This year has been unbelievably tough for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Organisations across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and beyond have been forced to adapt to a ‘new normal’ – despite not knowing what that actually looks like.
It’s no secret that many firms have had to make difficult decisions to protect their futures as we continue to navigate uncharted waters.
But for some, 2020 has been a year of opportunity.
Whether they have taken their business online, entered new markets or used their expertise to develop new products and services, they are not only surviving, but thriving.
So we now feel the time is right to launch the StokeonTrentLive Business Awards 2021.
The great and good of the business world are being invited to apply for the awards, which aim to shine a spotlight on the best in the industry.
The awards are a chance for companies to showcase their successes and boast about some of their most notable achievements over the last 12 months.
It is also an opportunity for organisations to unite as one to ensure that the region’s business community is given the recognition it so truly deserves.
Businesses are being invited to submit their applications across 13 categories which span training, growth, international trade, innovation and more.
And for the first time this year, organisations are being asked to submit nominations for the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Staffordshire University is the headline sponsor of the StokeonTrentLive Business Awards 2021 and the Science and Technology category sponsor.
Sally McGill, Staffordshire University’s chief financial officer and deputy chief executive, said: “Staffordshire University is delighted to be the headline sponsor of the StokeonTrentLive Business Awards 2021 as well as the category sponsor for Science and Technology.
“Being a leading civic and widening participation university, our institution recognises that we can make a vital contribution in helping local and regional businesses rebuild the economy by working in partnership to solve some of the most pressing social and economic challenges.
“There is no doubt that 2020 has been a tough year for businesses but we mustn’t lose sight of all the fantastic work that is being done by firms and entrepreneurs across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire.
“Staffordshire University stands ready to support businesses as they emerge from the pandemic. In November 2020, we launched the Staffordshire Innovation and Enterprise Zone to enable us to respond to the economic needs of our city and our wider region and the initial investment has funded new incubation space and a hatchery for start-up companies on our main Stoke-on-Trent campus.
“We look forward to celebrating the success of the wealth-creators, the innovators and the hard workers who make our local economy tick.”
The StokeonTrentLive Business Awards 2021 officially launches today.
To enter, applicants are being directed to the awards’ official website and fill in the nomination form for the relevant category.
The deadline for applications is Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
The finalists will be announced in March ahead of a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, April 22, 2021.
The Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive Editor Marc Waddington is now urging companies to apply.
He said: “Few people in business today will be able to remember a more challenging year than 2020.
“Lockdowns and restrictions have taken their toll on lots of firms, both big and small. But the way that local companies and traders have rolled with the punches and adapted to overcome the obstacles in their way has been truly remarkable.
“So it’s probably never been more important to celebrate Stoke-on-Trent businesses, and the resilience, determination and ingenuity that they’ve shown in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.”