drinks and Lakeland Hampers, which all showcase the very best produce that the region has to offer. All of their ranges are made with love and care in their production kitchen and bottling plant, all in small handcrafted batches. The company are proud to have been awarded 45 Great Taste Awards.

Fanattik
www.fanattik.co.uk
Fanattik is licensed by some of the biggest film and video game studios in the world to create limited edition gifts and collectibles. Current partnerships include 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures and more. The products Fanattik creates from Jurassic Park bottle openers to Jaws playing cards are all designed in-house and sold to retailers here in the UK, Europe and as far afield as New Zealand. Fanattik is building up a respected name within British pop culture retail and several products have been nominated for Gift of the Year by the British Gift Association.

Depledge Strategic Wealth Management Ltd
www.depledgeswm.com
Depledge SWM is a firm of Chartered Financial Planners, established in 2014 by Andrew Day LLB (Hons), FPFS. Andrew was one of the first Chartered Financial Planners in the UK and has been a leading adviser for 20 years. In less than six years the company has grown from a start-up to a business that now looks after more than 500 active clients and is entrusted with more than £160 million of client assets. Depledge SWM is now recognised as a leading Manchester based firm of advisers by industry commentators, professionals and, more importantly, by the clients they serve.

Urban Paws UK Ltd
www.urbanpawsuk.com
Urban Paws UK is the UK's leading animal talent and casting agency. Urban Paws provides cats, dogs and all other animals for film, TV, commercials and all forms of media as well as worldwide social media pet influencers. The small team is headed up by Layla Flaherty, who, in 4 years, has developed an international presence within the industry. Urban Paws UK is regularly used by blue-chip companies as well as SMEs and independents. The company disrupted the industry by providing a reputable and ethical way of working with animal talent.

Cherrydidi Ltd
www.cherrydidi.com
The founder, Jean Harmer has a passion for supporting small businesses. A project 'Trade in Action' brought 5 Ghanaian and 5 Cumbrian creative businesses under the same trading umbrella. This project was the seed for the Cherrydidi shop which sources handmade gifts made by British businesses with a focus on supporting start-ups. Jean was once a business advisor for Cumbrian Rural Women's Network, then a PM delivering a business start-up programme outreaching to deprived Cumbrian communities. She also ran a not-for-profit organisation taking her enterprise experience to business support NGO's in developing countries empowering women to start their own businesses.

Start-Up Business of the Year

Coaching Culture
www.coachingculture.com
Set up in 2018 to address the changing landscape of employee development, Coaching Culture is a ground-breaking concept that has revolutionised the HR industry. It offers digital coaching solutions that are accessible and affordable for everyone in an organisation. It has launched three innovative products in 2019,and has another four in the pipeline for 2020. Coaching Culture Magazine has over 3000 subscribers. The business has grown from two to eight employees with plans to double the team in 2020, and is currently a provider to more than 50 big-name organisations such as Shell, Burger King, Warburtons and Cineworld.

Sm@rt Technology Ltd
www.smart-technology.org.uk
Sm@rt Technology Ltd is an innovative manufacturer of Smart devices, and Tactile Solutions for the visually impaired and other disability groups. They have developed the most technologically advanced tactile flooring solutions and Smart Devices on the market today. Their systems give information to Visually Impaired people via a Bluetooth earpiece about their surroundings. Crucially for blind people "Hearing is Believing", Sm@rt Technology is helping them to believe there is a better future. During the last 12 months they have been granted over 100 design registrations for their Smart Technology and currently have 6 patents applied for, along with their unique 'Smart' Logo.

Mercarto
www.mercarto.com
Mercarto is a unique e-commerce platform which combines a dynamically built tech stack with cutting-edge dropship marketplace software. This provides an exclusive opportunity for any budding entrepreneur to launch an online business in minutes without any of the usual barriers to entry. Often aspirational minds may be stopped in their tracks by a lack of products, finance, business knowledge or industry connections. Mercarto's mission is to empower everyone to run their dream business, whether it's a side hustle or full-time passion, saving users an abundance of time by having thousands of trusted suppliers and products at their fingertips.

