Q1 2024

SME News- Q1 2024 Featuring:

Welcome to the 2024 Q1 edition of SME News magazine, where we provide you with all the latest news, announcements, and features about some of the best upand-coming enterprises around the United Kingdom. As we make our way through the first quarter of the new year, the SME landscape continues to evolve, shaped by emerging technologies, shifting consumer behaviours, and the economic climate. 2024 is set to be a year of great promise for SMEs who embrace change with resilience and adaptability, as well as welcome the integration of innovative technology. SMEs are set to amplify their digital transformation efforts this year with cloud-based technologies and artificial intelligence, in order to enhance their operational efficiency and gain a competitive edge in such a fast-moving marketplace. In this issue, we are, as always, delighted to be celebrating our award-winning businesses who know exactly what it takes to succeed within their respective industries – whether brand marketing, property asset management, telecommunications, building conservation, construction, jewellery manufacturing, Indian chilli pickle production, emergency vehicle graphics, and more. I hope you find each of these stories to be insightful and inspiring, and that you have a wonderful few months ahead. In the meantime, I look forward to welcoming you back again soon for our Q2 issue. Editors Letter Phone: +44 (0) 203 970 0010 Website: www.sme-news.co.uk Rebecca Scotland Editor

Contents 6. News 8. Leading Creative Agency Unapologetically Pushing Boundaries 10. Westbury Investment Management Ltd: Best Privately- Rented Property Asset Management Company – London 11. Leading Environmental Consulting in the Northwest 12. Cleartech Communications Ltd: Best Nationwide Telecommunications Company 2023 13. Heritage Building Specialists in Yorkshire 14. H Phillips Counselling: Most Empowering Integrative Psychotherapist & Holistic Counsellor (Northern Ireland) 15. Bringing Back Traditional Insurance 16. Refreshing and Consistent Construction Contractors 17. John Stewart Jewellers: Best Family-Run Jewellery Manufacturer & Retailer 2023 18. Impactful Salesforce Implementation for Financial Services 19. Adding a Little Spice to Your Meals 20. EazyBase Extensions: Best Nationwide Modular Home Construction Company 2023 21. Lenmark Construction: Building Success in the Groundworks Business 22. UK’s #1 Supplier of Vinyl Vehicle Livery for 25 Years 23. Assisted Living Group of the Year 2023 24. Alpha Beta Partners: Most Innovative Investment Management Firm - UK 25. Pioneering the New Wave of Gamified Virtual Experiences 26. Effetto: A Profound Effect on the World’s Interiors 27. W.E.L.Safe CIC: Best Live Event Safety Education Company 2023 28. Sole Luna Pizza: Best Family-Owned Mobile Pizza Business 2023 - South East 29. Ambitions Travel Recruitment & Training: The UK’s Top Global Travel Recruitment and Training Agency 30. How JSL Essentials Became My Curly Hair Holy Grail 31. Mahou Nippon – A Gaming and Anime Collector’s Best Friend 32. Investing in your Property, Invested in You 33. Using More Than Luck to Herald HR Results 34. Building connections that last 35. The Face of a Zero Emissions Future 36. CIMAR UK Ltd: Leading Innovators in Medical Imaging Solutions 2023 38. Easy Connect: Best Mobile Retail & Repair Store 2023 - Greater Manchester 39. Cakes By Adele Solihull: Celebration Cake Maker of the Year 2023 - Borough of Solihull 40. PodTech: Most Innovative AI-Led Health & Safety Company 2023 42. The Engineering Quest: Turning Brilliant Ideas into Reality 43. Award-Winning Digital Marketing Agency in Leeds 44. Edwards & Co. Solicitors: Best Charity Law Firm - Northern Ireland 45. ScrivenAir Ltd: Business Travel Experts of the Year - South East England 46. Central Hiab Hire Ltd: Lorry Loader Service Providers of the Year 2023 48. Back to Back Care Ltd: Youth Care Service Provider of the Year 2023 - Greater London 49. Te-aM: Best Property Maintenance & Facilities Management Company 2023 - Scotland

50. Wynyard Therapy: Luxury Beauty Salon of the Year 2023 - Stockton-on-Tees 52. Pizzeria Vesuvio: Italian Restaurant of the Year 2023 - South Wales 53. Driving Accountancy Done Right 54. KLN Accountancy Services Limited: Accountancy & Taxation Service Provider of the Year - East Midlands 55. Trendy Pooches: Pet Grooming Service Provider of the Year 2023 - North West 56. Cladspray Solutions: Transforming Surfaces, Elevating Spaces 57. Birds of Prey Conservation Takes Flight

