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Finalists revealed ahead of the ECHO Regional Business Awards; CELEBRATING FIRMS' HARD WORK AND DEDICATION AFTER A CHALLENGING YEAR.


IT'S amazing to see businesses and organisations able to reopen their doors and get back to trading.

Whatever happens, there is no doubt that we will always remember the hard work and dedication that our businesses have put in to support our economy and help our communities throughout these difficult times.

Join us on Thursday, June 17, as we celebrate this remarkable work at the ECHO Regional Business Awards, which this year will be virtual. You'll be able to catch up and congratulate through The Awards Room's special chat service. Tickets are free of charge, with registration available at the start of June.

The ECHO Regional Business Awards 2021 is headline sponsored by Liverpool Business School, a faculty within Liverpool John Moores University that nurtures and develops new talent and innovation right here in our region.

Tim Nichol, Pro-Vice Chancellor at Liverpool John Moores University, said: "We are a headline sponsor for this event because we wish to celebrate success within the region.

"The event identifies a huge amount of creativity and innovation right across the sector and, particularly in these challenging times, the resilience of businesses that has been extraordinary. We wish to therefore showcase that success".

The finalists for the ECHO Regional Business Awards 2021 are:

Start-Up Business of the Year | Devtropolis is a software development company in the heart of Liverpool, which has tripled its staff in 10 months. Its mission is to develop technology solutions that allows businesses to move online.

| Wilderness Hair is a unique, herbalist hair brand that offers organic, cruelty-free, handmade products, alongside a pioneering vegan salon. Due to the demand for founder Louise Kind's groundbreaking and educational approach, she is currently sourcing a larger city centre base. | Virtuopo is an innovative livestreaming company which specialises in delivering a wide range of virtual events from large-scale global conferences, award ceremonies and webinars to town hall meetings, AGMs and round table discussions.

Business of the Year (up to 49 employees) | CAL International is a privately owned company specialising in engineering design solutions covering a range of sectors. Services include nuclear engineering, Med- Tech, finite element analysis and more.

| Pinch of Salts is a below-the-line marketing agency that provides a bespoke approach that is creative yet commercially aware. It has worked recently with new clients who have changed business direction due to the pandemic. | RW Invest North is an award-winning property investment company with offices in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and London. It specialises in off-plan residential and student investment properties. It has had a recruitment surge in the past year. | Sutcliffe is a civil and structural engineering firm with a broad range of expertise in across built environment design. Its multi-disciplinary chartered engineers, surveyors and geo-environmentalists deliver from concept to completion.

Business of the Year (over 50 employees) Sponsored by Merseyrail | Fletchers Solicitors specialises in personal injury litigation and medical negligence to protect the rights of injured victims. Across its two sites it has more than 400 team members who help rebuild the lives of people who have suffered serious, lifechanging injuries.

| The Forshaw Group is a restoration and reinstatement company specialising in insurance-related claims. New contracts include LV,

Aviva and NFU, alongside beating international competition to renew its contract with United Utilities. | MSB Solicitors is a full-service firm with expertise in 14 areas and an award-winning team offering sector-leading services and advice. It has partnered with Crowd Justice Funding and secured a place on a limited panel for the Liverpool City Council's affordable housing initiative.

| Rathbone Brothers Plc is an independent, leading provider of highquality investment and wealth management services for private clients, charities and trustees. Its Liverpool office has more than 650 staff and is the centre for graduate and apprentice recruitment schemes.

Corporate Social Responsibility Award | FRC Group runs 100% not-forprofit commercial businesses and Bulky Bob's furniture collection and reuse service. This includes selling new furniture to social housing providers and the senior living market. It recently launched its UltraClean machine to divert mattresses from landfill making them as good as new.

| Wilderness Hair (see column 1). | Smylies Ltd was established in 2003 as a family-run business. It is a leading exporter of food and drink produce that has expanded globally The company's experience in exporting to complicated markets such as Middle East has helped in the Brexit transition challenges.

