THE STAR SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS: Sheffield’s 30 best firms shortlisted

The Judging panel for the business awards, from left: Tim Baum-Dixon of Shorts, business editor David Walsh''       editor Nancy Fielder, Craig Such of Azzure IT, Caroline Woffenden of MK Public Relations, managing editor Rob Hollingworth and Neil Large of Lupton Fawcett LLP. Picture: Marie Caley.
The Judging panel for the business awards, from left: Tim Baum-Dixon of Shorts, business editor David Walsh'' editor Nancy Fielder, Craig Such of Azzure IT, Caroline Woffenden of MK Public Relations, managing editor Rob Hollingworth and Neil Large of Lupton Fawcett LLP. Picture: Marie Caley.

The Star today unveils the 30 best businesses in Sheffield.

They are the elite few shortlisted in our Small Business Awards, sponsored by Shorts Chartered Accountants, law firm Lupton Fawcett, MK Public Relations and Azzure IT.

Three entrants in each of 10 categories will find out whether they are successful at a ceremony at Virgin Money Lounge, on July 19

But first let’s revel in their brilliance.

NEW BUSINESS

Unwrapped Ltd - New shop with zero packaging allows customers to buy exactly they want, cutting down on waste.

Vanda Kewley, of The Suit Works.

Vanda Kewley, of The Suit Works.

Marsh Valley Goats Milk - Jess Cutler and Sam Marshall run a post office but dream of a business selling goats’ milk soap. Working incredibly hard to also keep and show goats and make soap.

Ella Woodhouse - Degree trained, world travelled mens’ suitmaker with experience of working for the movies including Kingsman and Fantastic Beasts. Bespoke suits £950 and up.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

Platts and Nisbett - Hand-crafted surgical instruments loved by surgeons. Apprenticeships last five years.

Alan van Kleef, of VK Drums inspects one of his products.

Alan van Kleef, of VK Drums inspects one of his products.

ITM Power - Hydrogen specialist on the brink of moving to massive premises in Rotherham. Olivia Rudge is a young apprentice learning hi-tech career.

Health Imaging Solutions - New firm exploiting a clever niche in repairing and storing hospital scanners. Setting up its own academy for apprentices.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Kollider - The organisation behind the transformation of the old Co-op on Angel Street into a tech hub for hundreds of firms. Has signed Barclays Eagle Labs and National Videogame Arcade.

Maxons Sweets, Bradbury Street. Peter Frost and John Burton make lemon sherberts. Picture: Chris Etchells

Maxons Sweets, Bradbury Street. Peter Frost and John Burton make lemon sherberts. Picture: Chris Etchells

Gradconsult - Has been running the RISE programme for six years, placing 80 graduates a year with SMEs. It finds, attracts, interviews, recruits and trains graduates on behalf of SMEs.

Rebmark - Legal tech firm revolutionising the personal injury costs market. Replaces very expensive partners totting up costs manually. Bought by US giant Verisk in November.

INNOVATION

Preventx - Small health screening firm landed a £200m contract to test Londoners for STIs by post.

Pictorial Meadows - Wildflower firm bringing science and expertise to planting beautiful blooms in towns and cities which last.

Idaq - Free wireless internet in the city centre thanks to network of transmitters and link up with Sheffield City Council.

From left: Tim Baum-Dixon of Shorts, Caroline Woffenden of MK Public Relations, Craig Such of Azzure IT, and Neil Large of Lupton Fawcett.

From left: Tim Baum-Dixon of Shorts, Caroline Woffenden of MK Public Relations, Craig Such of Azzure IT, and Neil Large of Lupton Fawcett.

CUSTOMER SERVICES

Select Convenience - Young manager Matt Hutchinson promoting more than 30 Sheffield food producers at this Bents Green shop.

Summitglow - Crucial link in the manufacturing chain for firms such as Gripple. Huge responsibility not to ruin very expensive parts.

Green Origins - Two-time Queen’s Award for Enterprise winner, for exporting.

FAMILY BUSINESS

Brass Founders - keeping the tradition of working with this beautiful metal alive. The firm that has given Sheffield bollards, benches, walk of fame plaques and pebbles.

Industrial Design Co - Brother and sister and friend set up this cool furniture store in Woodseats. Sell bespoke products made by local craftspeople.

Maxons - Traditional boiled sweet maker reinventing itself with super-sour headsplitters and energy gels for athletes.

MANUFACTURING

Webster Technologies - Run by three women, the firm makes the famous Rockwheel cutting attachment with chews up concrete with ease. It has recently invested for growth.

Magnomatics - On the brink of greatness. It makes magnet-powered gears with just two parts that don’t touch. Making them cheaper, more efficient and perhaps best of all, maintenance free.

VK Drums - Alan van Kleef hand makes drums from steel, copper, silver and gold and trades on Sheffield’s reputation to boost sales. Huge demand from professionals and enthusiasts.

CHARITY/CSR

Real Junk Food Project - turns five tonnes-a-month of surplus food into meals at ‘pay-as-you-feel’ cafes.

The Suit Works - Vanda Kewley runs a free suit and makeover business for unemployed men preparing for a job interview.

Sheffield Precision Medical - Surgical tools company that pays money to ‘Mercy Ships’ - floating hospitals that visit African countries.

TECHNOLOGY

Whitespace - Cleverly using redundant television frequencies to beam superfast broadband to rural residents. Could work worldwide.

Ioetec - Won a prestigious contract with GCHQ in November to work on national cyber-security.

TribePad - Fields 35m applications online and on mobile for the likes of Tesco, the Church of England and Warner Bros.

PERSONALITY

Louisa Harrison-Walker

Successful boss of Benchmark Recruit and chair of Sheffield Chamber Council. The friendly face of Sheffield business, always approachable at the impressive number of events she attends.

Megan Abel

Confident and ambitious 14 times world martial arts champion and boss of Sheffield martial arts school Utopia - and she’s still only 20. Has increased the number of classes to meet demand. Coached at other clubs since her teens.

William Chew

Founder of Mak Tok Malaysian chilli paste which employs seven. Former Sheffield University student has a strong business and is instantly recognisable.

Caroline Woffenden, of MK Public Relations, pictured.  Picture: NSST Awards Judging  MC 8

Caroline Woffenden, of MK Public Relations, pictured. Picture: NSST Awards Judging MC 8

Craig Such, of Azzure IT Ltd, pictured. Picture: NSST Awards Judging  MC 3

Craig Such, of Azzure IT Ltd, pictured. Picture: NSST Awards Judging MC 3

Neil Large, of Lupton Fawcett LLP, pictured. Picture: NSST Awards Judging  MC 2

Neil Large, of Lupton Fawcett LLP, pictured. Picture: NSST Awards Judging MC 2

Tim Baum-Dixon Shorts Chartered Accountants, pictured. Picture: NSST Awards Judging  MC 12

Tim Baum-Dixon Shorts Chartered Accountants, pictured. Picture: NSST Awards Judging MC 12

L-r Tim Baum-Dixon, of Shorts Chartered Accountants, Caroline Woffenden, of MK Public Relations and Craig Such, of Azzure IT ltd. Picture: NSST Awards Judging  MC 11

L-r Tim Baum-Dixon, of Shorts Chartered Accountants, Caroline Woffenden, of MK Public Relations and Craig Such, of Azzure IT ltd. Picture: NSST Awards Judging MC 11