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SME News Q1 2024 / News Chancellor Must Back the People Backing the UK’s Small Businesses in Spring Budget Ahead of the Spring Budget, Purbeck Personal Guarantee Insurance a business on the frontline supporting small business owners as they struggle to secure finance, has set out a wishlist for the Chancellor. Purbeck’s data shows that the owners of small businesses are under more pressure than ever to put their personal finances up as security for a business loan. Applications for Personal Guarantee Insurance (PGI) were up 68% in 2023 and over 45% of loans which required a personal guarantee in Q4 2023 were for unsecured loans, typically taken with alternative lenders. This is the highest level the business has recorded, supporting the latest data from Iwoca suggesting alternative lenders are stepping in where high street lenders are stepping back from small business lending. Todd Davison, MD of Purbeck Personal Guarantee Insurance, says: “Tax cuts seem to be out of the equation now the U.K. is in recession. However, we believe the Chancellor will be keen to show that the Government is focused on boosting employment and encouraging investment which are important ingredients required to stimulate growth and to build a stronger economy. “Raising the VAT threshold would positively impact economic growth. The VAT threshold is currently £85,000 which was set in April 2017. Some businesses may take measures to keep their turnover below this new level to avoid the need to register for VAT, aiding growth in UK businesses. “Further simplification of Capital Allowances would assist more UK businesses, encourage investment and stimulate growth. The introduction of permanent full expensing in the Autumn Statement only applies on plant and machinery but we need to see further measures to simplify the capital allowances legislation. “The reforms to state benefits may create additional financial headroom for tax cuts, reduce unemployment rates and boost growth. This could also tie in with incentives by the Government for individuals to return to work and re-train. “Vocational training vouchers should be explored for workers who wish to be reskilled and for employers to receive tax benefits for employing and training staff in desirable sectors or skills (such as sustainability, technology, health etc.). A consultation is needed on reduced National Insurance Contributions for returning workers and retraining funding for vocational qualifications. “Changes to income tax thresholds; the first since 2022, would also be welcomed given taxpayers have been subjected to fiscal drag over the last 18 months.” Purbeck would also encourage the Chancellor to consider the following measures to support small businesses: Holistic strategy to support business transition away from high-cost energy: The development and publication of a holistic approach to transitioning the U.K. away from high-cost energy. Small businesses are susceptible to market price fluctuations and current subsidies offered are not sustainable and place a burden on the U.K. taxpayer. Initiatives are needed to help businesses plan for energy consumption with a focus on renewable and green technologies. Encourage businesses to undertake sustainable investment: A Government supported tax scheme to encourage businesses to move to green technologies. This could be introduced by way of tax relief for investment in green plant and machinery as part of the U.K.’s commitment to Net Zero. Companies who have achieved Net Zero could pay a lower corporation tax than those that have not. There could also be a ‘Buy British’ condition to obtain additional reliefs which would help to encourage positive multiplier effects. Change tax relief rules for Landlords A reversal of Section 24 giving landlords the ability to set the full amount of mortgage interest against rental income, before tax is calculated. This would help stop private landlords leaving the rental market, creating a dearth in supply, pushing rental prices up for tenants.

Rising costs tops the list of concerns for small businesses • 70% of SMEs report being concerned about rising costs in the next 12 months • 46% said that managing rising costs is an important priority this year • However, SMEs remain optimistic with growth plans in place for 2024 as the picture begins to brighten Seven in ten (70%) SMEs are concerned about rising costs this year with nearly half (42%) stating they are ‘very concerned’ as inflation continues to erode companies bottom lines, new research from Shawbrook reveals. Indeed, when quizzed on what their main focal points will be over the next year, 46% agreed that managing rising costs would be a priority. Only 2% of respondents reported they are not concerned at all about rising costs. Whilst inflation topped the list of concerns, both rising interest rates (67%) and general economic uncertainty (69%) were also stated as pain points by respondents. Further down the list, SMEs also named energy bills (50%) and paying-off debt to balance the books (54%) as key worries. As inflation has continued to come down from the double-digit highs of last year, some of these concerns will likely soften in the next 12-months with SMEs beginning to feel more optimistic about the macroeconomic environment. In fact, senior decision makers are already feeling upbeat, with many considering significant growth plans in the year to come. Over the next 12-months 41% of respondents revealed they are looking to grow and hire new staff, 42% are aiming to upskill existing staff members and a third (32%) plan to bolster their leadership team. 17% are eyeing up an international expansion, and 21% are preparing for a digital transformation in the next 12 months. Interestingly, nearly one in five (17%) of senior decision makers are considering an exit strategy in the next 12 months and 16% are planning to acquire a new company as a road to further growth. With the Bank of England largely expected to begin cutting rates later this year, the price of debt may start to come down and could spark an uptick in larger business activity that was previously shelved due to the uncertain economic climate. Neil Rudge, head of enterprise at Shawbrook, said “The economic challenges that SMEs have faced in the past year have been welldocumented and our research indicates that despite positive indicators, we are still in somewhat of a no man's land economically. Senior decision makers at the helm of the UK’s SMEs are continuing to monitor the impact that rising costs are having on their business and are adjusting their plans accordingly. However, the good news is that the economic picture is currently predicted to brighten this year and the plans that SMEs are making to grow their businesses in the next twelve months are a clear indication of optimism among this community. “Indeed, if inflation continues its downward trend and rates subsequently start to come down, as has been widely predicted, we could see many SMEs push the button on plans that had been put on ice in 2023. For businesses that are putting together their plans for the next year, consulting with a specialist lender who can provide a tailored funding solution will help to ensure those plans are achieved.”