In Professional Development
www.inpd.co.uk
In Professional Development (INPD) provides accredited leadership and management courses to professionals and executives across every sector. Its innovative courses are designed to strengthen the mindset and skill set of those taking part, providing tools and strategies for implementation in their organisations to improve performance. Working with academic partners, INPD bridges academia and industry, combining the best of both worlds to bring something different and unique to market; turning professional experience into well-regarded and academically-recognised qualifications. The company is forging a reputation as a trusted national provider of innovative and accessible professional development to senior leaders with real-world impact.

Gymology
www.gymologyuk.com
Gymology was born by couple, Jon and Katie, after finding it so difficult to find an affordable, quick and healthy option. Apart from creating finely tuned, perfectly balanced nutrition, they were adamant from the start that their meals need to be of restaurant quality to stick to your plan and enjoy eating every meal. They want to wow with their taste as much as with their service. It is easy to let yourself down by not eating the right food at the right time. Gymology does the hard work in the kitchen for you.

SubPort Ltd
www.subport.co.uk
SubPort Ltd is a commercial consultancy set up to provide support to Subcontractors within the Construction industry. SubPort are a combination of experienced Quantity Surveyors and Finance Professionals whose aim is to ensure Subcontractors are achieving the profits they deserve and are entitled to.

Dough
www.doughliverpool.co.uk
Dough supply restaurant quality food delivered to your house and also run a wine club. Founded by Ryan Lynch, Dough started in an industrial unit doing just deliveries in December 2017. After demand increased they had to move to a shop, then also opened two new locations in pop ups in central Liverpool. The business has gone from strength to strength, and recently their shop had a £40k investment and converted to a full restaurant.

Countplus Accounting
www.countplus.co.uk
CountPlus Accounting was established on 1st July 2019 after spotting a gap in an incredibly competitive and overcrowded market. Their vision was to change this by mixing digitally-driven processes with the expertise of passionate accountants. And it was clear that they needed to do this themselves. The model is straightforward, they're an accountant who's part and parcel of their client’s business. Regular onsite visits come as standard. They're available beyond the working hours of 9 to 5. If people need to see them urgently, they’ll be there on the same day. And they don't let clunky processes get in their way.

Caldor Limited
www.caldorlimited.co.uk
Caldor Ltd are a registered Gas Safe Company (551565) serving the North West specialising in boiler maintenance, servicing and repairs. They also carry out work on LPG boilers, pipework and unvented hot water cylinders. They work on large and small scale projects and pride themselves in an open and transparent pricing policy with no hidden surprises.

High Growth Business of the Year

Professional Development Group T/A Government Events and GovPD
www.professionaldevelopmentgroup.co.uk
Professional Development Group is one of the UK's fastest growing events companies. Professional Development Group are specialists in delivering leading, information led training courses, conferences and exhibitions. Derek Lilley, Chairman of PDG seems to have had the Midas touch on several occasions – building up Est Est Est, the Individual Restaurant Company and Fourth Hospitality.

Helen Pritchard Online
www.helenpritchardonline.com
Award-winning online business coach Helen Pritchard has celebrated her first ‘£1m year’ – having experienced exceptional sales growth in the past 12 months. Under the banner of Helen Pritchard Online, Helen helps coaches, consultants and business owners to get more inbound enquiries on LinkedIn from their ideal clients – positively impacting 40,000 people worldwide in her online communities. She teaches her methods through her ‘LinkedIn Mastermind’ – a 12-week group coaching programme with daily training videos, group calls and guest expert speakers; bootcamp eLearning; free ‘5-Day LinkedIn Challenges’; and her free ‘LinkedIn Marketing’ Facebook group, which has over 10,000 members.

YourZooki
www.yourzooki.com
YourZooki is one of the UK’s fastest-growing wellness brands, which has exploded onto the scene in the last three years. Founded by life-long friends Marcus Mollinga and Jack Morrison, the brand has launched several new products to the market, including one of the world’s highest strength CBD oils and an innovative Liposomal Vitamin C supplement that has found favour amongst celebrities. The brand was created by the Preston pair to provide science-led solutions to consumers. Through their vision, they are becoming a national market leader, with plans to become an internationally recognised brand in future.

