Shropshire Chamber of Commerce’s annual business awards are going ahead this year – but in a virtual format.
The competition, in its 20th year, has grown into one of the largest and most respected events of its kind in the region.
The Oscars-style ceremony was due to be held at Telford’s International Centre this summer, before Covid-19 forced a change of plan.
Instead, the award winners will now be crowned during a live streamed event on Friday, November 20.
Entries are now open for the competition, which includes most of the usual popular categories, but with a twist to the criteria, reflecting the changing times.
The closing date for entries is October 23, and shortlisted finalists will be revealed on November 9. Details are available from www.shropshirebusinessawards.co.uk.
A number of sponsorship opportunities are still available, as well as advertisement slots for commercial breaks during the live stream.
“We originally had plans for our largest ever awards event this summer, which was also including a huge conference and exhibition, to mark the competition’s 20th anniversary,” said Shropshire Chamber chief executive Richard Sheehan.
“Clearly, this wasn’t possible in the current climate, but we were determined to create some form of event to reflect the amazing resilience and achievements of Shropshire businesses.
“We may only be crowning our winners virtually, instead of in person, but these awards will still deliver the usual top-level showcase for the amazing companies we have across all corners of our county.”
He added: “It has never been more important to celebrate the extraordinary adaptability, innovation and success that is Shropshire business.”
There are 10 categories in the 2020 virtual awards, including the showpiece Company Of The Year title, for an all-round star performer, won last year by Knockin-based construction company Paveaways.
Other regular categories which are returning include Outstanding Customer Service, Best Small Business – which is also open to new businesses – Business In The Community, Best Manufacturer, and International Trade.
The awards also include new categories recognising excellence in Workplace Health & Wellbeing, Digital Innovation, Corporate And Environmental Responsibility, Education And Apprenticeships for businesses building important links with education.