SME News Q1 2024 / 8 With an emphasis on big ideas not big egos, Cygnus Ltd. is an independent creative and digital agency with a difference, working closely with a series of brands to get them seen and heard in a crowded marketplace. Whereas some agencies exist by following, Cygnus thrives by leading, bolstered by a diverse mix of professionals spanning creative problem solvers through to true digital innovators. Creative Brand Marketing Agency of the Year 2023 – Buckinghamshire recipient Cygnus covers all bases in this field, excelling across adverts, branding, websites, and social media, as well as the creation and implementation of successful campaigns and strategies. Definitive change makers in the creative brand marketing space, it is the vision of Cygnus to take brands out of their comfort zones, and given the opportunity, make them comfortable with being uncomfortable and out there. It is necessary for brands to best leverage the platforms that are available to them in order to stay ahead, and to do this, they must possess a distinctive voice and image, challenging convention and remaining steadfast in their ambitions. Key to this has been the firm fostering of a culture that is enriched with curious individuals who are not afraid to ask questions. The answers to such questions result in boundless creativity, taking the team to new frontiers that are eager to be traversed. One of Cyngus’ key areas of distinction is its creative campaigns, which are equally effective whether they cover the launching of a brand, a new product, or an exciting partnership or venture. The three points vital to this are creativity, craft, and strategy, and it is the blending of these that enable the business to remain confident that it can get a client’s brand seen and heard by the people that matter, something achieved through memorable, impactful campaigns that can be carried out on a B2B or B2C basis. Having worked with brands big and small on national and international campaigns alike, size does not matter to this team, who can operate effectively across numerous sectors and cater to the desired audience. Digital strategy is another area where the team excel, driven by a commitment to curate content that works overtime in engaging visitors to a client’s website. After all, websites serve as the ultimate vehicles for a brand’s content, and to this end, Cygnus’ website process starts right at the source, getting to know an audience and bearing the end result of every detail and experience in mind as it goes. Regardless of whether a website is selling products or a brand image, it acts as a window into the ethos of a company, so the team at Cygnus go above and beyond to create something that represents true disruption and differentiation, avoiding templates and crafting only the bespoke. When it comes to branding, the company can either create these from scratch, or revitalise existing brands to yield tremendous, like-new results, enabling for the successful reinvigoration in the face of new challenges or the tackling of new markets. By diving deep into what it is that a brand truly stands for, key components can be altered to make a finished product that is fit for the future, all created with care and beauty. Just like how Cygnus leads and does not follow, it empowers its clients to do the same, providing them with their own canvas on which to carry out sustained greatness. But as a warning, branding strategies undertaken by the team are never dull or boring. In today’s landscape, digital marketing populates an online world that never sleeps, and is so malleable as to change in the blink of an eye. Thus, it is integral for online brand conversations to be carried out that are organic and social, with this even covering PPC (pay-per-click) marketing. Getting to know the audience of a client is the first step to implementing a disruptive and creative personalised business fit, such as what they visit online and the sort of content that they engage with, allowing for content to be created that can promote the gaining of fans, the increasing of likely leads, and in the long-term, more sales. SEO is also carried out, to a more sophisticated level than shameless word cramming. The final distinct area of operations covered by Cygnus is the realm of animation, video, and television. In a similar vein, content created here deliberately disrupts the norm, and whether this be a cinematic television advert or a high calibre video or animation project, content created by the team is sure to engage, entertain, and activate the collective brain of a client’s target audience. Undertakings in this area can be one-off projects or part of a wider ongoing campaign, with stories crafted that create engagement and demonstrably build effective brands over time. As years of experience and hundreds of completed projects have shown, style with substance is ultimately the best way to achieve this. Partnerships the team have forged over the past several years comprise some of the biggest names in their respective industries that just so happen to be a few of the world’s most recognisable brands. With BP, Papa Johns, Volkswagen, Café Nero, and Popeyes serve as just some of the organisations that make up Cygnus’ expansive portfolio. Reviews from new and old clients alike have been almost universally positive, with one review complementing the impressive nature of the company’s overall plans, and another citing the agency as “great” and comprised of “creative and digital experts.” Cygnus’ internal culture positions it as a fantastic place to work for those operating within the industry, with the company hosting events such as the Cygnus Bake Off and running summer team building sessions. This is in addition to the agency’s fantastic partnership with its local charity MK Snap, which helps to transform the lives of adults with Leading Creative Agency Unapologetically Pushing Boundaries

learning difficulties across Milton Keynes and surrounding areas. All year round the team raise funds for this remarkable charity, using their expertise in the field of creative brand marketing to celebrate this charity, evolving its brand, social media, and website. 2023 saw the team conquer the firewalk challenge in aid of this fantastic cause, with each scorching step helping to make a difference. Daring to be different and impossible to ignore, Milton Keynes’ Cygnus Ltd. has a successful track record of creating some truly excellent campaigns, developments, and strategies for companies who engage with millions of clients across the world. With these solutions in toe, the company’s distinction is apparent, fortified through an excellent sense of humour, a unique approach to driving partners out of their comfort zones, and creating branded marketing solutions that are sure to catch and hold the attention of an intended audience. Contact: Toby Bryan Company: Cygnus Ltd. Web Address: https://www.cygnus.co.uk/