Outstanding Charity Support | Donna Scully and Carpenters

Group: Carpenters Group is one of the UK's leading providers of insurance and legal services, with 1,000 staff across seven UK locations. | DT Hughes Contractors is a multiutility that provides traffic management, excavation, backfill and reinstatement. The company supports the Government's kickstart scheme to tackle mass youth unemployment. | Krol Corlett Construction works for a variety of public and private clients, with social value at the heart of its ethos. Recent projects include refurbishing the Nugent Care shop.

International Business of the Year Sponsored by the Department for

International Trade | Busby is a free cycling safety app with unique features such as incident detection, incident prevention and easy to use near-miss reporting. It is the only automatic incident detection app available globally and can be used for e-scooters, motorbikes, horseriding and more.

| CAL International (see column 1). | Smylies Ltd (see column 4).

Innovation and Technology Award Sponsored by John Moores University | NeedleSmart is a market-leading, patented needle destruction technology with the potential to create a fantastic mobile health solution for both needle use, re-supply, patient compliance, and data capture and management.

| Parkhaven Trust is a registered charity in dementia care services. The Beeches is a residential and nursing service that uses technology to provide the highest quality environment to cater for the needs of people with dementia.

| Sky Medical Technology's 'geko' helps address a range of medical disorders - actively used in hospitals across the globe. To combat blood clots, the geo and geko devices use small and gentle electrical pulses to increase blood circulation and reduce the risk of thrombosis.

Creative Impact Award | The Jayne Moore Media Group has completely innovated the original PR model to ensure the company can satisfy its clients' ever-growing needs in a digital world. The company's portfolio boasts a local and global reach.

| Make CIC is a social enterprise with a vision to see people turn their passion into prosperity. It has three community creative hubs where it runs classes, supports entrepreneurs, provides shared workshop space and facilitates shows and exhibitions. The affordable spaces give the community access to space they may not have had the opportunity to access previously. | Tate Liverpool was opened in 1988, and is a state-of the-art gallery that has had 19.2 million visitors since opening. It has helped establish a blueprint for new regional galleries, democratising art and demonstrating the power of arts-led regeneration.

For business business-co.

Young Business Person of the Year Sponsored by United Utilities | Craig Greenwood founded Everkool in 2007 at the age of 19 without any qualifications. His business is now one of the North West's leading refrigeration, ventilation and air-conditioning companies. With contracts and plans to go nationwide, Craig has built an extensive client base and successful company turnover.

| John Morley is the owner and managing director of three well-established businesses in the construction and development sector: nationwide tarmac company Knowsley Surfacing, Victoria & Sons Scaffolding and property development business Legacie Developments that takes on many high-profile restoration projects to enhance Liverpool's environment and economy. A hands-on boss, John has 200 employees.

| Roxanne Twomey opened School Of Rox to provide private extra curriculum music and drama tuition to students of all ages and abilities. Her goal is to encourage as many local children as possible to be a part of music and drama, building the confidence of each individual student.

Read More latest news www.

Business Person of the Year | Debbie Bennett had been a funeral director for 20 years before setting up Debbie Bennett Independent Funeral Directors. It has three local branches and sees its portfolio increase year on year. It owns all of its funeral vehicles and is completely self-sufficient, being able to raise money to buy four defibrillators for the community.

live. uk/ | Jayne Moore, CEO of Jayne Moore Media Group, is a successful entrepreneur and business leader with a diverse portfolio of invaluable experience that spans throughout the press industry, digital and traditional marketing and PR world. She is a trustee of Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust and Vice-Chair of St George's Hall.

| On Thursday, June 17 the Echo Regional Business Awards 2021 will take place virtually. Tickets are free of charge and will be available from the start of June.

Read More For the latest business news


Louise King, founder of Wilderness Hair

Donna Scully and Carpenters Group

Krol Corlett Construction
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 31, 2021
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