An innovative mobile coffee shop and a longstanding Burton signage firm chosen as this year’s winners of the People’s Business Awards – celebrating businesses that go the extra mile in the town.
To mark Small Business Saturday, the national celebration of small independent firms in the country, the awards, run by Burton Small Business and Staffordshire County Council, are being presented to the winners today during the town’s first Small Business Saturday Winter Festival in the Market Place.
Press Coffee, a one-man mobile coffee business, run by Simon Strong was picked out for the winner of business to consumer award.
Simon started his enterprise – which delivers fresh coffee to businesses across the town from his bespoke mobile coffee car – last year after an illness meant he could no longer continue working as a long-distance lorry driver.
Simon, who received nominations from customers due to his “fantastic coffee” and “big heart”, said: “This is absolutely brilliant. Last Christmas I’d been told I was unemployable but I was determined not to sit and take benefits so I bought my Smart car and started my coffee business.”
The People’s Business Awards received nearly 400 nominations this year from people looking to celebrate their favourite business. The nominations were then reviewed by a judging panel with the awards themselves sponsored by Chameleon School of Construction and handcrafted by local artist Anna Roebuck, who owns The Making House, in Winshill.
Hardy Signs was singled out for the business to business award. The firm, which has its headquarters in Burton, specialises in traditional and digital signage having worked with some of the largest names in the country including Ford, Muller, Michelin, Nestle, Pirelli and Argos.
Nik Hardy, founder and managing director of Hardy Signs, said: ‘’We’re delighted to win the B2B Business of the Year Award!
“Celebrating 25 years in business in 2018, the community of Burton upon Trent along with our national clients have and always will be at the heart of everything we do at Hardy Signs.
There have been many firsts this year; from our first charity golf day and taking part in this year’s annual Sleepout to raise funds for the YMCA to landing our first major International project in Brussels.
We would like to thank everyone who nominated us for this award, it is a perfect way to conclude an iconic year!’’
Press Coffee and Hardy Signs collected their awards from Mayor of East Staffordshire Councillor Chris Smith alongside runners up Lifestyle Hair, a barber’s shop in Market Place going the extra mile for its customers and commercial and private law firm Else Solicitors.
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “The People’s Business Awards have once again had some outstanding entries from small enterprises which offer excellent customer services and add to the vibrancy of Burton town centre.
“These businesses play an important part in our economic growth and provide employment locally. It is fitting the winners are being announced on Small Business Saturday when we celebrate the achievements of such companies and what they bring to Staffordshire. I would like to congratulate the winners and wish them well with future growth plans.”
The Winter Festival was organised by Burton Small Business to mark Small Business Saturday and encourage shoppers to think local this Christmas. It saw scores of independent craft, food, jewellery and specialist businesses come together with a variety of entertainment activities throughout the day.
Burton Small Business is made up of three independent businesses copywriter Elaine Pritchard, of Caittom Publishing, journalist Cheryl Morris, of Creative Word PR and award-winning animator Tilley Bancroft of .
The People’s Business Award judging panel was made up of Mayor of East Staffordshire Councillor Chris Smith, chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) David Frost CBE, director of the Burton and District Chamber of Commerce Chris Plant, strategic delivery manager for Staffordshire County Council Wayne Mortiboys and local business owner and founding member of Burton Small Business Elaine Priitchard.
Councillor Smith said: “The nominations and the nominees were of a very high standard, which made the judging somewhat difficult. They were all worthy causes in their own right.”