Three in the running for the Business of the Year [Bath Chronicle (England)]
(Bath Chronicle (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The shortlists for the 2012 Bath Business Awards have been revealed as the countdown begins to the ceremony. The award judges spent hours deliberating over the entries and the finalists have been decided on nine of the ten awards up for grabs.
The most prestigious award to be presented at Bath Racecourse on September 27, will be Business of the Year.
Last year the award was won by engineering firm Rotork and this year's finalists are Gradwell Dot Com, Novia Financial and StagWeb.
Gradwell, based in Cheltenham Street, provides internet and telecommunication services to more than 10,000 UK-wide small and medium-sized businesses. In the past 12 months the company, which was founded in 1998, has more than doubled in size, increasing its staff level from 30 to 70.
In its application the company said: "As an active technology employer in the Bath area we work hard to support the local economy, through sponsorship of Bath Spark and community wi-fi initiatives."
Novia, based in Henry Street, is a wealth management business which was launched in January 2009. Despite the recession the company, which sponsors Bath Rugby, has grown and announced profitability in less than three years of trading.
This year the company, which employs 151 people, is projecting an increase of sales by 40 per cent from Pounds 468 million to Pounds 655 million.
The company said: "As a local business Novia is becoming very much part of the local fabric of the community, and our commitment to our staff means our retention numbers are excellent."
Stag and hen do organiser StagWeb was set up in Bradford on Avon in 2002 by Simon Denning, who had recently been a best man and spotted a gap in the market.
The company initially focused on stag events, then in 2006 launched GoHen, and in 2009 Irish Stag Parties. In 2010 the company launched two websites to provide accessories and fancy dress for stag and hen events.
StagWeb recently passed the 200,000 client mark and achieved a turnover of Pounds 4 million in its tenth year.
The company said: "We are in business to be a great business, regardless of niche proposition, and the past 18 months' performance in particular is testament to that." The judging panel was made up of Sarah Pullen, managing director of Bath News and Media; Stacey Harper of City of Bath College; Chris Kane of Withy King; Julian Humphries of Baker Tilly; Andrew Sandiford of Bishop Fleming; Simon Pullen, general manager of SouthGate Bath; B&NES Council cabinet member Councillor Cherry Beath; Bath Business Improvement District manager Andrew Cooper; Simon Holdsworth of Thrings, and Vicky Windsor from city public relations firm Creatrix. The only award not to have a shortlist is the Lifetime Achievement Award, which has been selected by the judges and will be announced at the ceremony.
Customer Service Award CircleBath is a private hospital in Peasedown St John which opened in 2010. The hospital aims to provide patients with the ultimate care experience including private en- suite rooms, sofa beds for overnight visitors, free on-site parking, chauffeur transport, and bedside visits from beauticians and hairdressers through its hospitality team.
Mayden is an IT company providing web applications and information solutions primarily to the healthcare sector. The company provides clients with a complete service from application development to upgrades and training and support.
On Direct Business Services On Direct is an IT services company specialising in Cloud technology. The company focuses on small and medium-sized businesses across the UK, offering support 24 hours a day, seven days a week and a hotline to the MD.
Training and Development Award First Great Western operates more than 9,000 trains a week, calling at 276 stations across the southern half of the UK. The company has a graduate training scheme, an engineering apprenticeship scheme and has implemented an operations apprenticeship scheme specifically designed for 16 to 18- year olds.
Radstock Co-operative Society The society is an independent retail co-operative with 11 community stores, a superstore and a 1,000-acre dairy farm all within a 30-mile radius of Radstock. The group offers an NVQ programme where staff can apply for fully- funded qualifications in level two and three in both customer services and retail.
Rotork designs and manufactures electric, pneumatic and hydraulic valve actuators and gearboxes. The company offers its 2,600 staff a number of training models including apprenticeships in engineering, craft and administration, a 12 to 18-month graduate training programme, international assignments where employees can train and develop, and product specialist training.
Retailer of the Year John Moore Sports on Argyle Street is a century-old family-run business. The shop was originally owned by England cricketer Len Braun and named The Sports Depot. The shop was bought by the Moore family in 1912 and renamed.
Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights Mr B's Emporium opened on John Street in June 2006. The bookshop is owned by Nic and Juliette Bottomley who left their jobs as city lawyers in London and Prague to run it. The shop has been named UK's Independent Bookshop of the Year twice.
Moss of Bath Moss is a family-owned audio and visual specialist in St James' Parade. The company was founded in 1962 by Frank Moss and originally focused on selling small electrical appliances.
