Niche Business Awards sponsors, ambassadors and prestigious judging panel come together online to reveal this year’s semi-finalists.
The semi-finalists of the Niche Business Awards have been announced this evening after hundreds of nominations poured in during the first four, more stable, months of the year.
When the effects of COVID-19 hit hard in March, the deadline for nominations was extended to mid-April. The extension saw an increase in nominees put forward.
Jenny Cross, CEO of Cross Productions and founder of the Niche Business Awards, said: “People are really searching for positivity right now.
“I believe business owners have taken time to reflect as they look to adapt their businesses to thrive and survive in the current pandemic and entering awards such as our own really enables them to reflect, often reminding themselves of the great achievements they have made so far in business.
“Since lockdown, we’ve witnessed on the news acts of bravery, kindness, and tear-jerking moments where communities have all come together. I’m witnessing this daily as I see members of the public and business owners all coming together every day to support one another.
“There is a real sense of community spirit where we are seeing businesses champion one another wanting to shine a light on positive experiences to continue to invest in, and drive the local economy.”
The semi-finalists are normally announced as part of a Niche Networking event that takes place each year. As quarantine has currently limited all events and gatherings, the organisers took to the internet to announce the judges selection.
For those thinking of applying next year, Jenny says the application process itself could be beneficial: “For those thinking of applying next year, it is definitely worth taking the time to address.
“Taking valuable time out to write your application will encourage you to revisit your business achievements which on a day to day basis you would often overlook. These are things we should be sharing, in these achievements are lessons and these lessons we can share with up and coming businesses to help enable growth.
“Being entered for an award – whether you were nominated by someone outside the business, or the business nominated itself – also sends a positive message to employees. It generates company pride impacting on job satisfaction, productivity and retention. You will often find it plays a positive role in recruitment, attracting people to a successful company.”
The annual Niche Business Awards ceremony is scheduled as usual for the first Friday in September. With situations as they stand and the continues changes to government guidance the event organisers have made contingency plans to move the event if need be. This is not something that can currently be forecast.
The 2020 semi-finalists of the Niche Business Awards are:
BEST NEW BUSINESS
Sponsored by HOLLINGSWORTHS SOLICITORS
Sponsored by EVERARDS
Sponsored by THE LETTINGS BUSINESS
BEST SMALL BUSINESS
Sponsored by LEICESTER CASTLE BUSINESS SCHOOL
DIGITAL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by GROWTH PARTNERS PLC
Rhino Software LTD
INNOVATION IN BUSINESS
Sponsored by ER RECRUITMENT
Sponsored by THE TURNAROUND CEO
Nicole Martin – Core Aquatics
Claire Herbert – Gateley PLC
Arif Voraji – Help the Homeless Leicester
John Woodcock – Voluntary Action Leicester
Maxine Eversfield – ER Recruitment
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by BP LEGAL SOLICITORS
BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE
Sponsored by KAZZOO
LEICESTERSHIRE CHARITY OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by MORNINGSIDE PHARMACEUTICALS
Sponsored by TORR WATERFIELD
Sponsored by THE MILLER PARTNERSHIP
BUSINESS MAN OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by PATTERSONS COMMERCIAL LAW
Phil Houlder – Glenfield Electrical
Shaf Islam – Chutney Ivy
Terry Benson – QDTS Construction
Malcolm Foulkes-Arnold – Corporate Architecture
Paul Rowlett – Everything Branded
Simon Winfield – Red Monkey Play
BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by PARADIGM WILLS AND LEGAL SERVICES
Andrea Gray – PPL PRS LTD
Estelle Keeber – The Mums in Business Association
Tajinder Banwait – Urban Apothecary London
Gemma Orton – Mocha Marketing
Claire Herbert – Gateley PLC