Double Awards Success for St Helens Businesses

29 Nov 2019

Business Featured

Two St Helens businesses have been named as National Winners at the 2019 British Chambers of Commerce Business Awards.

ATG Access have been named as Export Business of the Year and local retailer Thrifty’s has been named as High Growth Business of the Year.

The Chamber Business Awards, now in its 16th year, is one of the showpiece events in the business calendar, highlighting the role of business in delivering growth and prosperity for the UK and local communities.

Winners from this year’s St Helens Chamber Business Awards were entered into the National Awards, with five businesses reaching the final.

Kath Boullen, Chief Executive at St Helens Chamber, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have two St Helens winners at this year’s awards! We started the St Helens Business Awards in 2017 and have already had a number of national finalists. To get two winners this year is an amazing achievement that the whole business community can be proud of and a real testament to the strength of St Helens businesses.”

ATG Access exports around the globe to 42 countries and over the last three years has secured distribution agreements in Germany, France, Spain, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, China, Turkey and Japan. This has contributed to the 47 per cent growth that the company has seen over the last 36 months. International sales now make up more than 50 per cent of ATG’s total turnover.

The judging panel praised ATG Access’ global reach and its commitment to continually improving and expanding its product range to ensure it is always offering relevant security solutions.

Shannon Diett, Vice President of Marketing at DHL Express, sponsor of the Export Business of the Year category, commented:

“Whilst moving into new international markets can be challenging for businesses of any size, it presents huge opportunity for those who recognise the advantages it brings. With a combination of planning, market awareness and innovation, diversifying the portfolio of countries in which you operate can reduce business risk and provide an excellent engine for growth.

“At DHL Express we work closely with our customers to help them harness their export potential, so I’m delighted to celebrate the achievements of ATG Access. They blend innovation and ambition to great effect, and I look forward to seeing them continue to go from strength to strength!”

Thrifty’s started with one store in 2009, growing to 11 stores by 2019, with a further three new stores planned over the next year. Employee numbers have rocketed from 12 in 2004 to over 100 today. They have seen a 31 per cent growth in turnover in the past 12 months and a 14 per cent increase in profit.

The judging panel said that Thrifty’s was one to watch with their hardworking and exceptional entrepreneurial ethos.

Adam Park, UK Marketing Director at Bibby Financial Services, sponsor of the High Growth Business of the Year category said:

“We are delighted to have been involved in such a fantastic award that celebrates the very best of UK SMEs. Thrifty’s is an innovative business that continues to go from strength-to-strength whilst supporting their local community. The growth they have delivered in a tough sector is testament to the company’s entrepreneurial approach.”

Entries for the 2020 St Helens Chamber Business Awards will open on 6th January. Category details will be announced soon.