DA Languages
www.dalanguages.co.uk
DA Languages is a fast-growing and ambitious business based in south Manchester. Their aim is to reduce language barriers. DA Languages’ innovative technologies and award-winning customer solutions help their diverse client base reach their audience via face-to-face Interpreting, video and phone interpreting or in written translation. DA Languages know that relationships and ideas flourish when communication is straightforward. DA Languages is a dedicated language services agency with 21-years’ experience delivering first class Translation and Interpreting services. Providing expert support to both private and public sectors – including over 70-NHS Trusts and over 60-local authorities – covering 450 languages and dialects.

In Touch
www.intouchnetworks.com
In Touch was established in 2013 by CEO Matthew Roberts with the purpose of connecting elite professionals with businesses in pursuit of exceptional talent. Its exclusive platform allows members to access training, content and roles from across the web, whilst employers can hire non-executive directors, consultants and business leaders completely free of charge. After relocating their headquarters, home to over 100 employees, to a state-of-the-art office in Spinningfields, Manchester, the business also expanded internationally, opening their first US office in March. The Chicago-based office is a central hub for North American operations.

Right at Home Sefton
www.rightathomeuk.co.uk/sefton
Right at Home Sefton delivers the highest-quality care and support to adults and the elderly living in the comfort of their own homes. From daily visits to full-time live-in care, they tailor their care to meet the needs of the individual and help maintain their dignity and independence at all times. The services they offer include personal care, companionship and support, medication reminders, specialist dementia care, and hospital-to-home assistance.

Family Business of the Year

Hawkshead Relish
www.hawksheadrelish.com
Mark and Maria Whitehead set out to make condiments to serve in their busy Lakeland Café, this all changed with Foot and Mouth in 2001, which forced them to rethink their business. In response, they came up with a range of new condiment products and took these to market. Today the team produce 5,000 hand filled jars a day, stocked in 500 UK retail outlets and 12 countries around the world. Maria Whitehead Owner & Director (wife) - Mark Whitehead Owner & Director (husband) - Izzy Whitehead Sales & Marketing Manager (daughter) - Abbie Whitehead Buyer & Sales (daughter) - Thomas Seddon (warehouse manager - brother of Maria)

The Brown Horse Inn
www.thebrownhorseinn.co.uk
The family run a traditional County Inn, situated in the heart of the Lake District, in the stunning Winster Valley. Once an old Coaching Inn, built in the 1850’s, it is now a thriving traditional Pub with a modern day twist on the food and beverages they offer. Steve Edmonson bough the Inn in 2006 and recently passed the Leasehold over to his two sons Craig, General Manager, and Shaun, Executive Head Chef. Craig's mother, Karen, overseas the housekeeping department and Jenna, Shaun's wife is Reception/Marketing Manager. The staff are made up of family and friends.

Derby Hill Dairy Ltd
www.derbyhillfarm.co.uk
Derby Hill Farm has been in the Bradley family for 5 generations. It has been a working farm since 1850 and has seen many changes over the decades. It is now solely a dairy farm, producing and processing high quality, award winning milk and milk products. The farm and dairy are run by brothers John and David Bradley. John manages the dairy and David manages the farm. John's wife Karen produces the butter and does administrative work. David's wife Nicola does banking, accounts and administrative work. The children from both families also work at weekends and during holidays.

More Handles Ltd
www.morehandles.co.uk
More Handles Ltd (MHL) was set up in 2007 by two families; Paul and Carolyn Rheinbach and Michael and Stephanie Hunt, as a specialist internet retailer of door hardware. An additional nine family members have become involved over the years in customer service, website administration, marketing and as shareholders. The family ethos is recognised as a positive by the other staff, and many have recommended their own family members to subsequently join the company meaning that over 50% of their workforce, some 23 of their 43 staff are related to someone else in the business.

Farm Yard Ales
www.farmyardales.co.uk
Farm Yard Ales was established on a family farm by Steven Holmes. Steve wanted to become the 6th generation on Moss Edge Farm but could not see a sustainable future by continuing to raise cattle and crops on the 84 acre farm. Steven and his father had built agricultural buildings to subsidise the farms income, allowing them to erect a 5,600sq/ft propose built brewery from where he is now producing 320,000 litres of beer a year in just over 2 years of business. Steve's family have been involved with running the taproom, hosting events, beer deliveries and providing continuous support.

