Oswestry-based alarm maker Aico has been crowned Shropshire’s 2020 Company of the Year.

The fast-growing business, based at Maesbury Road, picked up three awards in the 20th anniversary year of the competition, which was live streamed this evening.

They also won the Workplace Health & Wellbeing, and Corporate Environmental Responsibility awards.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, was a VIP guest of honour on the night taking time out of his busy schedule to praise the creativity and resilience of Shropshire businesses.

He said: “I wanted to pay tribute to all the businesses from Shropshire who are being recognised.

“This is the 20th anniversary of these annual business awards, and there has never been a more important time to recognise the determination and achievements of our business community.

“I know you would also prefer to be meeting up in person for what has become the biggest event on the Shropshire business calendar, but we’ve all had to adapt our ways of working in these challenging times.

“It’s fantastic to see the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce embracing new technology to recognise business excellence and success in new and imaginative ways.”

Last year’s company of the year winner, Pave Aways of Knockin, won the Education and Apprenticeships award this time, while Aviramp of Telford, which makes products for the airline industry, won the International Trade award.

Shrewsbury-based events and production company Yarrington – which has built a new TV studio at its Frankwell site – won the prize for Digital Innovation.

The Manufacturer of the Year award went to Coopers Gourmet Foods of Roden, which has developed new products during lockdown, while 7 Video of Shrewsbury was named Best Small Business.

Market Drayton-based optician Style Optique won the Outstanding Customer Service title, and the Business in the Community Award went to the Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultant, based in Telford.

Richard Sheehan, Shropshire Chamber’s chief executive, said: “It has been an extraordinary 12 months. No-one could have foreseen the kind of changes we have all had to make to our lives.

“But in times of challenge, it is even more important to see the work of employees recognised, as well as the businesses themselves.

“This pandemic has proved that Shropshire businesses are resilient, creative and innovative – as the delivery of this event shows.”

Normally, a team of judges would be visiting each of the shortlisted finalists at their premises before deciding on a winner – this year, those ‘meetings’ were held on Zoom.

In addition to the announcement of the 10 award winners, tonight’s broadcast also included a pre-awards wine tasting session from Tanners, and featured music from students at Telford College.

There was also an interactive quiz running throughout the broadcast, testing people’s Shropshire knowledge, with the winner taking home a £100 hamper full of county produce.

If you missed the live stream of the awards, the show will soon be available on a catch-up service soon, at www.shropshirebusinessawards.co.uk 

THE FULL LIST OF 2020 WINNERS

COMPANY OF THE YEAR: Aico

EDUCATION AND APPRENTICESHIPS: Pave Aways

BEST SMALL BUSINESS: 7 Video

BUSINESS IN THE COMMUNITY: The Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultant

WORKPLACE HEALTH & WELLBEING: Aico

INTERNATIONAL TRADE THROUGH EXPORT: Aviramp

OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE: Style Optique

DIGITAL INNOVATION: Yarrington

CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY: Aico

BEST MANUFACTURER: Coopers Gourmet Foods

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