From the shop around the corner and the newly adapted delivery service to the innovative designs manufactured to make our new normal easier – our local business have taken on the difficult task of 2020 with resilience and passion.
Birmingham has always been full of ingenuity, expertise and brilliance but the past year has really shone a light on the remarkable strengths in businesses right across our city.
The Small Business of the Year category at our 2021 Birmingham Post Business Awards is a way for us all to celebrate those successful companies in our local community that have fewer than 75 full-time employees.
Despite their small size, the finalists have managed to do big things and achieve their ambitious goals.
The online awards ceremony takes place on June 15 – visit the event website here to register for your free ticket.
Please email [email protected] for more information and to learn about sponsorship opportunities.
The ceremony will be hosted on our new virtual events platform The Awards Room which gives nominees and sponsors the chance to experience real-time networking, with guests grouped together on their own tables.
Follow the hashtag #BPBAwards for updates on social media.
Here are the Small Business of the Year finalists for 2021
24-7 Locks was established in 2011 and has gone on to become a leading provider of target-hardening solutions to victims of domestic and sexual violence. Target hardening seeks to improve the physical security of victims of crime while also creating a feeling of added safety that enables victims to remain in their own homes.
During the last 12 months, the business improved its systems to eliminate its dependence on resources with environmental impacts, for example introducing a fleet of electric vehicles. Improved customer relationship management reduced paper waste and enabled better client communication, increasing the productivity of each engineer by 18 per cent.
Despite the pandemic, the company has recruited six new team members and promoted another member to management. The business backs the Living Wage Foundation, has an employee rewards system and employee of the month scheme to provide financial, physical and mental health benefits.
24-7 Locks has introduced a new premises and branched out into two new regions. Its growth has meant it has supported more than 4,000 victims of crime last year alone, plus it has been able to support the Prince’s Trust Foundation by way of mentoring and guidance to start-up companies.
Ark Media Productions
Ark Media Productions is an award-winning video production company that helps clients to communicate with their audiences through engaging videos that make an impact. Television adverts, social media campaign, internal communications and e-learning training are provided to brands, businesses and the third sector.
Throughout 2020, Ark Media Productions created videos for 65 clients, went on 145 shoots and clocked up 270,400 minutes in the edit suite. Despite the many challenges of the past 12 months, Ark Media Productions is on track to exceed its 50 per cent growth in turnover target. This growth has prompted a move into new premises and team expansion.
Unable to shoot during the first lockdown, Ark Media Productions offered clients animation and its quick editing service to ensure there was continuous professional output. In the autumn of 2020, the company produced Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s charity’s first ever television ad to raise much needed funds.
Ark Media Productions was proud to have been commissioned by the Department of Education to produce 90 online video lessons to support home schooling. Within 24 hours of launching, the videos had been viewed over 80,000 times and gained 17,000 subscribers. Since then, they have attracted millions of views and over 52,000 Youtube channel subscribers.
Established in 2012 and based in Digbeth with a recently-opened office in Frankfurt, Eastside Co is a rapidly growing web design, branding and marketing agency. It has helped supercharge online businesses for hundreds of brands with its e-commerce solutions on the Shopify platform, its creative branding, photography services, marketing strategies and in-house apps.
The shift in buying behaviour and move to e-commerce during the pandemic presented many growth opportunities for Eastside Co. It has partnered with many clients including Volkswagen, Blue Fuel by Chelsea FC, Tropic Skincare, and Wild Deodorant.
Carex used Eastside Co’s services to enter the online market where they had previously had no presence, allowing consumers to purchase a vital product in the early stages of the pandemic. It only took four weeks for the business to design, develop and deliver an online store.
In order to deliver services to its rapidly-growing client base that has doubled the company’s turnover, during the past year Eastside Co has recruited an additional 30 new staff. To ensure staff wellbeing, the company has created staff engagement schemes and regularly requests staff feedback.
The business has further solidified its presence internationally with Shopify Plus Partner status in Germany, being one of only five multinational Plus agencies in the world.
The full list of 2021 categories and sponsors is:
- New Business of the Year – sponsored by Millennium Point
- Small Business of the Year
- Manufacturing Business of the Year – sponsored by Propel Finance
- Covid Defiance Award
- Professional Services Firm of the Year
- Property and Construction Business of the Year
- Third Sector Organisation of the Year – sponsored by InYourArea
- CSR Project of the Year – sponsored by Barclays
- International Trade and Export Award
- Young Businessperson of the Year – sponsored by Birmingham Metropolitan College
- Company of the Year (chosen from the category winners)