Shining a spotlight on former Burton Mail Business Awards winners has showcased the importance of the annual event for firms in Burton and South Derbyshire.

TwoTwenty, based in Foston, scooped Business of the Year and has always been a major advocate for the awards. The firm is a great example of how winning a Burton Mail Business Awards' gong can just be the start of success.

TwoTwenty jumped from sharing the Manufacturer of the Year award at the Burton Mail Business Awards in 2015 to winning the main prize just 12 months later.

Burton Mail Business Awards 2017 looking to crown a firm Employer of the Year

Founder Ali Wright said: "In five years' time we will have achieved our £6 million sales goal, having cemented ourselves as one of the key players in the market we aim to support."

The company creates made-to-measure timber staircases for housebuilders and is known for being a mix between very traditional skills and craftsmanship.

The small joiners' workshop employs more than 30 people, but is expected to achieve turnover of £6 million by 2020.

It couldn't be easier to enter Burton Mail Business Awards 2017 - here's what you need to do

Hopping across the water to Staffordshire, a firm on the rise wowed judges to come out on top and be named Most Promising New Start-Up.

RJK Logistics, based in Alrewas, is a transport provider supporting the construction industry. It specialises in aggregate supply and earthmoving, and has a three vehicle fleet.

Steve Tallet, on behalf of the Burton Chamber of Commerce, spoke about why the firm rose to the top when it came to up-and-coming businesses in the area.

Burton and South Derbyshire College is again supporting the Young Employee of the Year at this year's Burton Mail Business Awards

He said: "This category was all about recognising excellence in a new business. It was a highly competitive category and all three entrants were worthy to be on the shortlist.

"What was also interesting was that while all in the same category, the firms could not have been more different – one makes gin, one is transport based and the other offers healthcare.

"All involved demonstrated a devotion to innovation, growth and sales and it was hard to pick a winner. However, RJK Logistics just edged it and ticked all the boxes to be named Most Promising New Start-Up."

Dedication of young workers to be recognised at Burton Mail Business Awards 2017

Now firms in the area can follow in the footsteps of these winners by entering the eighth Burton Mail Business Awards. There are 11 awards to be won, including the prestigious Business of the Year title.

The winners will be announced at a glittering gala awards ceremony on Thursday, October 19, which will again be held at Burton Albion's Pirelli Stadium.

There are several categories in the Business Awards that are aimed at individuals including the Young Employee of the Year award and Employee of the Year award.

This year also sees the introduction of two new awards – Medium Business of the Year (21-100 FTEs) and the Leisure and Hospitality Award, which incorporates everything from retail to restaurants.

Firms now only have until close of play on Friday, September 8 to enter. Businesses and individuals can enter as many categories as they wish, all on the same entry form. You can enter this year's awards by downloading an entry form here.

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