Wildcats: Winning a Mercury Business Award raised our profile in the community

Stamford Mercury Business Awards at Greetham   Business of the Year Wildcats Academy
Stamford Mercury Business Awards at Greetham Business of the Year Wildcats Academy

A business which won a top gong in last year’s Mercury Business Awards said winning had raised its profile in the community.

Stamford-based Wildcats Theatre School took home the Business of the Year (large) award and its founder Caz Dolby said that as well as a fantastic night of celebrations, the benefits of winning went much further.

“It was fantastic to be part of something that is so well-known across the whole community and it was really useful for developing our business in terms of raising our profile,” Caz said.

“It was a really fantastic night, not only for celebrating our success but also in terms of networking with other businesses in the area.”

This year’s awards will be the 12th of their kind and is aimed at celebrating the achievements of firms from across the Mercury area.

Held at the Greetham Valley Hotel, Golf and Conference Centre - our long standing partners - the awards offer local businesses the chance to shout loud and proud about their success, and celebrate the achievements and efforts of their hard-working staff.

Readers can nominate too – perhaps you have been impressed by customer service, been ‘wowed’ by a meal in a local restaurant or feel an independent retailer deserves special recognition.

There are 10 categories in total, including a couple of new ones. So why not take a few minutes to enter, or nominate a worthy business or person?

And since the awards were launched, dozens of businesses have already entered so there’s no time like the present to get involved.

These awards are all the more special for the Rutland and Stamford Mercury, as it will be the first event organised under the new ownership of Iliffe Media.

This year we’ve launched a dedicated website, where readers and businesses can nominate. From there, a panel of judges will consider all applications and draw up a shortlist of three, all of which will be invited to the fabulous dinner and presentation evening at the Greetham 
Valley Hotel, Golf and Conference Centre, on Friday, November 10.

Guests will arrive to a Champagne reception before sitting down to a three-course dinner. The awards presentation will follow, hosted by Rutland Radio host Rob Persani.

Tickets to the Mercury Business Awards will soon be on sale and for more details, e-mail sharron.marriott@iliffepublishing.co.uk

n Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available. E-mail sharron.marriott@iliffepublishing.co.uk to find out more.

Best new start up (Sponsored by Hegarty Solicitors) Has your business been a roaring success in its infancy? Has it exceeded all your expectations or is it exactly on the right track, looking strong and with excellent prospects for the future? You may be a one-man band looking to expand, or you may have started at a larger scale and already proved your ideas would work. This award is open to companies in business for up to three years from the date of the launch (Friday, July 7, 2017).

Business Innovation: (Sponsored by South Kesteven District Council) This award will go to the organisation that can best demonstrate an ability to create, grow and develop innovations or processes that improve commercial performance or the prospects of the company.

Best Social Enterprise: (Sponsored by Larkfleet Group) This award is new for this year’s Mercury Business Awards and is open to charities and social enterprises who can demonstrate significant commercial and social impact of their activities. Judges will want to see clear evidence of commercial awareness and innovative strategies that complement the altruistic aims of the organisation.

Best Independent Retailer: This award celebrates the shops which truly make the Mercury area special and will be judged on financial performance, product and store innovation as well as excellent customer service.

Employee or Team of the Year: This award is to celebrate dedication and commitment to the business. The title will go to the employee or team who always go the extra mile and exceed expectations within their company. The judges will be looking for an employee or team who can demonstrate how their attitude, commitment and dedication to their job has delivered significant benefits to the company

Businessperson of the Year: (Sponsored by Duncan & Toplis) Businessperson of the Year: Another new award, the winner will be an individual who stands out from the crowd, has an entrepreneurial spirit, demonstrates outstanding achievement and inspires others around them. The winner of this award will have been instrumental to the success of their business, growing the reputation of both their business and the area in which they operate.

Best Customer Care: This award will recognise the firm, irrespective of size or sector, that can prove it really does put the customer first. Has your business excelled to help one customer in particular or perhaps you have introduced new ways of working to help every customer? The organisation must have objectives for high quality customer service and clear methods of monitoring and evaluating standards. And the winner will know that their customer care really is first class because for the first time ever, the shortlisted entrants will be put out to a public vote - so the customer chooses who wins!

Great Taste Award: This award is for a local hotel, restaurant, café, pub or takeaway that can demonstrate outstanding creativity, customer service and top quality dining and food in the Rutland and Stamford Mercury readership area and once the shortlisted entrants have been chosen by our panel - the winner will be voted for by our loyal and hungry readers!

Business of the Year (small): (Sponsored by our hosts Greetham Valley) This award is open to a business trading for more than three years with up to 20 employees and which is able to demonstrate excellence and innovation in its field, management with the ability to drive the business forward and funding arrangements and investment plans for the future of the business. It must show it understands its market, has arrangements to respond to change and can demonstrate why the business should win.

Business of the Year (large): (Sponsored by Chattertons) This award is open to a business trading for more than three years with more than 20 employees that can show evidence of business growth, a commitment to the local community, a business strategy and vision for the next three to five years, proven success and achievement during the past two years, management with the ability to drive the business forward and a genuine commitment to its staff.

How to enter/make a nomination

Any business within the Mercury’s news coverage area - which includes Stamford, the Deepings, Bourne and Rutland and surrounding villages - can enter from now until the deadline of 5pm on August 25, 2017. Readers are invited to make their nominations before the same deadline. To nominate visit www.mercurybusinessawards.co.uk to complete an online form.

Once the judging panel has chosen its shortlist from the nominations provided, the finalists will be notified. They will each be paid a visit by the judges for interview, to allow judges to decide the winner and runners-up. Finalists will each receive two complimentary tickets to the awards event.

NOMINATE TODAY AT www.mercurybusinessawards.co.uk