SME News Q1 2024 / 10 Best PrivatelyRented Property Asset Management Company – London Westbury Property (Westbury) serves as the gold standard for property management services, providing both corporate businesses and individual investors with results that are outstanding. This is bolstered by a proven track record operating within the residential property investment marketplace and a host of client testimonials praising the professionalism and high calibre of the Westbury service. With Managing Director Robert Maxwell MARLA, Director Paul Rayden, Associate Director of Property Management Alan Parish MARLA, and the rest of the friendly, knowledgeable team, Westbury Property is trusted by landlords across London to look after their best interests, helping them to save money on fees and ultimately improving their investment returns by intelligently managing their property portfolio. With decades of experience, Westbury Property is acutely aware of the importance of close management when it comes to property, something that is essential when maximizing any investment. When a client’s property is up for renewal, the team will get a fast decision from the tenant or have it on the market and, usually, let by the time the tenant has left. Estate agents compete against one another to help find the best tenants paying the best rent for a property. After-care promises are also delivered on, such as the regular reconciliation of fees, frequent checks on the property, and the challenging of any high or unnecessary charges. As an example of the stellar work done by the firm, one of its portfolios in Paddington, Central London had a 30% vacancy rate upon instruction. Today, that portfolio is maintained effectively, is fully compliant, and has a virtually 100% occupancy rate and with a much higher return on investment. This is one of Westbury’s specialities. Other services offered by the firm include PRS management and a dedicated capital markets team, but it is Westbury Property’s property management and asset performance solutions in particular that have won it this award, with these areas being afforded the upmost accountability, structure, proven, and highly efficient solutions, with a commitment to the right solution being found to any challenge that may arise. All directors are involved in the ‘close’ management of each asset, too, further enhancing the firm’s outstanding offering. Westbury Property’s effective property management systems are designed to ensure that every tenancy under its watchful eye runs like clockwork from beginning to end, achieved through the tremendous upkeep of every property in its portfolio and a pledge to rent them at market rates, yielding the best possible returns for clients. It is also the aim of the team to make the changeover as seamless as it can be, with every attempt being made to avoid a void in a client’s income. As part of its rigorous vetting process, detailed checks and referencing is carried out to assure that a prospective tenant is the right fit for the property and can pay on time every month. The team know that even the most reliable tenants can encounter issues on occasion, and to this end, the company proudly acts as the first port-ofcall for a tenant for any problem, with an emergency reporting service that operates 24/7 serving to provide peace of mind for landlords and renters alike. Regular contact is kept with renters throughout and a comprehensive management system is in place to keep track of all rent, ground rent, and service charges, and works orders, regardless of a client’s portfolio size. Operating across London with major portfolios in Paddington, London Bridge, Twickenham, West Kensington, and Crouch End, to name a few, this expert service takes the hard work off the client’s shoulders. Westbury offer a plethora of asset management solutions ranging from re-renting properties at a higher level to converting or refurbishing properties, achieving planning permission for the purposes of extension, creating additional units within an existing building, or even seeking out unused land or roof spaces to expand an asset. An example of work in this department includes the work carried out on 21 properties in Crouch End, which were under-let and in poor condition. Westbury adopted a particular strategy involving the reconfiguration of some units, and after two years, annual rental income had increased by 33.7%. Through these examples, it is easy to see how Westbury Property lives up to its claim of garnering great results for its clients, doing things better than both high street agents and self-managers. Thanks to an array of tools, experience, and untapped access to the market, the team can relieve landlords of the burden of managing their own properties, and in doing so, have proved themselves as more than deserving of this award. Company: Westbury Investment Management Ltd Contact: Rob Maxwell Website: westburyproperty.net

