Final countdown is on to enter Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards

Final countdown is on to enter Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards

THERE are just a few days left to enter the first Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards.

The new Foodie Awards 2021, in partnership with Warwickshire County Council and Visit Coventry, is a celebration of the best of the region’s food and drink scene as they re-emerge from the pandemic year.

Entrants will be showcasing their talents to a panel of judges made up of some of the top names in the industry, including chef Glynn Purnell, appearing alongside his former employer Andreas Antona, owner of The Cross in Kenilworth, and Russell Allen, managing director of Aubrey Allen.

Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards, Talk Business UK, Visit Coventry, Coventry BID, Glynn Purnell, Andreas Antona, Aubrey Allen, Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council, The Fat Foodie

‘Yummy Brummie’ Glynn Purnell, pictured above, who regularly appears on TV’s Saturday Kitchen, said: “It’s been a tough year for all of us in hospitality but these awards will help boost local businesses and recognise some of the great talent in the area. I’m looking forward to being involved.”

Also on the judging panel will be Chris Hardy AKA ‘The Fat Foodie’ – a multi award-winning influencer and street food expert and fellow Stratford-based influencer Katie Matthews AKA ‘The Hangry Blonde’.

County Councillor Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Heritage and Culture at Warwickshire County Council, said: “We all know what a difficult year it has been for the Retail and Hospitality Industry so awards like this help to shine a spotlight on the fantastic, innovative and hard-working businesses we have across Warwickshire and beyond.

Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards, Talk Business UK, Visit Coventry, Coventry BID, Glynn Purnell, Andreas Antona, Aubrey Allen, Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council, The Fat Foodie
County Councillor Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Heritage and Culture at Warwickshire County Council

“These awards complement the newly created ‘Visit Warwickshire‘ website as well as the Survive, Sustain & Grow businesses support programme created by the County Council this year to help businesses through the pandemic.

“I would encourage all foodie businesses out there to submit an entry and get involved to help increase visibility and promote their business. Good Luck everyone!”

There are only a few days remaining to enter the inaugural awards, which closes on December 31st. This will be followed by a finalists’ night on January 25th at Coventry’s new Telegraph Hotel and then a grand ceremony in the spring.

Categories for the awards include best artisan food and drink producers, best farm shop, best independent food and drink retailer, best newcomer, best street food trader and best chef or cook of the year, as well as best food/drink experience.

Three special awards will also recognise businesses and individuals who went above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic – including a COVID-19 Resilience Award backed by Visit Coventry and The Godiva Award, sponsored by Coventry BID.

The Foodie Awards will be raising money for The Trussell Trust network of eight food banks in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Main organiser Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: ”With just a few weeks to go we are delighted with the fantastic response to the Foodie Awards for Coventry and Warwickshire.

Foodie Awards 2021, Coventry BID, Visit Coventry, Trish Willetts, Eat With Ellen, Talk Business UK, Jonathan Smith, Councillor Jim O’Boyle

“Now with over 150 entries across all the award categories the entry level is fantastic. By far the most entries are in the Newcomer category which just shows that the COVID pandemic has inspired so many to follow their dreams and start their own businesses. We too have been inspired by their stories, achievements and commitment to their businesses and communities.

There is still time to enter so please encourage all those you know to be part of this exciting new awards program.”

For more information on how to enter or to support the awards, visit https://foodieawards.co.uk

First COVID Resilience award-winners announced

First COVID Resilience award-winners announced

THREE local businesses that rose to the challenges of the pandemic have been recognised with a new special award.

The first COVID-Resilience Leamington Business Awards, organised by Talk Business UK, were held as part of a virtual ceremony hosted by local DJ Kirsty Leahy from Noisegate Media Studio in Leamington on Friday night.

Talk Business UK, COVID-19, Resilience, C J's Events, Heartbreak Productions, Baabzi Indian Takeaway, Leamington Business Awards, Matt Western MP

As well as a special performance from dance circus theatre company Motionhouse, the event featured a motivational message to businesses from Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western, pictured right.

He said: “It is really unpredictable how the pandemic is playing out and I appreciate just how hard it is hitting our businesses. If businesses can’t be open then we must have the financial support for them to see them through this incredibly difficult time, particularly the hospitality sector.

