The evening will be a night of celebration including a three-course meal, awards and disco.
These awards have been born out of a dream to celebrate the great small businesses we have and the amazing things the owners of these businesses do.
Profit and growth are great, but these awards are not looking for a run-down of your business’s financial status. We are looking for those qualities that sets a small business aside from the rest. The human qualities that make people happy to have come into contact with a particular business owner or member of staff, the many reasons why we choose to shop local for our products or services.
Blaze Monroe Associates Ltd have organised these awards and given their time freely to this event, 100% of the proceeds from this event will be donated directly to the charity.
Smile For Joel
Smile for Joel is a fundraising charity supporting shattered and broken families who are victims of traumatic bereavement through homicide.
Buddy Bag Foundation
The Buddy Bag Foundation was created in response to the rising number of children who enter emergency care after fleeing violent situations at home.
Restoring a sense of safety and security into a child’s life during a traumatic time is one of the first steps to recovery. By providing these children with a few essential items, we can help make the transition into emergency care a little easier.
To support children in this situation we have created the Buddy Bag to provide comfort when all else has been removed.
Blazing Business Award Categories
Most Helpful Business Owner of the Year
Sponsored by Metro Bank
Most Inclusive Business Owner of the Year
Networker of the Year
Sponsored by Alison Cotton, Forever Living
Young Business Person of the Year
Local Charity of the Year
Business Warrior of the Year
Eco-Business of the Year
You can either put yourself forward for an award or nominate another person you feel should be celebrated.
Don’t be afraid to nominate yourself as these awards are all about celebrating each and every one of you amazing business people. If we cannot celebrate our own successes how can we inspire others around us to celebrate themselves.
Nominations are now being accepted. Please us this online form to make your nominations.
Applications must be received by 5pm, Sunday 31st May 2020 for consideration. No exceptions will be made to this rule.
Meet The Judges
Taz Thornton is a phenomenal motivational business speaker, award-winning coach and trainer and best-selling author. She works with both individuals and teams to grow confidence, visibility and clients.
Taz has racked up 3 TEDx speaker gigs and is one of Britain’s most sought after pro-speakers.
With her confidence and contagious optimism it would be easy to think this pink powerhouse has lived a charmed life of luck and opportunities, but find out more about her and you will be amazed at what this lady has overcome.
Taz is a true inspiration who captures the attention of any audience lucky enough to experience what she has to give and teach from the heart.
Asha Thornton-Clearwater is a compelling storyteller, content coach and media mentor.
Asha is a down-to-earth, experienced PR, social media and brand consultant and mentor helping businesses cut through the noise and get real with their messages.
She is the pocket rocket owner and PR cat at Turqoise Tiger. She is not only a former journalist, but is also the editor of Tweeting Times, blogger & networker.
Asha is allergic to spin and jargon and works to bring out the real you in your message. She loves to help you uncover your powerful, unique story and create engaging content to help grow advocates for your brand.
As Curator for TEDx Peterborough, Asha has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to what makes a business great.
Chad Marshall-Lane is an unparalleled trainer and pro-speaker. Starting a career in Health and Social care at just 16 years old, he’s seen it all.
Whilst studying at university in 2014 Chad was also undergoing varies surgeries as part of his gender reassignment.
At the time Chad didn’t disclose his transition to his peers but realised there was still so much prejudice around LGBTQ+ issues, from people of all ages and cultures.
It was this prejudice that inspired Chad to work in an area where he can help raise awareness and tackle the stigma that still exists around all matters LGBTQ+.
Just spending five minutes chatting to Chad will see you go away with a greater understanding of the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community and if you get to see him speak you will definitely consider things from a whole other level.
Rachel Fletcher is the sensational Local Business Manager for Metro Bank Merry Hill, the revolution in British Banking.
She is an experienced personal and business relationship manager, with a demonstrated history within the banking industry and retail management.
Rachel works to give the best customer experience possible and create fans rather than customers or service users.
Not only does Rachel give business owners advice and support but she arranges networking meetings within the store for local businesses.
Dan is a kick ass serial entrepreneur, owning multiple businesses. He is on a mission to help other people to be able to become all that they are meant to be.
Dan has a wealth of knowledge and is an undisputed superstar when it comes to marketing, branding, retention, growth, sales, coaching. On top of this he is an inspiring motivational speaker, martial arts teacher and fitness expert.
For over 16 years Dan has run one of the largest kickboxing schools in the UK. He is a 5th degree black belt in kickboxing. He is also a qualified instructor in Krav Maga, ABC Knife Fighting and Tai Chi and has been graded in Tae Kwon Do, Karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. What Dan doesn’t know about self discipline and respect isn’t worth knowing.