Spanning the chemicals and pharmaceuticals sphere, as well as the financial and legal realm, manufacturing industry, and power industry, Envo EHS Consulting Ltd provides environmental consultancy services to businesses in the UK. Here we take a closer look at Envo EHS Consulting Ltd as it wins Environmental Consultancy of the Year 2024, North West England, from us at SME News. Leading Environmental Consulting in the Northwest Based in Cheshire, not far from Liverpool and Manchester, Envo EHS Consulting Ltd (ENVO) is a prominent, independent environmental consultancy firm with a passion for supporting its clients with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), Environmental and Health and Safety Due-Diligence (EHSDD), and environmental compliance auditing services. Envo was established in 2019 by Founder and Director, Nick Biagetti – who has over 30 years of experience in the vital sector. Demonstrating his wealth of experience in the world of environmental consultancy, Nick has received many glowing testimonials from peers and clients. From a partner in a leading sustainability consultancy commented: “Nick is a confident and very competent project manager who is able to address complex projects and deliver client quality deliverables on time and on budget. He has many years of experience and is able to quickly assess risks and identify material issues and works to provide wellstructured analysis and solutions. A pleasure to work with!” A managing director of a leading Environmental Information Service company said: “Nick is one of the most experienced environmental consultants I know of in the field of environmental due diligence and environmental auditing. Our paths crossed many years ago at RPS and Barclays Bank Environmental Risk Management Unit and I always look forward to meeting up with Nick, whether professionally or socially. He is highly regarded in the consultancy world and always puts clients first.” Guiding ENVO to a very bright future indeed, Nick ensures that each and every client is taken care of in a highly respectful and competent manner. Nick, and his team, guarantee that their clients’ preferred outcomes can be delivered efficiently and sustainably to financial investors, trade clients, and environmental consultancies in the UK – and the rest of the world. Working tirelessly to provide unrivalled EHSDD and environmental compliance auditing to clients within varying industries and sectors, from pharmaceuticals to legal, manufacturing to power, food and beverage to chemicals, and so much more, ENVO’s focus is on client service excellence, versatility, and professionalism. Reducing risks, liabilities, and costs, while supporting clients throughout a diverse range of concerns, ENVO doesn’t simply manage expectations – it exceeds them. Envo increases all investor returns in a sustainable and responsible manner, following all regulatory compliance processes, in order to add substantial value to its clients’ business transactions. With unwavering commitment to his industry, Nick ensures that ENVO acts as a buttress for all. He helps to deliver a plethora of services which are received in a timely and consistent manner, resulting in happy clients and brilliant business growth. Building and reinforcing its EHS compliance auditing and ESG advisory services to its roster has been central to the overall evolution of ENVO’s offerings, and Nick tells us that this will continue into the next five years to come. After being nominated in the Halton Business Awards for the ‘Business Start up of the Year’ and ‘Green Business of the Year’ in both 2022 and 2023, Envo has now been bestowed with the prestigious title of Environmental Consultancy of the Year 2024 – North West England. 2024 is set to be an exciting time of further achievements for ENVO. This particular environmental consultant in the Northwest knows no bounds, and we look forward to seeing what the firm does next – especially as he holds the torch for Envo EHS Consulting Ltd and all of its clients. Contact Details Contact: Nick Biagetti Company: Envo EHS Consulting Ltd Web Address: https://envoehs.co.uk/

SME News Q1 2024 / 12 Best Nationwide Telecommunications Company 2023 Cleartech Communications is a business telecommunications provider dedicated to streamlining companies’ operations. With its market-leading hardware and reliable business phone systems, the provider aims to develop bespoke business communications solutions tailored to clients’ individual requirements. Through its personalised approach, Cleartech seeks to truly understand customers and offer exceptional customer service with the support of an expert UK-based team. Cleartech Communications has become a trusted provider with countless valued customers and for its dependable services, we have bestowed the company with a Northern Enterprise Award. As one of the UK’s fastest growing business telecommunications providers, Cleartech offers several cost-effective services including business VoIP telephone systems, fixed and leased lines, broadband, mobile phones, and maintenance solutions. With contract buyouts and reduced monthly bills, the provider works hard to deliver competitive pricing with a range of options to meet clients’ unique business requirements. Cleartech collaborates with Mitel to provide businesses of all sizes with innovative hardware and equipment that they can rely on. At Cleartech, its representatives are committed to ensuring clients receive a solution that fits their individual telephone systems and network support needs. By fostering strong client relationships, the team can deeply understand their needs and develop the perfect telecommunications solution for them. Additionally, Cleartech offers current clients the opportunity to reevaluate and adapt their packages to support their evolving needs. Cleartech prides itself on modifying its services alongside clients’ growing businesses and providing consistent support whether employees are in the office or working from home. Its dedicated client base continues to grow as customers seek flexible contract options and bespoke telecommunication solutions. In its dynamic industry, Cleartech understands the importance of improving its technical offerings to help businesses improve efficiency. With analogue and ISDN services ending by 2025, it is vital that clients have alternative services in place to survive in the ever-changing technological landscape. Cleartech’s experienced staff is dedicated to helping businesses stay up to date with the latest technology and systems for all their telecommunications needs. The team can integrate these innovative systems into clients’ current databases with minimal disruptions to services. The Mitel systems are equipped with state-of-the-art virus software to ensure businesses are protected against cyberattacks, hacks, and phreaking. Equipment is easy to use and Cleartech provides training for all staff to support them in the transition. During the pandemic, more businesses were forced to adopt remote working which led to an increased demand for reliable telecommunications services. Thereafter, it has become essential for businesses to have the equipment and hardware to support employees in their various business activities. Cleartech continues to evolve its offerings with bundled services, including internet, mobiles, and telephone services, to provide comprehensive solutions and deliver seamless customer experiences. Fibre optic expansion has allowed Cleartech to meet the growing demand for bandwidth-intensive applications and services and supply clients with the fastest broadband available. Richard Carr, one valued customer, says, “From the initial visit to signing up, it was an informative process and the team explained everything I needed to know. Following signing up for the new system, Cleartech were very quick and efficient in organising the installation date to suit my requirements. The staff who came on the day were brilliant. I can't thank them enough for all their help, knowledge, and the seamless transfer to their service. They installed everything and then set about training us on how to use the phones. They spent time with each person and didn't stop until everyone was happy. I would highly recommend Cleartech if you need great service for broadband or telecoms as this company really knows its stuff.” As Cleartech continues to expand its offerings, it aims to reach more businesses and help them increase their efficiency and profitability. Cleartech has partnered with world-class technology and communications providers to offer customers the best solutions on the UK market. With its clientcentric approach, the team is committed to listening to clients’ unique needs and developing a tailored telecommunications solution for them. Looking to the future, the provider will continue to support businesses as they grow and evolve its innovative services to remain competitive in the rapidly growing telecommunications industry. For its comprehensive solutions, Cleartech Communications has received this year’s award for Best Nationwide Telecommunications Company. Company: Cleartech Communications Ltd Web Address: www.cleartechcomms.co.uk