In 2010 the company cancelled all leave in preparation for the digital switchover so it could help customers.
Silcox Son & Wicks furniture store has been furnishing the homes of Bath for 112 years from its Kingsmead Square shop. The family business began in 1900 by Frank Silcox who set up as a furniture remover, cabinet maker and undertaker.
Innovative Start-up Business of the Year Bardowl has changed the way people access literature. The company started in 2008 and finally launched its smart phone app in June 2012 where users pay a set amount for unlimited access to an audiobook catalogue.
PropertECO operates in the construction industry providing a variety of services aimed at making buildings more sustainable, focusing on surveying, consultancy and contracting. Its main field is radon gas remediation.
The company was launched by Rebecca Kench and Martin Freeman in July 2011.
Sweet Bouquets of Bath - trading as Combe Down News - was just a newsagents when a new Sainsbury's supermarket opened at Odd Down last year. In an attempt to beat the competition, the newsagents launched a new product, bouquets made of sweets, which it now sells at events across the region.
Environmental Business of the Year CFH Ltd The print and mail company, which since its inception in 1977 has endeavoured to be sustainable, ensures all paper stocks are from FSC approved sustainable sources, operates a comprehensive recycling plan and strives to achieve 100 per cent recycling on all paper waste.
GENeco was launched three years ago by Wessex Water to increase the production of renewable energy and recycle more waste which is traditionally sent to landfill. It uses anaerobic digestion to treat domestic, commercial and industrial waste. The group aims to become carbon-neutral and produce zero waste by 2020.
Stubbs Rich The Bath-based architects have designed a cartoon which explains the complex relationship between carbon and money. The cartoon came about after the company realised many of the fashionable solutions for sustainable buildings were not cost effective.
The Thoughtful Bread Company Based in Farrington Gurney, with a shop at Green Park Station, it sells a range of breads and other baked goods to customers as well as to cafes, restaurants and farm shops. It segregates all of its waste with much of its organic waste being used for composting. It sources its ingredients locally to reduce food miles and it uses biodiesel for its fleet of vehicles.
Young Entrepreneur of the Year Rebecca Kench, PropertECO Rebecca Kench is commercial director of PropertECO which was launched 2011 and works to improve the sustainability of buildings. Rebecca graduated from the University of Bath in 2007 after completing its BSc business administration degree course. The company turned over almost Pounds 600,000 in its first year and made an operating profit of more than Pounds 175,000.
Jack Nix and Ashley Swain, South West Bin Cleaning Company Jack and Ashley were students at Writhlington School at Radstock last summer when after completing their A-levels they decided that rather than going to university they would start their own business. The company was launched in July last year and cleans domestic and commercial bins in the Bath area. The company made a modest profit of Pounds 3,671 in its first year.
Teresa Simmons, Skool Kidz Teresa Simmons started Skool Kidz in September 2005 with her first after-school club. She now has six after-school clubs, three breakfast clubs, three holiday clubs, two minibuses and in February 2010 Teresa took over the Mulberry House nursery. The company caters for 475 families in the Bath area.
Business Person of the Year Richard Hall, Zenith International Richard Hall became director of the Dairy Trade Federation at the age of 28. He formed Zenith International in 1991 as a specialist business consultancy for the food and drink industries. The company now has 50 staff working for more than 1,000 clients in over 50 countries. He is also chairman of Food-Bev Media, which he founded in 2000. He has led the Bath City of Festivals Steering Group and Bath Chamber of Commerce.
Sarah Mansfield, Milsom Place Sarah Mansfield is director of the L&R Group which runs Milsom Place shopping area and chairman of the Bath in Fashion festival.
Colin Skellett, Wessex Water Colin Skellett has been executive chairman of Wessex Water for more than 20 years. He is chairman of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and was given an OBE for services to business and the charity WaterAid this year. He was instrumental in establishing Bath Tourism Plus and the city centre management body Future Bath Plus.
Small Business of the Year 101 Data Solutions was founded in 2008 by Brett Edgecombe.
It is an innovative IT storage specialist helping its customers understand data, how it will grow and helping them choose the right storage solution. 101 Data Solutions offers a variety of services including back-up and recovery, support and product demonstration.
Minuteman Press Minuteman on Walcot Street opened in April 1998 as a print and copy shop and is now one of the city's leading print firms. The company offers printing and design services from flyers and business cards to letterheads and menus.
The Thoughtful Bread Company was set up three years ago. It is a bakery based in Farrington Gurney with a shop in Green Park Station. It sells a range of breads and other baked good to customers as well as to cafes, restaurants and farm shops.
We are in business to be a great business ''
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