CDX Security Limited
www.cdxsec.com
The Roddy family - John MD (Dad) Elliot (Son) Christian (Son) Abbi (Daughter) - provide security services to the UK market from their HQ in Warrington. They have enjoyed major growth both in turnover and colleague numbers and hope to double existing turnover from £2.2m to £5m during the next 12 months. The family team enjoy a fantastic reputation with customers for enhanced levels of Quality, Communication and Support. The team work tirelessly to meet customer expectations and they have introduced many unique solutions to achieve that goal.

Venom IT
www.venomit.com
Venom IT was established by siblings Rebecca and Steven Powell in a converted garage at their family home in Sale, Manchester back in 2009. Since that time they have managed to grow their company from these humble beginnings with just the two of them, to one that employs over 20 technicians and engineers. Venom IT now services close to 1,000 companies in the UK and abroad, with Becki and Steve just as involved in the company as before. Becki is Venom IT’s Managing Director and Steve is the company’s Technical Director.

Real Handful Snacks
www.realhandful.com
Husband and wife, Joe and Carly Taylor are the Co-Founders of Real Handful snacks. With dedicated backgrounds in food and drink, they bring two decades of experience to the business from roles at innocent drinks, Kellogg, Heinz and The Authentic Food Company. In 2016, Real Handful launched Trail Mix, embarking on a challenge to make healthier snacking better. Aiming to increase the availability and awareness of snacks that are functional and downright tasty with their vegan friendly, gluten-free plant protein bars and range of nutritious Trail Mixes, the team hope to help busy households fuel themselves with the right.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year (aged 30 and under)

Greg Mooney - Escape The Van
www.escapethevan.co.uk
Escape The Van is a unique business based in South Manchester which delivers unforgettable escape room experiences to you. They are ideal for corporate team building and socials, public events and private bookings for parties - or even just for fun! The experiences are designed, built and operated by owner Greg Mooney. Greg left his career as a civil engineer two years ago to work full time setting up Escape The Van alongside growing his existing online printing business, Creative Brand Collective, to £200k annual turnover and with two full time employees.

Countplus Accounting
www.countplus.co.uk
CountPlus Accounting was established on 1st July 2019 after spotting a gap in an incredibly competitive and overcrowded market. Their vision was to change this by mixing digitally-driven processes with the expertise of passionate accountants. And it was clear that they needed to do this themselves. The model is straightforward, they're an accountant who's part and parcel of their client’s business. Regular onsite visits come as standard. They're available beyond the working hours of 9 to 5. If people need to see them urgently, they’ll be there on the same day. And they don't let clunky processes get in their way.

PSJ (Lancaster) Ltd
www.lancasterescape.co.uk
Lancaster Escape is an award-winning customer focused escape room based in the Castle City of Lancaster. Using the dark history of Lancaster as its inspiration, it brings history to life and places you in the heart of the action. Can you and your team work together to escape the noose of the Pendle witches? Or evade the grasp of a serial killer? Pioneered by Peter McGarry (30) it recently won the Visitor Experience of the Year Award at Marketing Lancashire's annual awards and was a finalist for Small Business of the Year. One room. One hour. Can you escape?

Ashleigh Hall
www.theflowerhall.co.uk
Ashleigh Hall runs a florist business, The Flower Hall, established in 2017 in West Lancashire. She launched her business after a job change closer to home didn't go to plan. Within a matter of weeks her business took off and she built a brand which people have fallen in love with and she has been lucky enough that it has taken her all over the UK creating wedding flowers.

ANGELS SHARE MCR (Chu-Lo Drinks)
www.chu-lo.com
In 2018, Stephanie spent ten months deployed in the Far East with the Royal Navy. Four of those months were based in Japan and this is where Stephanie discovered an idea, and a thirst, to bring something new to the soft drinks market. Chu Lo Drinks are a series of Japanese inspired soft drinks which are made to look great and taste incredible. After conducting market testing with Manchester Youth Markets, Stephanie received a government start-up loan to make the drinks on a large scale so that everyone can have a ‘Taste of Japan.’