“Our commitment to preserving heritage buildings is a top priority. We understand that these buildings hold immense historical and cultural significance. Therefore, we ensure that our staff are well-trained and equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide the best care possible.” Boasting 40 years of experience in their field, The Yorkshire Lime Company’s team of professional craftsmen are true experts when it comes to their work, meaning they can offer an inclusive and diverse range of services to meet the needs of their domestic and commercial clients. In each repair they complete, the team implement the S.P.A.B approach: only carrying out repairs where necessary and using like-for-like materials combined with the relevant skillset to ensure the highest standard. Focused on delivering a genuine and historically accurate result in every project they take on, the team exclusively use authentic materials such as limestone, sandstone, and granite, with their specialty lying in the use of hot lime mortars, which are environmentally friendly and offer superior strength and durability. This comes hand in hand with their wealth of experience in traditional masonry repairs, their passion for their work, and dedication to rigorous learning and training. This means the team gets to work on some of the region’s most prestigious buildings, including castles, churches, and other historic landmarks. Consequently, they are continuously commended for their exceptional workmanship and ability to deliver high-quality results that exceed expectations every time. “What sets us apart from other service providers is our unwavering dedication to doing things the right way. We believe in using the best quality materials and adhering to the highest industry standards, which is reflected in the quality of our work. Furthermore, we are committed to passing on our knowledge and expertise to the next generation by providing comprehensive training programmes to our employees.” The ultimate goal for The Yorkshire Lime Company isn’t only to restore and protect the heritage of Yorkshire’s historic buildings by maintaining the physical structures, but also to keep the spirit of traditional building skills alive for future generations. That’s why the company is committed to providing training and apprenticeship programmes that ensure these skills are passed on to the next generation of masonry conservators. This is a prominent focus for the company as the heritage industry faces a significant challenge in the form of skills training. Specifically, the lack of comprehensive training programmes offered by colleges impedes the ability to attract and nurture apprentices and provide them with the recognised qualifications they need. This presents significant difficulties in terms of maintaining the quality of work and expertise in the industry as a whole. Without access to structured training and accreditation, it is harder for individuals to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute effectively to the field. The result is a shortage of skilled professionals and a potential decline in the quality of work produced. As such, the staff at The Yorkshire Lime Company are playing a crucial role not only in the success of the company, but the success of the industry too. The company values individuals who are passionate about their work and dedicated to learning. It believes that every team member has the potential to make an impact on the business and the industry. It believes in fostering a culture of learning and growth, providing its staff with ample opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills through training programmes, seminars, and workshops. It encourages its employees to take ownership of their work and contribute to the company’s overall success. Now, it is looking to be a very bright future for The Yorkshire Lime Company, and it is a future focused on growth. With a booked-up calendar for 2024, the company recognises the upcoming need to expand the workforce in order to take on more work. It is therefore currently investing in staff development to ensure it has the necessary resources to meet the demands of customers and consistently deliver high-quality work. The goal is to increase its capacity whilst maintaining its commitment to excellence – and we have no doubt that it will be able to achieve just that. Company: The Yorkshire Lime Company Ltd Contact: Lee Gillard Email: info@theyorkshirelime.company Website: www.theyorkshirelime.company Believing that each building tells a story of the past, the team of masonry conservators at The Yorkshire Lime Company Ltd are highly skilled, experienced, and devoted to maintaining the authenticity and unique heritage of Yorkshire’s historic and listed buildings. In doing so, they prioritise the preservation of traditional building techniques that have been used for centuries, whilst taking great pride in the meticulous craftmanship of their work. So, it seems very fitting that The Yorkshire Lime Company has clinched the award of Best Building Conservation Company 2024 – Yorkshire. We learn more about the team’s extraordinary work in breathing new life back into these extraordinary structures. Heritage Building Specialists in Yorkshire

