The South Wales Argus Business Awards are back

We are delighted to be launching the third annual South Wales Argus Business Awards – recognised as the biggest and brightest event of its kind in the local calendar.

These prestigious awards will be staged in a totally different way this time after setting the centre of Newport ablaze with glitter and glamour over the past two years.

Although the presentation of accolades to the winners of the categories will be held virtually – none of the glitz and glamour will be lost nor will the acclaim of being a sponsor or winner.

Winners of an 20/21 South Wales Argus Business Awards will follow in the distinguished footsteps of the likes of Professor Simon Gibson, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 awards, and those of ground-breaking Chepstow-based Creo Medical Group plc, which was named Business of the Year in 2019.

A number of sponsors are back on board with us again this year and there are opportunites for other businesses to raise their profile by becoming sponsors of these popular awards.

Last time businesses and organisations from across Gwent gathered at the Newport Centre for the awards evening, hosted in association with Newport Now Business Improvement District.

But Covid-19 has put paid to plans for a similar night of celebration, but our virtual awards evening will be no less prestigious or fun.

South Wales Argus managing director Hussain Bayoomi, said: “The South Wales Argus Business Awards are always unique and special but this year we’re offering a chance to be part of a business awards like no other.

“Our awards offer sponsors and businesses an fantastic opportunity to gain massive exposure for themselves on a huge stage. Business leaders and their employees in the region will be able to join us for our on-demand awards broadcast on April 22, 2021, to celebrate the amazing achievements of businesses both large and small from across our area.

“For 2020/21 the physical awards show is being transformed to an on-demand streaming broadcast. The broadcast of the awards evening will held permanently on our website and YouTube.”

The virtual event will be hosted by celebrities, who will provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the award winners who will hear and see their names announced by professional icons from across the business, sporting and entertainment sector.

Hussain said: “Sponsors, also fully immersed in the awards, will through their invaluable support see their profile elevated highlighting their support for the local community. These awards will increase and maintain awareness of your business through the South Wales Argus online platforms, they will inform and introduce potential new customers and equally importantly they will complement your existing advertising and communications strategy.

“There will be three shortlisted finalist announced per category with a single overall winner, chosen by our highly experienced judges. Winners will be presented with their awards by one of our handpicked celebrities.

“Winners will receive a bespoke memento of their success – a coveted South Wales Argus front page heralding their success along with a video clip of their category to use on their own social media.

“A high-quality virtual awards show will honour those leading lights within the business sector. Individuals and teams will feature in our one-off on-demand broadcast which will be permanently hosted on the South Wales Argus website.

“We’ve recruited nationally recognised celebrities, recognised movers and shakers renowned in their fields to work with us to create life-long memories for all those short listed across the categories.

“The South Wales Argus Business Awards 2020/21 are set to be the biggest and best yet.

“So get on board and be prepared to be immersed in an awards experience like no other-it’ll be simply the best and we want you, sponsors and nominees to be with us every step of the way on this pioneering journey to uncover innovation and excellence in business.”

Why sponsorship is so important

Sponsors play a vital role in the success of the South Wales Argus Business Awards.

Many of our sponsors have been with us ever since the awards were first launched.

One of these is Newport-based financial services business Kymin.

Managing director Robin Hall sums up the ethos behind supporting the awards by saying: “We are proud to be a sponsor in this year’s awards.

“It is extremely important to encourage and help small businesses to thrive as they are the backbone of the UK economy.

“It is important for businesses to sponsor and support and individuals to enter awards such as this.

“Obviously, it can be seen as a celebration of what you and your business has achieved but not only that it can raise your profile and provide great publicity for the firm.”

Peter James, of Cintec International, came on board as a sponsor after his business won Innovative Business of the Year at the inaugural awards in 2018. Last year Cintec, which is based at Gold Tops in Newport, sponsored the Lifetime Achievement Award and this year it is supporting the Environmental Business of the Year Award.

Peter said: “Having started a business on my own I understand the many challenges you face when building a company in order to achieve success.”

Western Power Distribution is another business which has been with us since our first awards in 2018.

WPD sponsors the Innovative Business of the Year.

Karen Welch, of WPD, said: “We believe the awards are a fitting way to recognise businesses and to celebrate their success, innovation and talent.

“The awards are an ideal way for businesses and individuals to promote themselves, raising their profiles by showcasing their talents. The awards also provide an opportunity for entrants to measure themselves against similar businesses.”

Androulla Webb, of Icon Creative Design (another previous winner) which sponsors the Young Entrepreneur Award, said: “Starting your own business can be challenging but very rewarding.

“These awards are a great way to raise your profile and get your story heard. It is also a fantastic marketing opportunity as the Argus reaches a wide audience across south east Wales.”

Kingsway Centre, a joint sponsor of the Customer Service Award with Friars Walk since our first awards, said: “Sponsoring the Customer Service award acknowledges the value and importance that this element of care has while at the same time crediting the hard work that staff put in day in day out.

“Sharing good news is positive; although we consider excellent service as the norm, sometimes there are occasions when staff go above and beyond. An award is a great acknowledgement, a nod to a particular person or people who have real impact on how we perceive customer service.”

And Simon Pullen, of Friars Walk, said: “”More than anything, these awards should be a motivating factor for any individual that works in customer service.

“It gives each and every one of us something to strive towards in our daily working life and with how important customer service is in business, being in a position to point to awards is a great commodity.

“We should all endeavour to be best in class and to achieve that in front of your fellow colleagues and peers is a very special feeling.

“For any business, strong, positive, recognition is important and is often the point of difference when it comes to selling its product to a deciding customer.

“If a business is recognised for its service and its quality, it naturally gives it an advantage in the market over its competitors.”

Laura Harvey, of Monmouthshire Building Society, which sponsors the Contribution to the Community Award, said: “The society feels strongly about supporting local initiatives, and was pleased to be involved with the community award.

“Supporting the communities around our heartlands is so important for us.

“These kinds of awards are important for businesses and individuals as everyone is so busy day to day that we often forget to take time to celebrate the great work being done. They are a fantastic way to celebrate everything that is great about the businesses and individuals working in and around Gwent.”

Categories and sponsors

The 2020/21 categories and their sponsors are:

Lead sponsosor and Business of the Year: TBC

Innovative Business of the Year: Western Power Distribution

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Icon Creative Design

Lifetime Achievement Award: TBC

Family Business of the Year Award: Azets

Large Business of the Year: RDP Law

Small Business of the Year: Kymin

Start Up Business of the Year Award: TBC

Contribution to the Community Award: Monmouthshire Building Society

Customer Service Award: Friars Walk and Kingsway Centre

Training and Development Business of the Year: Solo

Best BID Business of the Year: Newport Now Business Improvement District

Environmental Business of the Year: Cintec International

Hospitality Business of the Year: TBC

Digital Technology Business of the Year: Newport City Council

Awards timeline

Launch: October 2020

Entry closing date: February 6, 2021

Judging: February 24, 2021 at midday

Finalists supplement: March 8, 2021

On-demand awards broadcast: Thursday, April 22, 2021

Winners supplement: w/c April 26, 2021

The entries website will be launching soon. Keep an eye out for more details.