Epiony Ltd
www.epiony.com
Epiony Ltd is a ‘feel good therapy’ brand, named after the Greek Goddess of soothing pain ‘Epione’. It was founded by Emma Powell in 2016, age 21, whilst studying for a biology degree. Epiony develops products which improve the way an animal or person feels, such as relaxing tight muscles or relieving pain from stiff joints. Epiony currently sells innovative products ‘The Heat Pad’, ‘The Thermal Wand’ and ‘The Massage Mitt’. One of their main selling features is they like to support the British manufacturing industry by getting their heat pads made in the UK.

Abacus Adventurers Nursery Group
www.wildadventurers.co.uk
Oliver runs a nursery chain called Abacus Adventurers Nursery group which provides preschool education to the children of the Bolton and Chorley area. The ethos of the nurseries is a mixture of Forest School and Montessori which provides a highly ethical, sustainable and environmental focused business model which helps instil these beliefs into the children they raise.

Ball Mania Ltd
www.ballmania.com
Ball Mania creates immersive experiences. Initially focused on Giant Ball Pits for adults, they have now expanded their offering to create bespoke experiences for a wide range of sectors. With over ¾ million ball pit balls in stock, a wide range of custom enclosures and the desire to always create something memorable at every event they are part of, Ball Mania provides a highly tailored one of a kind experience to each and every customer. Founded by Andrew Woodrow in late 2016 when he was only 23, Ball Mania has seen substantial growth in their 3 full years of trading.

Wellbeing Award of the Year

The DCB Group
www.dcbgroup.co.uk
The DCB Group, owned by David Charles Beale, comprises print management company Print Search, creative and design agency Caspa and print on demand company Aspen, employing 44 people. Founded in 2008, its clients include Lowry Theatre, A-Plant, NUS, Explore Learning, Stonegate Pub Co print and two of the North West's biggest football clubs. DCB is tied to a City We Love and Manchester is home to most of its team and customers. They want to support the city and see it thrive. They have a strong partnership with charity Forever Manchester, which funds and supports community activity across Greater Manchester.

Bennett Staff
www.bennettstaff.co.uk
Claire Wolstenholme is part owner of Bennett Staff based in Hyde, Cheshire. Their business is an independently run recruitment agency supplying temporary and permanent recruitment in the Office, Catering and Industrial markets, covering much of the North West. Originally founded in 1958 as court shorthand writers, they have updated and re-branded over the years. Claire has successfully completed every job within the business dating back to 1990 as an Office Junior and now MD and shareholder. She loves every part of the role, especially working with such a great team who have all been with them for 10+ years.

TechCleaners Limited
www.techcleaners.co.uk
TechCleaners is a very specialised IT equipment cleaning and maintenance services company. They physically and professionally disinfect workstations and IT equipment to help improve staff’s Wellbeing and help improve overall working conditions. Raising Wellbeing awareness is their passion and core business value. Karim Samani is a Managing Director of TechCleaners Ltd. His background is in corporate finance and during his career, he has worked with well-known corporations such as ITV, Ford and Schneider Electric. In his last job, he was an FC for UK and Ireland Services business, where he delivered great financial results and improved GM by +5%.

Little Cherubs Day Nursery & Preschool
www.littlecherubswirral.co.uk/home-page
Owner and Director of Little Cherubs Wirral Angela Harper started out in 2005 taking over an established setting in Wirral and then a second in 2008. They provide care and education for 0-5 year olds in a home from home setting.

Community Award – Area only

The EdStart Group
www.edstart.org.uk/sc
The EdStart Group supports schools by offering full coverage of the primary PE curriculum, as well as a wide range of afterschool sports clubs. The company also provides a specialist education service for children currently outside of mainstream education and a Wellbeing through Sport programme. Passionate about helping children develop their social and fitness skills, as well as promoting positive mental health, the EdStart Group was formed in 2007 and is now working with hundreds of schools, local authorities and organisations across the country.

JR Williams Plumbing Services
www.jrwilliamsplumbingservices.co.uk
JR Williams Plumbing Services Ltd was founded by Jordon and Rebecca Williams in 2016 with the ambition to grow into a reputable, reliable company that people trust. In the first year they would take on literally any job to get noticed and that seemed to do the trick along with a few leaflet drops which was carried out by the family (including their 2 year old!) Their end of year one showed not just a profit, but a decent one to use as a springboard for year two but there is only so much work one person can do.