SME News Q1 2024 / 14 Hilary’s work with integrative counselling is a holistic approach to therapy that combines several different therapeutic elements and helps clients explore their emotional, mental, physical, social, and spiritual wellbeing. By focusing on the whole person, integrative counselling aims to create balance between the body, mind, and spirit. Additionally, Hilary offers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), and Humanistic Therapy. Her clients come from all walks of life and approach counselling for a variety of reasons. With her services, Hilary aims to help clients face unresolved issues and find meaning and purpose in their lives. As a counsellor, Hilary adheres to the BACP ethical framework which outlines counsellors’ commitment to clients and the ethics they abide by such as values, principles, and personal moral qualities. H. Phillips Counselling remains steadfast in its core values of autonomy, confidentiality, empathy, honesty, and justice. By maintaining these values, Hilary helps clients question their assumptions and reconnect with their authentic selves. Hilary shares, “Every counsellor is unique in their own way, offering different ways of working with the clients they have. I try to be open and encouraging. There is nothing too big or too small to talk about. I try to get the client to see themselves in a more positive light, knowing they may have lost sight of how important they are. Everyone has competitors, and a little competition is healthy. With counselling, it is the client who chooses the therapist with whom they resonate with. By working together, we can build a very fulfilling therapeutic relationship.” In the ever-changing counselling industry, crucial conversations about mental health remain ongoing. Through these conversations, society reduces the stigma around mental health and normalises talking openly about wellbeing. More people are now seeking talking therapies and men are more likely than ever to try counselling. At a time when NHS waiting lists are at an all-time high, clients are reaching out to private counsellors for support. Since the pandemic, counsellors have had to adapt their services with virtual therapy solutions. Although H. Phillips Counselling is based in Northern Ireland, Hilary’s services are accessible to clients across the UK online or by telephone. As a business owner, Hilary constantly seeks new ways to enhance her practice offerings. All counsellors are required to undertake a minimum of 30 CPD (Continued Personal Development) hours per year, and Hilary embraces this opportunity to enhance her skillset. She is proud of her profession and is enthusiastic about what the future holds for her esteemed practice. H. Phillips Counselling provides dedicated support to a diverse range of clients and offers tailored therapeutic approaches to suit clients’ unique requirements. Hilary's integrated counselling aims to promote healing at all levels, help clients gain greater self-awareness, and empower them to make better choices. With her years of experience, Hilary helps her clients learn new coping mechanisms to navigate through difficult times and move forward with their lives. Hilary Phillips’s empowering counselling has led her to receive our award for Most Empowering Integrative Psychotherapist & Holistic Counsellor. Contact: Hilary Phillips Company: H Phillips Counselling Web Address: https://www.hphillipscounselling.co.uk Most Empowering Integrative Psychotherapist & Holistic Counsellor (Northern Ireland): Hilary Phillips Located in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, H. Phillips Counselling provides essential services that help promote good mental health and wellbeing. Established by psychotherapist Hilary Phillips, her confidential counselling practice provides clients with invaluable tools to support their wellness journey. Hilary offers her services as an integrative psychotherapist and holistic counsellor, using a blended approach of counselling from different elements of specific therapies. With her bespoke counselling, Hilary supports clients as they work together to achieve their wellbeing goals. For her empathetic services, we have bestowed Hilary Phillips with a Northern Irish Enterprise Award. As the owner and sole member of her counselling practice, Hilary Phillips offers specialised therapeutic solutions that can be tailored to clients’ individual needs. Hilary is a fully qualified psychotherapist (Dip. Couns MBACP) and a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). She is also an accredited registrant of the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (MNCPS Accred) and a registered member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists (MFNT). H Phillips Counselling

The insurance broker has often been considered a pillar of the community, although this has been lost with the decline in independent brokers and the rise in call centre-based operations. Recognising that something needed to change, Henry Clarke and Scott Williams founded Clarke Williams Insurance Brokers (Clarke Williams) back in 2017. Based in Tonbridge, Kent, Clarke Williams is a specialist one-stop shop for all commercial and private insurance needs, providing cost-effective risk management solutions that put the clients’ interests first and aim to leave a lasting impression on clients across the UK and Europe. Now named Best Commercial Insurance Broker 2024 - South East England, we take a closer look at this extraordinary firm. Bringing Back Traditional Insurance With 50 years’ experience in the commercial insurance market, Clarke Williams Insurance Brokers offers an array of services that include, but aren’t limited to, professional indemnity, public and products liability, employers’ liability, business and office contents, and commercial vehicles and fleet. It is a company on a mission to become one of the leading independent brokers that champions topnotch service and puts clients’ needs first – and this is highlighted by it being one of the only 12 brokers signed up to the Government Pledge to assist leaseholders in blocks affected by cladding. “Our knowledge base and ability to handle all aspects of insurance for a client sets us apart in the industry,” states Henry. “We are able to provide expert advice on multiple areas most brokers would shy away from, such as performance bonds, warranties, and professional indemnity. We pride ourselves on the service we deliver, as well, with us going out to visit our clients – often with the client never having received a visit from their previous broker. Client visits are a must for certain industries and providing this service should be at the forefront of any decent insurance broker.” Indeed going above and beyond in its offering, Clarke Williams is also constantly reviewing emerging markets and growth areas in the economy to see where it can create new insurance solutions, with the industry often being quite slow to adapt and react to new developments. This has seen Clarke Williams launch a bespoke scheme, EscapeSure, for the escape room industry, where it observed a struggle to obtain the right cover at a sensible price. EscapeSure delivers a competitive insurance solution which has grown rapidly over the last 12 months, with the company aiming for this to be the go-to solution for the escape room industry. In addition, it has identified a gap in the market for those operating 3D printing businesses from home, having managed to find a solution that allows them to operate with the correct cover in place. It quickly becomes clear how Clarke Williams’ service offering is nothing short of outstanding – and this is reflected by its five-star rating on Google. We take a look at just a few of the glowing reviews shared by clients. First, Chris L.’s delight shines through: “Superb service for my complex business insurance needs. Louize was outstanding and understanding. Even when I was frustrated, she remained professional and sourced me a very competitive quote. Ashley helped clarify my needs to make sure I was properly insured, too. The combined team has led to a quick resolution to my insurance requirements, so thanks very much and, of course, recommended.” Equally pleased, repeat customer, Rachel W. says, “Second time of using Clarke Williams in the last few months, and once again impressed by the fantastic service. Clarke Williams took the stress out of arranging home insurance. I was very happy with the options presented to me and felt confident that the quote provided was exactly what I needed and the right price. Highly recommended.” Luke N. is also overjoyed with the service he received: “Very good experience in working with Clarke Williams in insuring our business. Graham responds promptly and is rooting for you in getting everything sorted efficiently and effectively.” Ultimately, Clarke Williams wants its clients to feel secure in the knowledge that they will be assigned their own personal contact who understands their business needs and the ins and outs of their industry. It guarantees its clients high-quality service, and next-level experience and expertise, as well as ways to save money. In a world where buying quick and cheap insurance may seem great at time, it comes at the expense of good cover and service – Clarke Williams is here to ensure its clients only get the very best, its first priority always being their business, their home, and their family. Contact Details Company: Clarke Williams Ltd Contact: Henry Clarke Email: hclarke@clarkewilliams.co.uk Website: www.clarkewilliamsinsurancebrokers.co.uk