“I really want to thank all the businesses which have taken this seriously and have spent so much money to get COVID-safe and adhere to Government guidelines at a time when the revenue hasn’t been coming in.

“Huge thanks on behalf of the whole community to all the local businesses whose response to the pandemic has been extraordinary and I was very proud to see just how quickly businesses galvanized. It is a real measure of our community what has taken place over these last few months.

“It is so important for all of us that these businesses are around next year and the year after. We depend on the prosperity of our businesses for the vitality and the jobs and so on but they are such a core part of what makes Leamington so unique.”

2020 Business Resilience Award: This award went to a business that has demonstrated determination and resilience throughout the pandemic and tackled challenges head-on.

WINNER: CJ’s Events, Warwick
Talk Business UK, COVID-19, Resilience, C J's Events, Heartbreak Productions, Baabzi Indian Takeaway, Leamington Business Awards

CJ Events directors Carol Young and Jamie WalkerWhen the national lockdown hit in March, family-run business CJ’s Events Warwickshire took the decision to close its markets but, over a period of two months, the company worked hard on plans to return safely in line with Government advice, investing heavily in COVID barriers, signage and hand sanitiser stations and implementing policies and procedures, with the support of Warwick District Council.

And in June, CJ’s Events Warwickshire and Warwick Market were adopted by Central Government as a case study for how to implement a market’s safe return.

Their markets also continued to operate in line with the Government advice during the second lockdown.

Director and COVID-19 Compliance Officer Jamie Walker said: “We are absolutely ecstatic to have won the Business Resilience Award, this year has been a very tough one, one which wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Warwick District Council, BID Leamington, our whole team, traders and customers.

“Our whole business turned upside down during the announcement of the first lockdown, with all our events being cancelled. We’re immensely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past nine months and our business has gone from strength to strength despite the times we’ve faced.

“Winning this award highlights the appreciation of our hard work and this has ended 2020 on a high for us, we can’t thank everyone enough.”

Judge Sarah Windrum, CEO Emerald Group and CWLEP Board member, said this of the winning entry: “For the judges, the company that shone through was one that acted quickly when faced with adversity and when their business as usual had been turned completely on its head. They helped us keep our town safe and open with new COVID measures and their proactive approach to training meant that we could have the first UK market to reopen after the initial lockdown.

“They worked with regional stakeholders, led by a young team and it’s really inspirational to see what they have done for us. They’re also keeping us in good Christmas cheer as we stay within the tier 3 restrictions.”

Business Pivot Award: This category was open to any business that could demonstrate how they have ‘pivoted’ their product or service during 2020..

WINNER: Heartbreak Productions, Leamington

CJ Events directors Carol Young and Jamie Walker
Peter Mimmack, Heartbreak Productions Artistic Director and Maddy Kerr, Executive Director pictured with Awards presenter Kirsty Leahy.

This outdoor theatre business of 30 years had to respond quickly to the realisation that their much-anticipated 2020 tour would not go ahead and so curated the following projects including sharing past performances for the small screen and launching a competition for young people to devise their own lockdown-themed story, some of which were adapted into short screenplays.

Emily Bennett, spokesperson for Heartbreak Productions, said: “Heartbreak is honoured to have received this award after one of our most challenging years to date. Every single finalist deserved to win and we are overwhelmed by the love and support we have received.

“We would be unable to continue to do what we love without the wonderful people behind us – thank you!”

Judge, Louise Richards of Motionhouse, said: “The theatre sector was truly decimated and everybody lost all of their work. Heartbreak Productions, which receives absolutely no regular funding, managed to turn on a pinhead.

“People underestimate the time and work that goes into the creations in the theatre world and to do all of that in such a short period of time and be so responsive and so opportunistic is the sign of a brilliant business.”

 Lockdown Hero Award: This award recognises the Leamington business that has gone ‘above and beyond’ during 2020. The business may have provided products to vulnerable groups free of charge, offered their services pro-bono to struggling local businesses or individuals, or spread positivity during challenging times.