Meet The Sponsors
Blaze Monroe Associates Ltd
Blaze Monroe Associates Ltd is where the Blazing Business Awards were born.
We are a local accountancy practice based in the beautiful village of Kinver, South Staffordshire ran by myself Jodie Philpotts, The One and Only Accountancy Fire Starter.
We are passionate about helping small/medium businesses, young people and start-ups. We offer a lot of advice to business owners free of charge and are highly regarded for the business matchmaking we do, connecting businesses who can help each other.
We run free business networking events, Blaze Monroe Blazing Business Meet Ups (internal link) in South Staffordshire, West Midlands and Wyre Forest. These came about after it became increasingly difficult for me in particular to attend network meetings because of the early morning or evening time slots. We wanted to offer something to those trying to fit running a business/work around family life, school runs and endless after school activities.
We love getting rid of the baffling jargon and getting straight to what you need for you and your business. So, if you want plain talking and a non-nonsence approach to your business accounts get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
Soldo is a multi-user expense account that helps you control business spending and, thanks to the integration with your accounting software, makes it easy and quick to manage and reconcile all company expenses.
Soldo is not a business account and we’re not trying to replace yours. We’re here to complement the traditional business account offering with more advanced and innovative financial services.
You can give Soldo cards to some or every employee, to entire teams or even contractors, deciding who can access company money and the rules they need to follow to spend it. With intuitive tools like the mobile app and web console, you’ll be able to track spending real-time, instantly transfer funds to all card holders (for free), establish budgets and rules, and much more.
Keytracker offer a wide range of key and equipment management solutions.
Whether you are wanting to ensure a secure key or equipment process that ensures accessibility without without time-consuming administration then Keytracker based in Halesowen are the people you need.
From a basic key safe box to advanced electronic key control systems, they can help install a solution that can manage your business keys and access to stock and equipment too. For ultimate business key management solutions, contact their team today.
Keytracker selected the award for ‘Charity of the Year’ to sponsor because they recognise that charities do so much for the community; whatever the cause, the intent is always to be of service and help. The chosen charities for the Blazing Business Awards 2020 are particularly heart-wrenching and deserve to be recognised and celebrated.
Individual Awards Sponsors
Networker of the year – sponsored by Alison Cotton, Forever Living
Alison is a Forever Living business owner who thrives on helping people improve their health and their wealth. However, for 20 years Alison worked in two completely different fields. She was an insolvency secretary for 20 years and a preschool teacher for 8 years.
Being there for her family is something that Alison will not compromise on which is why she wholeheartedly loves her work. She can choose her own hours and fit her work around family commitments whilst still bringing in an income.
When Alison set up her Forever Living business 5 years ago one of the big reasons was because she wanted to do something for herself.
Not only does Alison have her business and family to look after but she also runs a successful local business networking group in Stourbridge, All4One Networking. Although Alison is busy herself, she always has time to help people out. She connects people who may be able to help each other in business or personally.
Alison jumped at the opportunity to be a sponsor of the award for Networker of the Year as she knows how much she has gained herself both personally and for her business from networking and wanted to be able to give something back.
Most helpful business owner of the year – sponsored by Metro Bank, Merry Hill
Metro Bank (https://www.metrobankonline.co.uk/) is known for changing the way Britain banks. They have built a different kind of high street bank. A bank with stores that are open when it suits you, 7 days a week. A bank where you can walk in without an appointment and walk out with a working account, debit card and all. A bank that tells you exactly what you’re getting, in language that actually makes sense. A bank that puts you first.
Metro Bank first opened its doors in the summer of 2010, the first high street bank to open in the UK in over 100 years.
Every store is open 7 days a week, and from 8am–8pm on weekdays. No need to book an appointment, just walk in at a time that is right for you.
Rachel Fletcher (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachelannefletcher/), The Local Business Manager at the Merry Hill Store has worked to build relationships and offer support to many local businesses and has built an army of fans not only for Metro but for herself and her approach.
Website sponsor – Andy Calloway
Andy is a techie firebomb who specialises in digital marketing, content marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO). All that techy stuff that not only makes your website look great but gets it found by your target audience is totally up his street. So, if your online presence/website is doing nothing to bring customers through the door Andy is the guy who turns that around.
However, it’s not a case of just putting together a pretty website. Andy works with clients to implement solid customer acquisition techniques, inbound marketing and SEO. From there a whole host of techy monitoring and tests are done to gather essential information to allow for the accurate design of an effective sales funnel.
Andy is known for being not only great at what he does but also great at explaining it all in a way that is easy to understand. Andy has been a joy to work with when getting the Blazing Business Awards web stuff all pulled together and nothing has been too much trouble. We couldn’t have wished for a better Web Sponsor.