Disabled and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Responce (DEPHER CIC)
www.depher.co.uk
DEPHER deliver free plumbing and heating repairs to the elderly and disabled in the communities of the UK, over 65 or disabled. They also supply gas and electric top ups as well as food parcels and furniture for the disabled in need. They started in 2017 as Northern Plumbing and Heating but have now moved all their resources to DEPHER CIC UK.

A Family's Best Friend
www.afamilysbestfriend.com
A Family’s Best Friend is a domiciliary care service, providing support for children and adults with disabilities. This support starts at home, but looks wider to help individuals access the community more independently, offering rich new experiences and more independent living. They take a personal, individual-based approach, and support each family on their own terms, appropriate to their needs and situation. They provide a dedicated team to each individual in their care to ensure consistency and to build a strong relationship between the service user, their families and their staff.

Alexander Grace Law Ltd
www.alexandergrace-law.co.uk
Alexander Grace Law have been established 3 years and throughout the course of the past 3 years have raised thousands of pounds worth of money for local and national charities close to their heart, including Pendleside Hospice, East Lancashire Hospice and Cancer research. They are currently supporting local Dementia Action Alliance steering groups and Child Action North West.

Ginger Bakers
www.gingerbakers.co.uk
Lisa Smith, previously an art therapist, founded Ginger Bakers in 2006 in her home kitchen, baking cakes for a local café to supplement her income. After 18 months of making cakes for the café, she decided to take fate into her own hands and bake for herself and sell the cakes she created at famers markets. It wasn’t long before her business outgrew the available space and she needed to move to a larger premise. Now employing a team of 7, the multi award winning team at Ginger Bakers is located in a purpose-built bakery.

ALL ARTS & MEDIA
www.allfm.org
ALL FM’S ethos is ‘by the community for the community’. Their plan is simple; train those from different communities and then offer them the opportunity to broadcast their own live radio shows. They have one hundred and fifteen active volunteers producing and presenting live radio shows. Their focus is on those at greater risk of isolation in the GM communities. Their shows include; foreign language shows (Chinese Farsi, Portuguese, Polish, Spanish Urdu), shows by and for LGBT community, Irish community, BME communities, carers, older people, those on the Autistic Spectrum, people with mental health issues and those with disabilities.

Digital/e-commerce Business of the Year

Single Central Record Limited
www.onlinescr.co.uk
On a national scale, Single Central Record Ltd have single-handedly improved the safeguarding of children in education. They achieved this by developing the UK’s first safer recruitment software designed specifically for schools, ensuring Ofsted/ISI compliancy. Since launching in September 2018, they have successfully implemented this software in over 208 schools.

Smart Document Solutions Ltd
www.smartds.co.uk
SmartDS are a company of systems integrators, software engineers, designers and consultants with a keen interest in innovative technologies, specialising in Mixed Reality. The directors each have more than 25 years of experience delivering large scale IT services and IT consultancy solutions to corporate and government clients.

Coaching Culture
www.coachingculture.com

Set up in 2018 to address the changing landscape of employee development, Coaching Culture is a ground-breaking concept that has revolutionised the industry. By taking coaching from face-to-face delivery to digital, it has made it accessible and affordable for every member of an organisation - something that the HR world has been crying out for.

Mission Labs Limited
www.circleloop.com

Mission Labs was founded in 2016 by Damian Hanson and David Hague. They are taking on traditional telcos by re-thinking the way in which communications solutions are built, delivered and used through products like CircleLoop, a next-generation business phone system that is self-service and works anywhere in powerful applications.

Hitch Marketing
www.hitchmarketing.co.uk

Hitch is a social marketing agency based in Wirral, formed 8 years ago by Gary Wootten. As a social marketing agency, Hitch's aim is to deliver behaviour change for social good. Hitch's work centres around encouraging people to change or maintain behaviour for social good. Hitch strategically collaborates with partners to solve social and corporate problems.

Hilton Smythe
www.hiltonsmythe.com 
Since its launch, Hilton Smythe Group has facilitated the sale of more than 350 businesses. It has built up a reputation as a friendly and approachable company, from buying or selling a business to arranging commercial finance. Hilton Smythe Group believes in a forward-thinking, innovative approach. Each client receives the very highest level of service, combined with unrivalled support and advice.