WINNER: Baabzi Takeaway, Warwick

Talk Business UK, Heartbreak Productions, CJ's Events, Baabzi Takeaway, COVID-19 Resilience, Resilience, Leamington Business Awards
Baabzi owner Faruk Miah with his award

Baabzi have been actively involved in their local community throughout the year, including meal deliveries to Warwick and Birmingham Children’s Hospitals.

The team also supplied nutritious meals to Helping Hands charity as well as raising more than £10,000 for the NHS Charity through food nights, a charity bike ride and skydive.

At the same time the business found ways to fund and supply keyworkers with PPE.

Owner Faruk Miah said: “All the finalists have done amazing jobs and we are all winners in truth. Winning this tonight is much welcome recognition of the value of local businesses and their essential contributions to overall wellbeing.

“What we did, we did purely because it felt like the right thing to do and we are proud to be a part of the community spirit. Watch this space because we have only just begun.”

Judge, Roger Scott, Area Director South Midlands for Lloyds SME, said: “Baabzi did a fantastic job working with others in the community, supporting the NHS. And what we loved is that personal connection with the town of Leamington but also that they wanted to give something back and that really touched our hearts.”

The bespoke awards were specially designed by Warwickshire College students Spencer Bronckaerts and Kodie Wood.

Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: ”What an amazing evening showing what 2020 has taught us that we can overcome the challenges of Tier 3 and lockdowns and host great events online to recognise and celebrate all the inspiring achievements of the individuals and businesses of the region.

“Seeing the responses from all the worthy winners in each of the categories was emotional as we could see what this recognition meant to them and that hosting these special ‘Resilience Awards’ was the right thing to do.”

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards, Jonathan Smith, Talk Business UK
Jonathan Smith of Talk Business UK

Nominations for the main Leamington Business Awards will open on January 21st 2021 when businesses have the opportunity to enter 12 categories: New Business of the Year; Business and Community Award; Customers Service Excellence Award; Young Person of the Year Award, Employer of the Year; South Warwickshire Achievement of the Year; Innovation of the Year; Outstanding Achievement of the Year; Independent Business of the Year; Property Business of the Year, Warwick District Charity of the Year and The People’s Choice Award.

A winner from all the categories will also be selected for the prestigious Judges’ Choice Award – Business of the Year.

Sponsors include HB&O, Lodders solicitors and The Box Factory but more are invited to get onboard by contacting Jonathan Smith at: leamingtonbusinessawards@gmail.com or jon@talkbusinessuk.co.uk

Further details about the awards categories and how to nominate are available at: www.leamingtonbusinessawards.co.uk

Spotlight on Leamington Business Awards COVID Resilience finalists

Spotlight on Leamington Business Awards COVID Resilience finalists

AS the finalists for the new COVID Resilience Leamington Business Awards were revealed last week, we take a closer look at each of the businesses which went above and beyond to counter the effects of the pandemic year. . .

2020 BUSINESS RESILIENCE AWARD: This award will go to a business that has demonstrated determination and resilience throughout the pandemic and tackled challenges head-on.

CJ’s Events, Warwick
www.cjseventswarwickshire.co.uk

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards 2020, Talk Business UK, CJ's Events
Jamie Walker, left, and team

When the national lockdown hit in March, family-run business CJ’s Events Warwickshire took the decision to close its markets but, over a period of two months, the company worked hard on plans to return safely in line with Government advice, investing heavily in COVID barriers, signage and hand sanitiser stations and implementing policies and procedures, with the support of Warwick District Council.

And in June, CJ’s Events Warwickshire and Warwick Market were adopted by Central Government as a case study for how to implement a market’s safe return.

Their markets also continued to operate in line with the Government advice during the second lockdown.

Jamie Walker of CJ Events, said: “It has been an extremely challenging year for us. Our team have worked around the clock, with the support from Warwick District Council to ensure our weekly markets and special Covent Garden markets in Leamington could remain open, and this has allowed over 40 local, independent businesses to continue to trade through difficult times, many of which have seen this as a lifeline for them and their business.”

“Being shortlisted as a finalist is overwhelming and really means a lot to us, this shows our hard work is being appreciated by many.”

