Award Criteria

This page is designed to give nominators information to help them focus their nominations on key factors the judges will be using to select the short-list and winners of each category. To be eligible for any category, businesses must have a physical base in the former Teesdale District/Teesdale AAP area. This is slightly expanded for the Young Entrepreneur and Apprentice of the Year categories to allow all Teesdale residents.
Best Business :- This award will be given to the business which has demonstrated outstanding growth and achievements in the last year.
 This is open to dynamic growing businesses within Teesdale that are a standard bearer for success within the region.
 Entrants must demonstrate outstanding achievement in all areas of their business
 This award is one of the highest accolades and will be presented to the business most able to demonstrate all-round achievement, a clear vision for the future, success against objectives, sustained growth and be a standard bearer for success in Teesdale.

Best New Business :- Awarded to the business, that has started trading since 21 November 2014 (less than 2 years old on the closing date for nominations) which has demonstrated sustainability and can evidence further growth potential.
 Sustainable rural business
 Potential for growth and job creation
 Innovative
 Proven track record in sales
 Clear and focused approach to growth
 Clearly identified target market

The Growth Business of The Year:- The winner will be able to demonstrate clear growth in terms of turnover and profitability in the 12 months up to the 21st November 2016 (the day nominations closed).
 This is for rising stars, whatever your company size or activity, you know who you are.
 The fastest growing company will demonstrate a trend of consistent growth in turnover, sales volume, job creation, market share
 It will be ambitious and future facing
 With clear objectives and a plan to achieve them

Most Innovative Business:- Recognising creativity in terms of introduction of new products and services to the business portfolio or the development of innovative solutions to running internal business processes
 A company that can clearly demonstrate innovation in either its new product development, processes or approach to market
 A company where innovation is at the heart of its business approach
 Product or service, new or established

Best Business trading outside Teesdale:- Recognising businesses that trade in a wider market than Teesdale, in other parts of the UK or overseas.
 A Teesdale business that can demonstrate growing customer numbers and growing business turnover from outside the Teesdale area.
 This does not have to be exclusively into overseas export markets.
 The judges will be looking for evidence of a clear strategy, actions taken and results to help achieve these increased exports.

Best Social Enterprise :- Open to any not for profit or community business in Teesdale
 This is for organisations who are making a big difference to the lives of local people
 It could be described as the company with the biggest heart through support, information or outreach it delivers, which can be financial or otherwise
 Perhaps it just connects people, or brings together those who would otherwise be isolated
 If the organisation stopped being here how significant would the impact be?

Best Community Engagement Project :- The winner will demonstrate a significant range of engagement activities, within a single project, with the wider community of the dale
 This is a project that is making a big difference to the lives of local people
 Perhaps it connects people, or brings together those who would otherwise be isolated
 It may show benefits for those involved in the project as well as the wider community
 The project has considered the need to be sustained beyond its initial project scope
 Teesdale-based project that reaches out to the local community by providing additional services, to support those living in the area.
 Businesses who provide services IN ADDITION to their core product to benefit the local community
 Businesses who deliver these services in the way most accessible to those living in this rural, remote area.

Environmental Achievement:-
For businesses demonstrating imaginative ways to reduce business running costs OR making a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gases and the reduction in the use of fossil fuels OR using waste materiel in an imaginative way to assist their business.
 Year on year environmental considerations and implications become increasingly important. We are looking for the Teesdale companies making a difference for the benefit of the environment in what they do or how they do it.
 They don't have to be working uniquely in an environmental sector; it can be a new service or product, packaging, distribution, carbon footprint, green policies, simple but effective ideas that make a difference to customers and company as regards the environment.

Best Customer Focus:- This category recognises one of the key criteria for any successful business, how they interact with the people who buy their products and services. Nominations for this category should be expected from the wider Teesdale community
 Open to any business from any sectors or organisational make-up. All organisations, whether they trade B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer), in person or over the internet can all be judged on their customer service
 Communication, before during and after a sale or interaction, marketing, follow-up, organisation, thought, extra services, making life easier for you and understanding your needs as a customer
 Attention to detail
 An organisation that goes the extra mile
 Interesting value added services

Employer of The Year :- This category is new to the awards list. It recognises organisations (commercial or social enterprise) that have provided a great place to work for their employees or volunteers. The organisation should be able to demonstrate how they:
 - have added value to employees/volunteers
- make employees/volunteers feel valued and motivated
 - go the extra mile to ensure that their employees/volunteers are developed, enjoy their work and find Teesdale a great place to live and work
- consider, consult and work with employees/volunteers to improved the business as a whole
- encourage and support appropriate of employee/volunteer development, role development
- support the general wellbeing of their employees/volunteers
- provide incentives to employees/volunteers
- are innovative in their approach to employee/volunteer support
- communicate well with employees/volunteers.

Young Entrepreneur :- This category aims to celebrate the work of successful young entrepreneurs (aged less than 30 years on the 21st November 2016) who either live in Teesdale or work for/own a business based in Teesdale. These are young people who:

-can demonstrate exceptional achievements for their age
-have overcome obstacles and/or risen to business challenges in terms of products or ways of working
-are a good leader and an inspiration to others
-can demonstrate good financial performance
-show growth potential and or future diversification
-deliver excellent customer service
-engaged with their local community
-developed a sustainable business

Apprentice Of The Year :- This category seeks to recognise the commitment and enthusiasm of new entrants to the workplace. It is open to apprentices who live in Teesdale or work within Teesdale. Nominees will need to demonstrate commitment and an ability to learn and take on additional responsibilities.
 Have successfully completed their apprenticeship after 31 December 2015 or are working on an apprenticeship scheme on 20 November 2016 (the closing date of the nominations).
 Have produced excellent results during their apprenticeship.