THE Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has hosted the West Midlands final of its Celebrating Small Business Success Awards 2019.

Almost 150 delegates attended the event at the Forest of Arden Hotel in Meriden, where regional small businesses competed in 11 hard-fought-for award categories.

I am delighted to report that Worcestershire-based business enjoyed tremendous success on the day – scooping almost half of the awards up for grabs.

Little Soap Company won the Scale-Up Business of the Year. Pharma Packaging Systems Ltd won Employer of the Year and Business & Product Innovation Award. Then Gloverspiece Minifarm Ltd won Family Business of the Year and Community Business of the year.

Little Soap Company, based in Broadway, was established to create an organic sustainable soap, which is affordable and accessible to all. It up scaled to become the first organic bar soap to line the shelves of Waitrose, Boots, Booths, Sainsbury, Ocado, Wholefoods, Tesco and Fetch to name but a few. The company is increasing stores and lines year on year – as well as venturing into export and a pet range.

Pharma Packaging Systems Ltd, in Pershore, specialise in the design and manufacture of Pharmaceutical Tablet Counting Machinery. Its area of expertise is in high-speed counting technology, using specially designed infrared sensors to count tablets or capsules at speed as they are dispensed into their bottles.

Tough times for small businesses

Gloverspace Minifarm Ltd operates from an 11-acre canal side property in Droitwich, which is home to a variety of rescued animals. Once rehabilitated the animals become the core offer of animal therapy for their clients. Their award-winning SEN primary school, opened in 2017, is growing strongly and specialises in educating children who cannot access educational provision due to extremely challenging behaviour or anxiety.

The Awards recognise the very best small businesses and self-employed from right across the country. This was a tremendous achievement. Especially as the standard, number and diversity of entries this year has been outstanding.

So while small businesses are undoubtedly facing many challenges, these local small businesses demonstrated that they are, also undoubtedly, rising above and beyond them.