Rhythm Time, Warwickshire
https://rhythmtime.net/franchisee/4

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards 2020, Talk Business UK, Rhythm Time
Rachel Turner of Rhythm Time

From a busy roll of 350 babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers attending music classes around the country, this business quickly adapted to pre-recorded and live Facebook sessions, despite furloughing most of the staff and dwindling numbers. Some of the videos were even hand-delivered by owner Rachel Turner who cycled around the area raising the communities’ spirits, dressed as a chicken and bee!

Online classes continued over the summer, including special Zoom sessions for Father’s Day and VE Day, as plans for a return to venues eventually started across the country. Rigid safety measures were put in place and new instruments had to be bought which could be easily cleaned but the depleted capacity coupled with increased outgoings led to redundancies.

Rachel said: “We are very excited and honoured to be a finalist! After a rollercoaster of a year, it is just very emotional for our hard work and resilience through lockdown to be recognised in this way. It hasn’t been easy some days to keep smiling and singing online but knowing we are bringing cheer and fun to our Rhythm Time families has kept us going!”

Get Cooking, Warwick
www.get-cooking.co.uk

Anne Marie Lambert took her cookery workshops online free of charge, delivering around 40 Zoom lessons for up to 15 people between March and July, with an emphasis on sustainability and economical and easy-to-make recipes.

She also provided classes for local and national charities and a takeaway event to raise funds for local foodbanks, as well as health and wellbeing-focused workshops for businesses.

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards 2020, Talk Business UK, Get Cooking
Anne Marie Lambert in her kitchen

Anne Marie said: “I’m really honoured to be recognised for the resilience award among Leamington businesses.

“I have really valued the support from my clients and their willingness to embrace Zoom cook-alongs. It has been great to connect people of all ages in lockdown through food.”

BUSINESS PIVOT AWARD: This category was open to any business that can demonstrate how they have ‘pivoted’ their product or service during 2020, ie. adapted their offering for new or existing customers, thus allowing their business to survive – and even thrive.

Birtelli’s, Leamington
www.birtellis.co.uk

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards 2020, Talk Business UK, Birtelli's
Jim Biryah

Not just surviving but thriving, this artisan pizza business, launched by two brothers in 2017, reinvented its trading model during this year’s first lockdown by offering pizza kits alongside their takeaway menu option locally. Such was its success, it has now been rolled out across the country.

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards 2020, Talk Business UK, Birtelli's
Jag Biryah

They have also been helping companies to hold virtual socials with the use of video conferencing apps to make their own pizzas with the aim of building engagement in the teams in the virtual environment.

Proud founders Jag and Jim Biryah said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Leamington Business Awards Pivot Category. We are passionate about pizza made from authentic quality ingredients and are really proud we have been able to extend our reach to enable people across the UK to experience a Birtelli’s through our Pizza Kits.”

Heartbreak Productions, Leamington
www.heartbreakproductions.co.uk

This outdoor theatre business of 30 years had to respond quickly to the realisation that their much-anticipated 2020 tour would not go ahead and so curated the following projects:

Heartbreak at Home – Free shared footage of past performances edited for the small screen at-home viewer.

Tell My Story – A competition for young people to devise their own story based on the phrase ‘Escape from Lockdown.’ This project, with funding from Arts Council England, was able to offer the out-of-work Heartbreak actors an opportunity to earn again by adapting eight of the young people’s stories into 50-minute screenplays live-streamed to families at home.

Alice In Lockdown – Following an announcement that outdoor theatre could return, in July, Alice In Lockdown was written, rehearsed and set on the road in a matter of weeks, travelling to 24 socially-distanced  venues across the UK.

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards 2020, Talk Business UK, Heartbreak Productions
The Heartbreak Productions team

Executive Director Maddy Kerr said: “Heartbreak is delighted and honoured to be chosen as a finalist for these awards.

“We hope that the lovely people of Leamington come through this difficult time and we can all come together and celebrate the town’s achievements soon.”

Acorn Academy Coaching, Leamington
https://acornacademycoaching.com/

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards 2020, Talk Business UK, Acorn Academy Coaching
Rachel Baker

When the pandemic brought an abrupt standstill to her work, health and wellbeing coach Rachel Baker pivoted to offer online coaching which has enabled her to widen her client base internationally.

