Small businesses are the backbone of society in the UK, they nurture local economies, keep money close to home, and provide much-needed support to local communities and neighbourhoods.
Running a business is challenging at any time, but never more so than in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc, so our much-loved small business owners deserve all the praise they can get for keeping us fed, watered, pampered, and looked after during the most...dare we say it, unprecedented of times.
We know you don’t like to blow your own trumpet, so we’ll do it for you with our guide to the 10 best small business events you could (and should!) enter over the next 12 months.
If your business employs 250 staff or less then a Small Medium Enterprise (SME) award could be within your grasp
The aim of the awards is to boost the profile of hard-working SMEs nationally and if you enter you’ll get the chance to network with industry big wigs as well as like-minded entrepreneurs - working wonders for your credibility and profile.
The deadline for applications is December 3rd 2020 (so get your skates on!) and the awards will take place on the 5th March 2021.
Good to know: if for any reason the awards can’t take place your ticket will automatically transfer to the rescheduled date or you’ll be eligible for a full refund.
This event is designed to celebrate the best of local businesses nestled in nooks and crannies up and down the UK on our high streets.
If you’re a family business who’s been serving your local community for decades on end or you support your area in one way another this award could be the one for you.
Any business with fewer than 50 employees can enter, the deadline for applicants is January 21st 2021, and the awards are scheduled for April 11th 2021.
Since its launching in 1966 the MTB awards have been recognising businesses of all shapes and sizes who offer ‘consistent excellence’ in their service.
So this one’s open to small businesses and large enterprises alike, and the curators strongly encourage entries from a wide range of industries including the likes of family-run establishments and SMEs.
Entry closes on January 28th 2021, and the winners will be revealed in an all-frills ceremony on March 13th 2021 - you can enter your small business here.
The BQF (British Quality Foundation) UK Excellence awards take place every year and celebrate the success of organisations big and small - that success could be in the form of customer experience, employee engagement, or a whole host of other factors.
Entries are welcome from businesses of all shapes and sizes so long as they can demonstrate excellence in one form or another.
Applications for the 2021 awards are not yet open, but in 2020 they opened early in the year (Feb 11th) so keep your eye on their website to avoid missing out, or sign up to their newsletter to ensure you’re front of the queue.
Another event not yet released for 2021 but well worth your attention is the national family business awards.
For over a decade they’ve been putting the best of UK family businesses on a pedestal - from husband and wife duos to companies passed from generation to generation and those across all industries and locations are welcomed.
To showcase your family business on a national stage keep your eyes peeled for the 2021 applications opening here.
Although you might be small you’re still mighty, and the Small Awards are here to celebrate your big achievements. With a range of categories from high street heroes to new kid on the block, there’s something for every small business in this event.
As part of the event, you’ll rub shoulders with experts in business as well as small business owners just like you - it’s a must for anyone wanting to expand their network and profile.
Applications close on February 28th 2021, and the awards will take place in May 2021 (date TBC).
Entering its seventh year in 2021 the UK Business Awards, coined ‘the Dons’, highlights the best of British businesses of all shapes and sizes.
With 16 categories for the 2020 awards, there’s something for everyone with this event, plus you’ll get the opportunity for professional growth by entering and sharing the experiences of others on the night.
Dates for entering the 2021 awards are yet to be announced, so watch this space, and be sure to sign up for updates.
Is your small business growing at a rate even you couldn’t have predicted? Are you smashing your end of year targets? Then this one’s likely to pique your interest.
Now in its 22nd year, the Growing Business Awards celebrates the resilience of UK entrepreneurs and puts a spotlight on those achieving high growth, even in the most challenging of times.
Find out more and stay up to date with the 2021 awards here.
The winners of the 2020 National Business Awards have just been announced, so you can bet your bottom dollar hype for the 2021 event is imminent.
This one’s a biggie, with the 2020 event pulling in big names like Baroness Karen Brady and Dame Joanna Lumley (squeals), so you won’t want to miss out on all the action.
Once more it’s open to businesses big and small with categories to suit everyone, and whether you’re a winner or not you’re sure to take valuable insights and experiences away with you at the bare minimum.
Register your interest here.
If we had you fangirling with the last event, just wait till you learn more about the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise…
They’re handed out to businesses who’ve shown outstanding achievement in innovation, international trade, sustainable development, or promoting opportunity through social mobility.
To be eligible you’ll need to operate in the UK, file your tax returns via HMRC, have at least 2 full-time UK employees or part-time equivalents, and demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility.
And if your business wins? You’ll be invited to a royal reception (yep, you read that right), be presented your award by one of the Queen’s representatives, be given a grant of appointment and a commemorative crystal trophy, plus be allowed to fly the Queen’s Awards Flag at your office and use the emblem on your marketing materials.
We told you it was good. Apply here.
We wish you the very best of luck for any or all of the awards you apply for! Remember, whether you scoop the prize or not, at takepayments you’ll always be winners in our eyes.