2021 has been yet another challenging year for businesses in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and beyond.
Organisations across the region have had to continue to fight to keep their businesses afloat, while juggling new restrictions brought about by the pandemic and Brexit.
But despite the difficulties over the last 12 months, many firms are looking forward to 2022 with confidence and plans for investment, growth and recruitment.
Here – with contributions from Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, the Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre (BIC) and Keele University – we take a look at the firms which are expected to make big strides in 2022.
In alphabetical order, they are:
Enterprise analytics company Concentric Solutions is creating high-value jobs locally after relocating its UK head office to Keele University’s Science and Innovation Park.
Following the firm’s move from central London in late 2020, Concentric’s growth has been fuelled by increasing demand for digital transformation within the finance sector and among multi-national corporate clients.
By creating a ‘learning and development hub’ at Keele and launching a graduate programme, Concentric hopes its new office will enable it to access local talent, learning programmes and technology – boosting Staffordshire’s economy, digital capabilities and job opportunities in 2022 and beyond.
CyberKiln is a software development company that specialises in bespoke coded websites and software for the business-to-business (B2B) market.
The company has tripled its client base since it was started by Chris Daniels and Luke Malpass in 2019.
And its growth has continued since then leading to it taking on its first employee in July 2020 and acquiring office space at Staffordshire University’s Innovation and Enterprise Zone in September 2021.
CyberKiln’s goal for 2022 is to continue to “grow, innovate and educate” and create new jobs.
Emissco is a specialist manufacturer of fluids and aerosols for the automotive, cleaning and hygienic sectors.
It was launched in 2018 as part of the Klarius Group of Companies to help meet the growing demand from new and existing customers.
Today the Cheadle-based business counts big-name retailers Tesco, BP, Screwfix and Toolstation, as well as the UK’s leading petrol forecourt wholesalers Booker and Commercial Fuel Solutions, among its customers.
In 2022, the company plans to build on its success by expanding into new market sectors, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and electrical, and increase its sales team with the recruitment of new staff members.
The Stoke-on-Trent BusinessLive Awards in association with The Sentinel and Stoke-on-Trent Live 2022 are back and open for entries.
Businesses and individuals from across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are being encouraged to enter across 14 categories including the coveted Business of the Year award.
You can find more information about all of the categories here.
The deadline for entries is Monday, January 10 and the ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 28.
FLAWLESS SKIN CLINIC
Launched in the middle of the pandemic, Flawless Skin Clinic specialises in advanced skin and laser treatments.
Based out of the village of Sugnall, near Stafford, the company has successfully grown despite various lockdowns thanks to a targeted marketing strategy which has helped to increase its profile on its social media channels, and the introduction of a new 24/7 online booking system.
Over the next 12 months, the company – which was recently crowned Most Promising Start-up Business at the 2021 Staffordshire Chambers Business Awards – has plans to grow even more by employing new staff, adding treatment rooms and launching its own skincare line.
Food delivery app Foodhub has made a huge impact on the takeaway market since its launch just four years ago.
The company – which rivals big-name brands including Just Eat and Uber Eats – was started by two Stoke-on-Trent school friends in 2017.
Since its launch it has grown its turnover to in excess of £30 million and has more than 22,000 restaurant and takeaway partners in the UK.
It has also expanded internationally and trades in countries including the USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.
And the Fenton-based company is expecting its growth to continue in 2022 as the takeaway delivery market continues to boom.
It also has plans to open a brand new headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent to accommodate its expanding workforce.
THE HALO TECH GROUP
The Halo Tech Group is a specialist provider of bespoke telephony systems and ultrafast broadband for businesses across the UK.
The company builds all of its packages to suit each individual customer and their business – including specific numbers, its very own desktop and mobile app and ultrafast and reliable broadband connections.
Earlier this year, the company, whose head office is in Preston, expanded into Stoke-on-Trent when it opened a second site in Fenton.
Its increased office space means, through a partnership with US telecoms company Netsapiens, it will be able to expand its services, knowledge and expertise to many more businesses in the new year – using its Stoke-on-Trent site as its central hub for both its UK and USA operations.
The Halo Tech Group also expects to triple its workforce to over 30 employees in 2022.
Young entrepreneur Joe Yates turned down an apprenticeship with British Airways to follow his dream of launching his own business.
Today, the 20-year-old runs Unknown Marketing, a “deliberately different” digital marketing agency which specialises in social media management, paid social advertising and influencer marketing.
In just three years, Joe has grown the Stafford-based business from a team of three into an 18-strong operation.
And 2022 looks set to be a big year for the company as it prepares to open two new offices – in London and Leeds – and hit a milestone £1 million turnover.