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Winning two Mercury Business Awards last year elevated Acorn Childcare Centre in Stamford to another level

Mercury Business Awards 2017'Photo: Lee Hellwing
Mercury Business Awards 2017'Photo: Lee Hellwing

A childcare centre has encouraged businesses to enter the Mercury Business Awards 2018 saying the benefits of taking part were great.

Joanne Goldsmith, head of childcare at Acorn Childcare Centre in Stamford, said the two awards they won in 2017 had boosted staff morale and had brought attention to the good work they were doing.

The centre walked away with the the Small Business of the Year and Team of the Year awards.

“We had an exceptionally positive response from parents and other businesses to the win while our staff were really proud of the achievement,” said Joanne.

“To win two awards really meant a lot to us.”

She said winning the awards had also assisted with marketing the business.

“It has greatly assisted us with marketing and has helped elevate our profile.

“We’re proud to display the banners for the two awards on our websites.”

She said despite the fact the centre was not entering this year, they encouraged other businesses to take part.

“We were on such a high last year and I’m not sure we can replicate that.

“But it was such an exciting process to be a part of culminating in the awards evening itself and was a fantastic experience overall, so I would have no problem in encouraging other business to enter.”

She said the awards were on display in the centre’s reception area.

“We felt that the awards were a fantastic validation that the Acorn Childcare centre is a thriving business with a wonderful team who strive to make the nursery a wonderful environment in which the children in the local community can learn in a fun, stimulating and caring environment in the heart of the local community.”

Joanne’s words of encouragement to local businesses come just a fortnight after we launched the 2018 awards.

This year’s awards ceremony will take place at a gala dinner at Greetham Valley Hotel on September 21 - our long standing event partner.

Established in 2005, the awards are the biggest part of their kind in the Stamford, Rutland and Bourne area and the event has gone from strength to strength.

Last year, under the new ownership of Iliffe Media, a record number of entries were received while the gala dinner was sold out.


Best new start up (sponsored by Hegarty LLP)

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, April 6, 2018).

Employee/Team of the Year (sponsored by Landmark IFA)

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 they work for.

Business Innovation (Sponsored by Invest SK)

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 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.

Businessperson of the Year (Sponsored by Duncan and Toplis)

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.

Customer Care (Sponsored by Bluebird 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.

Best Social Enterprise or Not for Profit Organisation

New for last year, this was an extremely popular award so makes its return for 2018. It is open to charities and social enterprises which 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.

Great Taste Award (Sponsored by Normanton Park Hotel)

This award is for a local hotel, restaurant, cafe, takeaway or pub that can demonstrate outstanding creativity, customer service and top quality dining and food in the Rutland and Stamford Mercury readership area.

Business of the Year: Small (Sponsored by Greetham Valley Hotel)

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.

The Mercury Business Awards could not happen without the support of our sponsors: Hegarty Solicitors, Landmark Ifa, Invest SK, Duncan and Toplis, Bluebird Care, Normanton Park Hotel, Chattertons Solicitors and Greetham Valley and our associate sponsors: Moore Thompson, Viking Signs, Hunters Interiors and Greensleaves Florist


Any business within the Mercury’s news coverage area - which includes Stamford and the Deepings, Bourne, Rutland and surrounding villages - can enter until the deadline of 5pm on June 22, 2018.

Businesses can enter a maximum of three categories and readers can also put forward businesses, giving as much information as possible.

After the closing date, the judging panel will shortlist three finalists in each category. They will be visited by the judges before the winner is revealed at the awards on September 21.

n To find out more e-mail sharron.marriott@iliffepublishing.co.uk

To enter visit www.mercurybusinessawards.co.uk

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