She also collaborated with Warwickshire County Council on a successful wellbeing support and coaching program for their keyworkers as well as launching free Facebook forums for both health and social workers and the general public.

She is currently in the process of developing a digital download, as well as a physical pack of cards that focus on helping people make positive changes in their lives by managing stress and anxiety and building resilience and optimism – and pledges to continue her online sessions going forward.

Rachel said: “I am overwhelmed and over the moon to be a finalist. This town has been my home for many, many years so I am excited, proud and honoured to be recognised in this way. Thank you to all of my clients, friends and family who have supported me and Acorn Academy Coaching throughout this very bizarre year.”

LOCKDOWN HERO AWARD: This award recognises the Leamington business that has gone ‘above and beyond’ during 2020. The business may have provided products to vulnerable groups free of charge, offered their services pro-bono to struggling local businesses or individuals, or spread positivity during challenging times.

The Barn Kitchen, Leamington
www.enchantedeventsuk.com/

Far from just sitting out lockdown, owner Kelly Isles and her team, immediately set to work in preparing more than 75,000 meals for NHS staff in Warwick, Rugby and Coventry hospitals.

They also raised £7,500 to support their cause, even reaching into their own pockets to the tune of £3,500, and were supported by wholesalers Booker UK who donated surplus food.

Their selfless efforts over a period of 106 days have already been recognised through a series of other awards, including Pride of Britain and Lorraine Kelly’s Heroes.

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards 2020, Talk Business UK, Barn Kitchen
Kelly Isles and her team

Kelly said: “All our staff worked for free volunteering thru out the lockdown. The true community spirit shone thru and we pulled together not apart during COVID-19.”

Goode Construction and Landscaping Group, Leamington

www.goodeconstructionandl.com/

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards 2020, Talk Business UK, Goode Construction and Landscaping

Owner and founder of Goode Construction and Landscaping Daniel Goode, was quick to step in to help a local care home by offering his time and skills to create a sanctuary area for residents and health workers, even allowing one resident to venture outside for the first time in seven years!

He also created a video and fundraising page, exceeding targets – and changing the lives of even more people, with plans to also continue his charity efforts throughout next year.

Daniel said: “I am extremely humbled and very appreciative of the nomination. I have put a lot of time and effort into this project to ensure it would bring some light and sunshine into an environment where it is needed most. I truly hope it has offered a place of rest and recuperation for patients and key workers.

“I will hold this nomination very close to my heart and it has certainly added fuel to our fire with our future plans benefiting local residential communities.”

Baabzi Takeaway, Warwick
https://www.baabziindiantakeaway.co.uk/

Baabzi have been actively involved in their local community throughout the year, including meal deliveries to Warwick and Birmingham Children’s Hospitals.

The team also supplied nutritious meals to Helping Hands charity as well as raising more than £10,000 for the NHS Charity through food nights, a charity bike ride and skydive.

At the same time the business found ways to fund and supply keyworkers with PPE.

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards 2020, Talk Business UK, Baabzi
Faruk Miah, centre, and the Baabzi team

Owner Faruk Miah said: “We are lost for words and humbled at making it as finalists for this truly wonderful award. It’s an honour and a pleasure to share and serve during very trying and testing times.

“Lockdown has been difficult for everyone, especially the vulnerable in our community. We as a team are deeply grateful for being considered.”

ABOUT THE AWARDS
Established in 2014, the LBAs champion and celebrate the work of local businesses, individuals and organisations while also raising vital funds for local charities, culminating with, pandemic willing, a glittering black-tie ceremony next year.

The COVID-friendly interactive event will be broadcast live online from Noisegate Media Studio in Leamington on December 11th, hosted by local DJ and professional event host, Kirsty Leahy and featuring a special message from Matt Western MP for Warwick and Leamington.

The nine finalists will each receive an Awards Night Hamper at home containing food, drinks and goodies to help make the night extra special for everyone.
The judges are Mark Ashfield, MD for chartered accountants and financial advisors Harrison Beale & Owen; Sarah Windrum, CEO Emerald Group and CWLEP Board member; Louise Richards of Motionhouse dance circus production company and Roger Scott, Area Director South Midlands for Lloyds SME.

