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Five Derby companies selected among top 100 small businesses in the UK

Maria Hanson MBE, me&dee

Each year the campaign to find the Small Biz 100 launches in recognition of the very best small business entrepreneurs in the country as part of the Small Business Saturday campaign. This year’s list has been revealed, and five Derby companies have been selected, making Derby one of the most successful regions and extending the continued business success the area has recently experienced to truly position Derby at the heart of the country’s small business community.

Stuart Mobility, Code 56, me&dee, Sarah Gatford Ltd and Cattermole Electrical all impressed the judges with their entrepreneurial flair, record of business successes and passion to grow and succeed, as well as their contributions to their communities.

Stuart Mobility was entered by owner Justina Nurse. The independent family business, supplies Rise and Recline Chairs, Healthcare Chairs and specialist seating nationwide to homes, nursing and care homes, the NHS and hospices. Justina put the company forward to try and “buck the trend” for retailers. She commented: “Life for retailers is particularly challenging at the moment, so we wanted to be part of the campaign to shine a positive light on retail once again and help promote independents to show that people don’t have to go to the big chains and franchises.”

Owen Conti founded Code 56 in October 2016, making him the newest business among the five to receive the recognition. Code 56 is an IT support company that “enables the extraordinary”, as Owen explained: “We find solutions that fit and work for the customer. We first understand the business objectives and goals, and then work the technology into business strategies.”  Having received the Marketing Derby Rising Star award in 2018, Owen is familiar part of the Derby business community and last year helped to arrange the Small Business Saturday event at the Enterprise Centre. He continued: “I’ve seen first hand the transformation that being one of the Small Biz 100 can have. It’s an incredible, money can’t buy opportunity and amazing recognition to have been selected as one of 100 out of thousands of entries nationwide. This will really mark the next step in how I can take my business forward and to get involved in the Small Biz 100 community to collectively make a lot of noise about the impact small businesses have.”

Another of the selected entries is me&dee charity, founded by Maria Hanson MBE, which provides memory making holidays and support for families and children facing life changing and limited circumstances, helping them to make the most of the precious time that they have left together. Maria commented: “A successful charity has to be run as a successful business. I feel ecstatic about being shortlisted and chosen to be one of the 100. I didn’t tell my team that I was entering; receiving the email was exhilarating as well as a shock and our team are over the moon. The campaign provides fantastic exposure for the charity and for our new 20/20 vision which we just launched where we hope to raise £150,000 to purchase a new purpose built lodge in the Sherwood Forest for the families we support.”

 

For Sarah Gatford, who helps support businesses to achieve gold standard access for D/deaf people in the workplace and organisations, entering was about raising awareness of an issue. “I help businesses to bridge the gap between deaf and hearing which is quite a niche service that not many people consider. Being part of the Small Biz 100 will help raise awareness of this and hopefully make more businesses consider their practices. As part of the campaign I’m offering 100 tips on how businesses can help bridge the gap, all culminating in a workshop on Small Business Saturday in December,” commented Sarah.

For Adam Cattermole, of Cattermole Electrical which specialises in the repair, servicing, and sale of kitchen appliances, the news comes at a difficult time. Adam, aged 36, has recently been diagnosed with an incredibly rare type of terminal bowel cancer, and hopes the Small Biz 100 campaign will help raise awareness of his fundraising and of bowel cancer in young people. Adam commented: “It’s not the way I wanted to promote my SBS 100 day but these are the cards I’ve been dealt. I want people far and wide to know how cancer can hit anyone at anytime. The Derby business community has been banding together and offering help, time, prizes and anything they can which has been overwhelming.”

Unfortunately, the best line of treatment for Adam is not available on the NHS and one round of treatment, which lasts three months, has been estimated to cost around £20,000 so a Go Fund Me page has been launched with over £35,000 donated already. To donate, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/-for-adam-life-2019 or head to Facebook.com/foradamslife to find out about other fundraising activities and events.

In the 100 days running up to Small Business Saturday, the campaign will spotlight each of the Small Biz 100 as part of its mission to celebrate and support small businesses. Each company has been allocated a day where celebrations will focus on them and they will be profiled in the media and on Small Business Saturday’s social media pages. They will also attend events at Downing Street, the House of Lords and the Treasury with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Small Business Saturday takes place on Saturday 7th December, with an event planned at Derby Enterprise Centre. The Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Mayor of London were among those publicly supporting the campaign in 2018, alongside more than 90% of local councils, and the 2019 campaign is set to be even bigger..

For further information please visit: smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/small-biz-100.

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