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2024 Business Awards Categories

High Growth Business of the Year

The award is open to businesses of all sizes and recognises businesses that have experienced exceptional growth in sales, profit, market share, jobs or international trade. Judges will be looking for an organisation that can demonstrate the highest levels of growth with a strong plan for sustainable financial performance.

The judges will be looking at:

  • Significant growth and/or expansion
  • Financial performance (turnover / profitability)
  • Workforce / employment growth
  • Plans for further growth, expansion & diversification
  • Sustainability

Download application form - High Growth Form 2024

Best Innovation in Business

It’s awarded to a business that can successfully demonstrate innovations by doing something new to their business process or new to their industry.

The judges will be looking at:

  • Innovation & creative thinking (How does it differ from anything that has gone before?)
  • Creating of a new business unit, product, process or services
  • Bottom-line results based on this innovation
  • Financial Performance to date
  • Plans for further growth, expansion & diversification
  • Sustainability
  • How successful it is

Download application form - Business Innovation Form 2024

Best Environmental Impact Award

This is an Award for any size company that has made changes to improve their environmental impact. This is an ideal platform to promote your efforts towards anything from, waste management, sustainable transport, energy consumption through to behavioural change. We are also interested to hear about your responsible use of resources during production and service supply chain monitoring.

The judges will be looking at:

  • Innovation and positive impact; new thinking , new procedures , new technologies that make a meaningful contribution to immediate or long term environmental protection and sustainability
  • Waste reduction
  • Energy usage
  • Processes
  • How the business improve / lessen their environmental impact

Download application form - Environmental Impact Form 2024

Best Commitment to Youth Development

This award recognises a business that has been successful in engaging with, supporting, mentoring and motivating young people whilst at the same time providing them with skills to develop their own characteristics, values and habits.

The judges will be looking at:

  • Details of the project / initiatives
  • Positive aspects of youth involvement and benefits
  • Evidence to demonstrate outcomes delivered and any difference made

Download application form - Youth Development form 2024

Best Community Impact Award

This award is open to businesses that have made a significant positive impact within the community and to the lives of individuals within them.

The judges will be looking at:

  • Programmes, events or projects with not-for profit social objectives
  • An innovative approach to the way the enterprise operates
  • Identification of market or end user
  • Activities that stimulate interest in the arts, community engagement, encourage enterprise or raise aspirations

Download application form - Community Impact Form 2024 

Best Tourism Business 

This award celebrates the outstanding contribution of local tourism businesses in attracting visitors to the area, enhancing the profile of Midlothian and East Lothian. This award category is open to all tourism related businesses including hotels, guesthouses, bed & breakfasts, parks, leisure complexes, museums, galleries, outdoor activity groups and any other facility that attracts tourists to the area.

The judges will be looking at:

  • Customer service strategy
  • How they meet and exceed customer expectations
  • Range of services offered
  • Service knowledge

Download application form - Tourism Business Form 2024

Food & Drink Producer of the Year

This award recognises local producers whose passion for Midlothian / East Lothian produce is at the heart of their business. This category is open to all companies involved in agriculture, agri-business and food production. 

The judges will be looking at food and drink producers who can demonstrate:

  • Support for rural community
  • Sustainability and environmental awareness
  • Diversification and innovation
  • Commercial success and/or evidence of growth
  • Commitment to local procurement

Download application form - Food and Drink Producer Form 2024

Best Eatery Award

This award recognises an establishment whose cuisine is of the highest quality, demonstrates excellent customer service and celebrates the best of local ingredients. This category is open to all food establishments which provide a table service. This includes cafes, restaurants, hotels and pubs that provide a ‘sit down’ meal.

The judges will be looking at:

  • Quality and freshness of produce
  • Customer Service Satisfaction including any social media/website/trip advisor comments/ reviews
  • Staff engagement and development
  • Business sustainability
  • Locally-sourced food ingredients
  • Restaurant décor and ambience

Download application form - Best Eatery Form 2024

Family Business of the Year

This category is for a family business, operating in any sector of the economy, which has enjoyed outstanding success.

The judges will be looking at:

  • Evidence of a strong business performance
  • How the business has developed its succession plan
  • How it copes with new family members joining, and that it has a clear long-term vision for the business
  • How the business has used its family values to grow the business.

Download application form - Family Business of The Year form 2024

New Business of the Year

This award recognises new start-up businesses, under two years old, that have translated an idea into a successful business venture.

The Judges will be looking at:

  • How start-up was achieved
  • Growth to date
  • Strength and stability of business
  • Understanding of the market in which they operate
  • Vision /Strategy for future development
  • Funding arrangements and investment plans for the business

Download application form - New Business of the Year Form 2024

Micro Business of the Year

This category is open to any business based in Midlothian & East Lothian with less than 10 employees - this includes sole traders. This award is for micro businesses who are performing beyond what you expect for a very small business. You need to demonstrate what makes you stand out amongst other micro businesses.

The judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • How you promote or market your business
  • How you overcome barriers to growth
  • Business performance that is sustainable in the long term
  • Why your business is impressive compared to competitors and peers

Download application form - Micro Business of the year Form 2024

SME of the Year

Awarded to organisations employing up to 250 full time members of staff, this award goes to the company that has achieved consistent growth backed by a strong financial performance, while demonstrating a clear understanding of the markets that it operates in.

The judges will be looking at:

  • What differentiates the company’s products/services from their competitors
  • Strong managerial and financial performance
  • Innovation
  • Potential for growth
  • Evidence of the business commitment to staff

Download application form - SME of the year form 2024

Local Hero

Awarded to an individual who has gone above and beyond for the local community throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This individual has creatively adapted their business services/products to support the community. This category is by Nomination only.

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