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THE STAR SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS: Ten winners shine on night of celebration

All the winners of The Star Small Business Awards, at Virgin Money Lounge. Pic Steve  Parkin
All the winners of The Star Small Business Awards, at Virgin Money Lounge. Pic Steve Parkin

Ten winners were crowned on a night of celebration at The Star Small Business Awards.

They shone out among our 30 ‘all stars’ - the dynamic, exciting and mighty firms on the shortlist.

Sheffield Lord Mayor Magid Magid. Pic Steve  Parkin

Sheffield Lord Mayor Magid Magid. Pic Steve Parkin

The ceremony at Virgin Money Lounge also featured a guest appearance by man-of-the-moment Lord Mayor Magid Magid in trademark baseball cap and gold chains.

He hit exactly the right note when he answered Editor Nancy Fielder’s question: ‘Why Sheffield?’ with this: “Well, we have an amazing identity, you either like us - or you love us.”

Nancy asked the same of every winner, and audience members, in a bid to banish a natural modesty which is sometimes seen as holding the city back.

She said: “The word ‘village’ is banned. Sheffield is not a village, we are a big city doing great things and all of you are a big part of that.

“Sheffield is uniquely brilliant and all the contenders in our small business awards show us why.”

The awards were a new competition by The Star to throw a spotlight on mostly unsung small companies, and individuals, who made a big impression on the newspaper and in the city.

They are sponsored by Shorts Chartered Accountants, law firm Lupton Fawcett, MK Public Relations and Azzure IT.

The event was hosted by Virgin Money Lounge, on Fargate in Sheffield city centre.

THE WINNERS:

NEW BUSINESS

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

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

The Star Editor Nancy Fielder.  Pic Steve  Parkin

The Star Editor Nancy Fielder. Pic Steve Parkin

Platts and Nisbett - Hand-crafted surgical instruments take days to make but are loved by surgeons. Apprenticeships last five years.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

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.

INNOVATION

Pictorial Meadows - Wildflower firm bringing science and expertise to planting beautiful blooms in towns and cities which last. Good for wildlife and insects and saves on mowing costs for councils.

CUSTOMER SERVICES

Holly Garforth of Virgin Money, Magid Magid and The Star business editor David Walsh. Pic Steve  Parkin

Holly Garforth of Virgin Money, Magid Magid and The Star business editor David Walsh. Pic Steve Parkin

Summitglow - The unsung heroes in the manufacturing chain, a crucial link for firms such as Gripple who put their trust and reputation of their firms and products in their hands to heat treat their products.

FAMILY BUSINESS

Maxons - Traditional boiled sweet maker reinventing itself with super-sour headsplitters and energy gels for athletes. Owned by five generations of the Pitchfork family.

MANUFACTURING

VK Drums - Alan van Kleef hand crafts drums from Sheffield steel, copper, silver and gold. Huge demand from professionals and enthusiasts.

CHARITY/CSR

Real Junk Food Project - turns five tonnes-a-week of surplus food into meals at ‘pay-as-you-feel’ cafes and runs a network of 200 volunteers.

TECHNOLOGY

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

PERSONALITY

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.