THE Ilkeston Advertiser is proud to announce the local winners picked as the area’s finest fledgling firms in its business awards scheme.
We launched our competition last year as part of the Newspaper Society’s Local Business Accelerators scheme and offered thousands of pounds worth of free advertising to our winners.
And coming out on top in Ilkeston was communication firm Nexsis Comms Limited based on Park Road, Ilkeston.
The firm, which has a 12-strong workforce, was set up in 2009 by directors Leon Braisby and Sean Newbold.
Mr Braisby told the Advertiser: “It’s a bit of a surprise but we’re really chuffed.
“I’m from Ilkeston originally and we wanted a local base to run the firm from which is why we started in Park Road.”
The company moved into the offices last February and has already carried out a variety of cabling work for Nottingham City Council.
As well as cabling the firm deals with in-office telecoms, state-of-the-art unified communications such as instant messaging, and wireless communications.
Nearly 500 local newspapers have taken part in the scheme which is aimed at boosting businesses’ profiles and trade during difficult times.
Our runners-up are Healthy K9 in Belper Road, Stanley Common, and U Choose Smoothie Bar and Café in South Street, Ilkeston.
Healthy K9 is the brainchild of Colin Tomlinson as a retail extra to his job as a canine behaviourist.
In just two years of trading, he has increased his business from selling around one ton of dry dog food a year to selling approximately two tons each month.
Mr Tomlinson said his holistic approach to dog training means he looks at all the different reasons why a dog would act the way it was, with changes in diet quite often playing an important role.
He added: “Initially I was recommending food for other manufacturers so I thought if I can do that for other people then why can’t I do it for myself? So I did and I developed my own brand.”
U Choose is a family-run operation which was opened two years ago.
Boss Paul Opiah has high hopes for the future and wants one day to manage a chain of U Choose outlets.
He added: “The mentoring will be extremely useful.
“I would like to spread U Choose all over England. If people like Starbucks and Café Nero are all over the place then why not us?”
Those who entered the prestigious competition had to be open from between one and three years and show either great potential, a great idea or product or plans to venture into a new market with a desire to create new jobs.
As the winner of the competition Nexsis Comms Limited will receive an advertising package worth £7,277 in the Ilkeston Advertiser.
They will also receive mentoring from the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce to help them grow their business even further.
Our runners-up Healthy K9 and U Choose Smoothie Bar and Café will land £3,847 and £3,029 in free advertising respectively.
All three of our shortlist will also pick up a year’s free membership to the business club of local enterprise agency Erewash Partnership.
Prime Minister David Cameron backed the competition and this week highlighted the role of the local newspaper industry in supporting British business.
He said: “Congratulations to all the winners of the Local Business Accelerators scheme. It’s brilliant that so many promising young companies, from such a wide range of sectors, are benefitting from this excellent initiative.
“Entrepreneurship, creativity and ambition are essential for our economic recovery and through Local Business Accelerators, newspapers such as the Ilkeston Advertiser are supporting some great new British businesses to grow, and helping to boost their local economy.”