SME News Q1 2024 / 16 Refreshing and Consistent Construction Contractors Located in Leicestershire but covering the whole nation, Most Trusted Industrial & Commercial Construction Contractor 2024 - East Midlands’ Wilten Construction Ltd is driven by a mission to provide an honest and hasslefree contracting experience, bolstered by a stellar reputation for outstanding service and craftsmanship. Operating with distinction across both the industrial and commercial sectors and delivering big project experience with personal appeal, the company’s defining qualities result in securing repeat business time and again. We speak with Millie Phillips, who provides further insight into the company’s aims and operations. Specialising in design and build projects, Wilten Construction is one of the Midlands’ premier contractors, working closely with its supply partners to ensure that it is aptly prepared to undertake projects from new build through to extensions and refurbishments. For this team, professionalism, quality, safety, delivery, and value are inherent, and the approach afforded to all projects is one that is collaborative and non-adversarial, delivered by some of the best talent that the industry has to offer. With this in toe, the company is able to enact its vision for the future, which is, “to provide an outstanding service with a first-class supply chain to ensure market leading quality without compromise.” This is attained by the team leveraging their wealth of experience in the sector and the championing of methods that are streamlined and effective. Securing repeat business and satisfaction from every client heads up the business’ priority list, and its values revolve around yielding success for the team, business, and clients in equal measure. Paving the way for the construction experience of not only the present, but the future as well, innovation serves as one defining element of this overarching ethos, and as Millie explains, “we consistently challenge, improve, and grow in all areas of our business to offer a refreshing main contracting experience for our stakeholders. We do not follow the leads of others and aim to create the industry benchmark, setting the standard for our customer suppliers and each other.” Another notable element that succeeds in distinguishing the company is Wilten’s Care Programme, an initiative that has been introduced to prioritise people over profit and build a prosperous and happy internal community. Millie tells us, “this includes investing in our teams and providing career development plans and training, as well as support days and teambuilding.” As examples of this in motion, three employees are currently in further education to hone their skills, studying at institutions across the East Midlands, including Nottingham Trent University. Of the 22 projects that are ongoing or have been completed, Wilten Construction has crafted approximately 800,000 sq. ft. of industrial space all over the UK, from distribution centres in Northampton to indoor skydiving facilities at the 02 Arena in London. Across the board, client satisfaction is apparent, with one recent testimonial stating, “they [Wilten] have a can-do attitude, work to a quick programme and are very client-friendly. I have no issues recommending Wilten for any up-and-coming projects.” Not only are clients happy, but these projects have also received acclaim from the industry and auditors. The company’s Pioneer Park in Leicester received a perfect 45/45 score from the Considerate Constructors Scheme, which rates the project on the criteria of respecting the community, caring for the environment, and valuing the workforce. Moreover, the company reached the final of the ProCon Leicestershire Property & Construction Awards in 2023 for the second year in a row, highlighting the demonstrable actions it has taken towards being the best contractor in the region. Pioneer Park also represents the company adhering to the trends and developments in the industry, since the development is “a pathway to net carbon zero in operation and includes environmentally friendly features including low energy LED lighting, roof mounted PV panels, [and] air source heat pumps.” Similar projects and the general streamlining of services are set to dominate the next 12 months for the company, and within the year, the business is seeking to achieve ISO 14001, a minimum 5% carbon reduction that will then continue year upon year, and finally, the expansion of its aftercare services. In summary, this Midlands-based main contractor is one of the most trusted in the UK, offering expert industrial and commercial services that are sure to leave clients impressed. Its central location means that Wilten Construction Ltd is ideally situated to serve those across the UK, and the team are wholly confident in their ability to exceed expectations on any project that they undertake. Company: Wilten Construction Ltd Web Address: www.wiltenconstruction.co.uk