The 421 nominations from 190 different companies that entered the SoGlos Gloucestershire Business Awards have now been whittled down to a closely guarded list of finalists – and SGGBA winners.
The mammoth initial list of entries were shortlisted at SoGlos, before being put before an independent panel of judges made up of event sponsors.
A secret socially distanced gathering of those key decision makers took place at Cheltenham Trust’s Skillicorne Gardens to draw up the definitive list of finalists for the 17 SGGBA awards, while they also decided on an additional ‘Outstanding Contribution to Business in Gloucestershire’ for one particular nomination.
James Fyrne, group publisher and co-founder of SoGlos, said: ‘It was a pleasure to bring our prestigious sponsors together and host such an exciting meeting of great business minds.
‘We will publish details of all the finalists on Monday 26 July 2021, all of whom will be invited to join sponsors and special guests at the SGGBA awards evening at Weston Aviation on Thursday 9 September 2021 – when the winners will be revealed for the first time.’
While the specific judging of each category was strictly confidential, the panel took the opportunity to provide feedback on Gloucestershire’s brand-new business awards:
Dev Chakraborty, deputy chief executive of GFirst LEP, headline sponsor alongside The Growth Hub, said: ‘The awards are just what the county needs coming out of the pandemic.’
Jo Draper, of Quolux (sponsor of Family Business), said: ‘I have never seen such a wide group of awards entries before. It was such an exciting list.’
David Jones, of Evans Jones, (sponsor of Pivoting Business) said: ‘It was extraordinarily hard to judge.’
Paul Sands, of Ecotricity (sponsor of Green Business) said: ‘I wish we had more awards to give away there were so many worthy entrants.’
While Ryan Hancock, of Hazlewoods (sponsor of Employer Engagement) added: ‘The sheer variety of business was fantastic’.
Chris Wills, of Willans LLP solicitors (sponsor of Growth Business), said: ‘I could not believe the number of entries, the quality and the quantity.’
Emma Fells, of Barclays Bank (sponsor of International Business), said: ‘I learned about some great new businesses and some amazing new companies.’
Sebastian Merritt, of Brunsdon Financial (sponsor of Best Place to Work), said: ‘It was a really enjoyable process.’
Dr Polly Pick, of the University of Gloucestershire (sponsor of Entrepreneur), said: ‘So many of the business through the pandemic had been ‘courageous and a huge benefit to their communities’.
Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council (sponsor of Business Leader), added: ‘It has been a really tough 12 months for everyone, but especially for businesses. The innovation, the get-go they have shown in something to be incredibly proud of.’
Sponsors also include Bamboo (New Business of the Year), Hartpury (Most Innovative Business), RockWealth (Corporate Social Responsibility), Gloucestershire College (Customer Excellence), GB Solutions (Employee of the Year), ReformIT (Team of the Year) and Hewer FM (Heritage Business).
To be first to find out the SGGBA 2021 finalists, visit soglos.com/awards-business on Monday 26 July 2021.
By Andrew Merrell