Self-Employed/Sole Trader of the Year

Northern Wine School
www.northernwineschool.co.uk
Northern Wine School hosts ticketed and corporate wine, spirits and Sake tasting events in Manchester and the North West. They also offer vocational courses in Manchester and Liverpool, as an Approved Programme Provider for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, Wine Scholar Guild and the Sake Sommelier Association.

Big 5 Catering & Sauces
www.big5catering.co.uk
Big 5 Catering was started by South African, Darren Andrews, who wanted to bring a taste of South African food to the UK market. From the outset he wanted to give it the personal touch by making up his own spices, meat marinades and sauces to go with the food he serves at weddings, parties and corporate functions, to name a few. It was out of this that Big 5 Sauces came to be in 2015 and has seen Darren branch out into the production and retail of some of these sauces to farm shops, butchers and delis.

My Curry Club
www.mycurryclub.uk
My Curry Club is an award winning Indian cookery school and the first dedicated Indian (and Bangladeshi) cookery school in Cheshire, giving people the much needed access to an environment where they can understand, learn and be inspired to cook at home. They specialise in hands-on classes, putting traditional homemade regional food, rarely found, on menus. It also helps those with dietary restrictions to enjoy food and flavours rarely available with other cuisines. 2019 has seen the school winning a Rising Star award, Highly Recommended and Finalist for Curry Queen.

The Smokey Carter
www.thesmokeycarter.com
Manchester based The Smokey Carter are awarding winning artisan food producers of barbeque spice rubs, sauces, chilli jams and chutneys. Husband and wife team, Howard and Samantha Carter, started out in 2013 making chutneys and sauces for family and friends to give as gifts for Christmas. Proving to be an instant hit, their business idea was born. They first met while working on board cruise ships, and were inspired by their travels from around the globe. The whole range is now based around world cuisine with Howard’s love of barbeque being centre stage.

JR Williams Plumbing Services Ltd
www.jrwilliamsplumbingservices.co.uk
JR Williams Plumbing Services Ltd was founded by Jordon and Rebecca Williams in 2016 with the ambition to grow into a reputable, reliable company that people trust. In the first year they would take on literally any job to get noticed and that seemed to do the trick along with a few leaflet drops which was carried out by the family (including their 2 year old!) Their end of year one showed not just a profit, but a decent one to use as a springboard for year two but there is only so much work one person can do.

Muscles and Curves
www.musclesandcurves.co.uk
Muscles and Curves is born from the sadness that too many women aren’t proud of their beautiful bodies, live stressful lives and have little spare time to look after their own wellbeing and happiness. Katy Taylor is changing that through pole fitness. She provides a safe environment for her clients to grow in confidence, improve their physical and emotional fitness and have the psychological space to take time out for themselves. In addition to stretching them – physically and mentally – Katy supports them through her nutritional and coaching to leave their negative body image behind them and improve their health and wellbeing.

VivaMK Network Ltd
www.vivamknetwork.com
VivaMK Network is a retail organisation that helps people make an income through the placement of catalogues. VivaMK Network is essentially a wholesaler that prints a range of catalogues, that Distributors (franchisees) drop into households, whilst maintaining a huge community spirit and providing great products. The owner (Michael Khatkar), has 25 years’ experience in Catalogue Distribution and still believes in this market, even in the age of Online Sales. Previously the MD of Kleeneze & Betterware, the magic of the doorstep sale lives on and gives many people a chance to earn an extra income.

Marine Cruises
www.marinecruises.co.uk
Marine Cruises is a UK holiday business specialising in self drive Narrowboat holidays in Scotland, England and Wales. Beautiful boats offering amazing routes such as the World Heritage Pontcysyllte aqueduct into the beautiful depths of North Wales and ride the world’s only rotating boat lift towards the magical city of Edinburgh, amongst many other routes. Hayley’s story is her dad’s story too - sadly he suddenly passed away and within two years Hayley also lost her stepmother. With her sisters unable to help due to their own personal circumstances, Hayley bought the business from the estate and that was it!

Mi Travel Group
www.mitravel.co.uk
Daniel Whittaker ran a small dance company from the age of 16, then went on to running events. He then organised group travel across the UK and is now an ATOL protected travel agency! He has come a long way and absolutely loves what he does!