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards, Talk Business UK, Jonathan Smith

Sponsors include HB&O, Lodders solicitors and The Box Factory but more are invited to get onboard by contacting Jonathan Smith at: leamingtonbusinessawards@gmail.com or jon@talkbusinessuk.co.uk He is also interested in hearing from businesses willing to donate items for the award hampers.

Nominations for the main Leamington Business Awards will open on January 21st 2021 when businesses have the opportunity to enter 12 categories: New Business of the Year; Business and Community Award; Customers Service Excellence Award; Young Person of the Year Award, Employer of the Year; South Warwickshire Achievement of the Year; Innovation of the Year; Outstanding Achievement of the Year; Independent Business of the Year; Property Business of the Year, Warwick District Charity of the Year and The People’s Choice Award.

A winner from all the categories will also be selected for the prestigious Judges’ Choice Award – Business of the Year.

Further details about the awards categories and how to nominate are available at: www.leamingtonbusinessawards.co.uk

LOOK OUT FOR COVID RESILIENCE WINNERS ANNOUNCED SOON

Leamington and Warwick COVID business ‘heroes’ – finalists announced

Leamington and Warwick COVID business ‘heroes’ – finalists announced

THE finalists for the COVID Resilience Awards have been announced, after judges deliberated over their ‘toughest ever selection process.’

The decisions follow scores of nominations for the preliminary phase of the new Leamington Business Awards which recognises COVID Business Resilience, Business Pivoting and Lockdown Heroes of 2020.

Established in 2014, the LBAs champion and celebrate the work of local businesses, individuals and organisations while also raising vital funds for local charities, culminating with, pandemic willing, a glittering black-tie ceremony next year.

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards, Talk Business UK, Jonathan Smith

The three finalists in each category are:

2020 BUSINESS RESILIENCE AWARD: This award will go to a business that has demonstrated determination and resilience throughout the pandemic and tackled challenges head-on.

CJ’s Events, Warwick (Market and event organiser)

Rhythm Time, Warwickshire (Baby, toddler and pre-school music classes)

Get Cooking (Cooking workshops)

 

BUSINESS PIVOT AWARD: This category is open to any business that can demonstrate how they have ‘pivoted’ their product or service during 2020, ie. adapted their offering for new or existing customers, thus allowing their business to survive – and even thrive.

Bitelli’s, Leamington (family-run stone-baked pizza business)

Heartbreak Productions, Leamington (Outdoor theatre production company)

Acorn Academy Coaching, Leamington (life and wellbeing coach)

 

LOCKDOWN HERO: This award recognises the Leamington business that has gone ‘above and beyond’ during 2020. The business may have provided products to vulnerable groups free of charge, offered their services pro-bono to struggling local businesses or individuals, or spread positivity during challenging times. In this category, one can either self-nominate, or nominate another business.

The Barn Kitchen, Leamington (tearoom that is now Enchanted Events)

Goode Construction and Landscaping Group, Leamington

Baabzi Takeaway, Warwick (Indian takeaway)

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards, Jonathan Smith, Talk Business UK
Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK

Jonathan Smith, of organisers Talk Business UK, said: ”We have been totally overwhelmed by the quality of the entries for these special awards to recognise the businesses, organisations and individuals who have gone above and beyond in their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“The judges have never had such a challenging time choosing the finalists and winners from the inspiring entries received. We will look to recognise all the entries over the coming weeks as they are all worthy of celebration!”

The COVID-friendly interactive event will be broadcast live online from Noisegate Media Studio in Leamington on December 11th, hosted by local DJ and professional event host, Kirsty Leahy and featuring a special message from Matt Western MP for Warwick and Leamington.

The nine finalists will each receive an Awards Night Hamper at home containing food, drinks and goodies to help make the night extra special for everyone.

The judges are Mark Ashfield, MD for chartered accountants and financial advisors Harrison Beale & Owen; Sarah Windrum, CEO Emerald Group and CWLEP Board member; Louise Richards of Motionhouse dance circus production company and Roger Scott, Area Director South Midlands for Lloyds SME.

