The four companies battling for the title of Shropshire’s 2017 Company of the Year have been revealed.
Three Telford firms – driver education group TTC, waste management company Reconomy and temperature-controlled transport business Dale Brothers – will be competing with Market Drayton-based Culina Logistics for the showpiece prize at the black tie ceremony on June 23.
More than 600 guest will be at the Oscars-style awards night, at The International Centre in Telford, for the 17th annual Shropshire Business Awards – which will once again be the largest awards event on the county’s corporate calendar.
This year’s finalists come from all over Shropshire – from Oswestry, Market Drayton and Whitchurch in the north to Ludlow and Leebotwood in the south, plus many from Telford and Shrewsbury.
Teams of judges will be touring the county over the next couple of weeks to meet all the finalists at their premises, before making their final decision.
The Outstanding Customer Service category will be decided between law firm FBC Manby Bowdler, R&D Tax Claims of Shrewsbury, the Maket Drayton branch of optician Mincher-Lockett, and the Best Western Valley Hotel at Ironbridge.
Best New Business this year is a battle between Beaver Bridges of Battlefield, The Inspirational Learning Group from Telford, Purition at the Shrewsbury Food Enterprise Centre, and SkinSincere from Telford.
And in the Best Small Business section, firms in the running are Ascendancy Internet Marketing of Shifnal, Quorum Support Limited and China Enterprises UK Limited from Telford, and Burlton Cottages near Shrewsbury.
In the Online Business category for firms making the most of sales technology, the finalists are Choiceshops Limited of Telford, Purition of Shrewsbury, Kadai Firebowls from Leebotwood, and Croud Inc of Shrewsbury.
Shortlisted in the Technology Enterprise and Innovation category this year are Telford trio Seymour Manufacturing International, Sentinel Care Services and QI Van Systems, plus Stallion AI Services of Whitchurch.
The Export award will be taken this year by either Sirane or KRL Limited, both from Telford, Stallion AI Limited of Whitchurch, or Red Step Marketing from Shrewsbury.
In the Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics Category, the finalists are Fabdec Limited of Ellesmere, QI Van Systems and Dale Brothers UK from Telford, and Flowfit of Ludlow.
Companies which nominated star apprentices for the Apprentice of the Year title, and have made it to the final four, are The Inspirational Learning Group, Global Freight Services, and Ace Supplies UK Limited – all from Telford – plus Shrewsbury Colleges Group.
Competing for the Business In The Community award this year, for firms which give something back to the county, are Reech Media of Shrewsbury, J&PR Limited from Wellington, Energize Shropshire Telford & Wrekin, and Pave-Aways Limited from Oswestry.
And last, but not least, the contest for the Tourism Leisure and Hospitality Award this year is a four-way fight between the Buckatree Hall Hotel, Lakeside Coaches Limited, Hadley Park House Hotel, and Wroxeter Hotel.
Tickets are now on sale for the glittering awards night on June 23, when the multi millionaire founder of the Poundland retail empire, Steven Smith, will be the guest speaker.
To book tickets, and for more information, see www.shropshirebusinessawards.co.uk.
The event is organised by Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, and chief executive Richard Sheehan said: “Once again we are delighted with the number and the calibre of applications.
“We have had a record number of first-time entrants this year, with amazing success stories to share.
“Since its launch back in 2001, the Shropshire Business Awards has been famed as the largest celebration of our county’s business success.
“A key part of the night is always the quality of high-profile guest speakers, and we are delighted to add Steven to that list in 2017. He is an outstanding speaker, and an outstanding businessman, with strong connections to our area.”
COMPANY OF THE YEAR: TTC Group, Reconomy, Dale Brothers UK Limited, Culina Logistics
OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE: FBC Manby Bowdler, R&D Tax Claims, Mincher-Lockett, Market Drayton, Best Western Valley Hotel
BEST NEW BUSINESS: Beaver Bridges, The Inspirational Learning Group, Purition, SkinSincere
ONLINE BUSINESS: Choiceshops Limited, Purition, Kadai Firebowls, Croud Inc
TECHNOLOGY, ENTERPTISE AND INNOVATION: Seymour Manufacturing International, Sentinel Care Services, Stallion AI Services, QI Van Systems
INTERNATIONAL TRADE THROUGH EXPORT: Sirane Limited, Red Step Marketing, KRL Limited, Stallion AI Services
MANUFACTURING, TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS: Fabdec Limited, QI Van systems, Dale Brothers UK, Flowfit
BEST SMALL BUSINESS: Ascendancy Internet Marketing, Quorum Support Limited, China Enterprises UK Limited, Burlton Cottages
APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR: The Inspirational Learning Group, Global Freight Services, Shrewsbury Colleges Group, Ace Supplies UK Limited
BUSINESS IN THE COMMUNITY: Reech Media, J&PR Limited, Energize Shropshire Telford & Wrekin, Pave-Aways Limited
TOURISM LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY: Buckatree Hall Hotel, Lakeside Coaches Limited, Hadley Park House Hotel, Wroxeter Hotel