An Orpington based electrical contractor and a small husband and wife run electrical testing business based in Halifax have been named among the shortlisted finalists in the UK’s inaugural Small Awards in association with Facebook, which has been established to recognise the achievements of small and micro-businesses.
Husband and wife team Susan and Ian French started Total Electric Solutions in 2007 from a bedroom, before moving into the garage and then employing their daughter to help with admin. As the business grew, the company invested in offices, and employees now also include Susan and Ian’s two sons, two nephews and niece. The business, which also subcontracts to Susan’s brother and several of Ian’s cousins, has now been named as a finalist in the ‘Legacy’ category in this year’s Small Awards.
This award recognises the distinctive characteristics, challenges and strengths of family run small businesses, especially those that demonstrate involvement and contribution from family members as well as business success over a period of time.
Meanwhile, Circuit Electrical Testing, which lists Greater Manchester Police, South West Yorkshire NHS Trust, 90% of Welsh councils through the Welsh Consortium and Emcor – the biggest facility management company in the world among its clients – has grown from employing three people in 2007 to 35 today. The company, which has also diversified into thermal imaging and hazardous area testing, also took the leap from renting an office to buying a whole building and turning it into serviced offices, helping reinvigorate the local business scene in the process. Circuit Electrical Testing has now been named as a finalist in the ‘Supply Chain Champion’ category, which is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Vans, in this year’s Small Awards.
Both businesses will find out if they have won an award at a special ceremony in London on 25th May, hosted by comedian and television personality Sue Perkins.
“A family business is a positive thing and we continue to invest heavily in training both family and not family members so that our business has the skills to allow it to continue to grow in the future,” explains Susan French of Total Electric Solutions.
“Our clients know we are a family business and that it is in all of our interest to get it right. But we treat all of our staff equally as individuals and members of one big family and since starting the business we have employed six apprentices, as training the young generation is essential to continued growth.
Vicky Nolan (pictured), who owns Circuit Electrical Testing with her husband Brian, says: “We have worked hard to build a business which works with large organisations, but that still feels like a small, friendly business for our team.”
The Small Awards in association with Facebook will recognise the achievements of small businesses in 10 categories across multiple sectors and areas of activity, including high street businesses, family businesses, start-ups and business-to-business companies, as well as those that export, and even companies that contribute most to their community.
One of the individual category winners will also be named overall Small Business of the Year. Facebook will give that business £1,000 worth of free advertising credit.
The judges for this year’s Awards include the former Business Secretary Sir Vince Cable; 2014 Apprentice winner Mark Wright, who now runs SEO and PPC agency Climb Online, and former Digital & Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.
For further information visit: www.thesmallawards.uk