Sponsors include HB&O, Lodders solicitors and The Box Factory but more are invited to get onboard by contacting Jonathan Smith at: leamingtonbusinessawards@gmail.com or jon@talkbusinessuk.co.uk He is also interested in hearing from businesses willing to donate items for the award hampers.

Jonathan said: ”With the challenges and restrictions that the current COVID crisis has given us we decided to postpone the main full Business Awards to early 2021 but felt it was perfect timing to recognise the inspiring effort and achievements many have made with their businesses and their communities.”

Nominations for the main Leamington Business Awards will open on January 21st 2021 when businesses have the opportunity to enter 12 categories: New Business of the Year; Business and Community Award; Customers Service Excellence Award; Young Person of the Year Award, Employer of the Year; South Warwickshire Achievement of the Year; Innovation of the Year; Outstanding Achievement of the Year; Independent Business of the Year; Property Business of the Year, Warwick District Charity of the Year and The People’s Choice Award.

A winner from all the categories will also be selected for the prestigious Judges’ Choice Award – Business of the Year.

Further details about the awards categories and how to nominate are available at: www.leamingtonbusinessawards.co.uk

New-look business awards will honour local COVID ‘heroes’

New-look business awards will honour local COVID ‘heroes’

NOMINATIONS are being invited to recognise COVID Resilience, as part of a new-look preliminary event for next year’s Leamington Business Awards.

Newly named The Leamington Business Resilience Awards, the seventh annual event will see the introduction of three additional categories recognising Business Resilience, Business Pivoting and Lockdown Hero.

Established in 2014, the LBAs champion and celebrate the work of local businesses, individuals and organisations while also raising vital funds for local charities, culminating with a glittering black-tie ceremony next year.

While the main awards categories are set to be announced in the new year, nominations have now opened for a first ceremony celebrating resilience.

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards, Jonathan Smith, Talk Business UK
Jonathan Smith of Talk Business UK

2020 Business Resilience Award: This award will go to a business that has demonstrated determination and resilience throughout the pandemic and tackled challenges head-on.

Business Pivot Award: This category is open to any business that can demonstrate how they have ‘pivoted’ their product or service during 2020, ie. adapted their offering for new or existing customers, thus allowing their business to survive – and even thrive.

Lockdown Hero Award: This award recognises the Leamington business that has gone ‘above and beyond’ during 2020. The business may have provided products to vulnerable groups free of charge, offered their services pro-bono to struggling local businesses or individuals, or spread positivity during challenging times. In this category, one can either self-nominate, or nominate another business.

The COVID-friendly hybrid event, organised by Talk Business UK founder Jonathan Smith, will take place on December 11th at a venue to be announced.

Award sponsors already include chartered accountants and financial advisors Harrison Beale & Owen, Lodders solicitors, and The Box Factory but more are invited to get onboard by contacting Jonathan Smith at: leamingtonbusinessawards@gmail.com or jon@talkbusinessuk.co.uk

Jonathan said: ”With the challenges and restrictions that the current COVID crisis has given us we decided to postpone the main full Business Awards to early 2021 but felt it was perfect timing to recognise the inspiring effort and achievements many have made with their businesses and their communities.

“We have now designed a unique Awards program to celebrate these achievements which is likely to be a new Hybrid event involving a small live venue with online links to all the finalists and supporters.”

Leamington Business COVID Resilience Awards, Talk Business UK, Jonathan Smith

Nominations for the main Leamington Business Awards will open on January 21st 2021 when businesses have the opportunity to enter 12 categories: New Business of the Year; Business and Community Award; Customers Service Excellence Award; Young Person of the Year Award, Employer of the Year; South Warwickshire Achievement of the Year; Innovation of the Year; Outstanding Achievement of the Year; Independent Business of the Year; Property Business of the Year, Warwick District Charity of the Year and The People’s Choice Award.

A winner from all the categories will also be selected for the prestigious Judges’ Choice Award – Business of the Year.

Further details about the awards categories and how to nominate are available at: www.leamingtonbusinessawards.co.uk

To nominate a business visit: https://www.leamingtonbusinessawards.co.uk/whats-happening-in-2020/ Nominations close on Friday, November 13th after which a shortlist of three finalists for each category will be announced. Finalists will be contacted by email and via the website and social media.