Business Boost celebrates Newcastle-under-Lyme’s lockdown business heroes

A website maker, a Greek bakery and a haberdashery were among the winners as  the Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Boost awards celebrated the borough’s lockdown heroes.

Castle Artisan Market scooped the Judges’ Special Award. The brainchild of  Mike Davies, from May Bank, the town centre market has proved incredibly popular.

Around 65 stalls are set to pack the traditional Stones market area on December 19, for the final market before Christmas. The judges heard that the artisan market was attracting people into the town from a wide area, therefore, bringing business into the borough.

A special awards ceremony was held and broadcast live on YouTube as Business Boost paid tribute to companies who had thrived and survived during the Covid-19 pandemic, showing amazing resilience.

The Newcastle Borough Award was won by CyberKiln. Founded by Chris Daniels in 2019, the web design company has tripled its client base and grown its staff. As companies enhanced their online presence during recent lockdowns, CyberKiln has been busy supporting companies across North Staffordshire and beyond.

Hollies Haberdashery picked up the Newcastle Town Centre Award.  Business owner Sarah Griffin felt the pandemic may spell the end for her business, but she came through with flying colours and helped the sewing and crafting community to get through the pandemic. Hollies Haberdashery  mobilised their loyal followers to sew 1,000s of scrubs for the NHS, moving the business to mail order and finding new customers.

Anasma Greek Bakery won the Newcastle-under-Lyme BID award.   Owner Marianna Anastasiou  successfully opened a town centre bakery during the pandemic and attracts customers from a wide area including Manchester, Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond, due to her authentic Greek cuisine.

The awards were sponsored by Newcastle BID, Best of British Beer and Rydale Roofing.

Business Boost is run by volunteers from the local business community, supported by BID and the borough council.

Chair of Judges, Sarah Da Silva said: “The entries were truly inspiring and judging wasn’t easy. There was an incredible variety of entries and all had a pandemic story to tell. Covid-19 has led us to defer our normal Business Boost Awards but we wanted to recognise the companies who had gone the extra mile to strive and survive whilst support their staff and the wider Newcastle community during these very challenging times.”