Branded Items Group wins North West Family Business of Year Award
Branded Items Group win BIG with North West Family Business of the year accolade.
A St Helens business that has been trading for just over two years has won North-West Family Business of the Year at the prestigious E3 Business Awards held at the University of Bolton Stadium.
The Branded Items Group (aka BIG) based in Alexandra Business Park, St Helens impressed a panel of independent business leaders, with their growth, personal approach to customers and their overall business story.
The family-owned business, run by husband and wife Steve & Louise Fairhurst, now provides over 15,000 promotional items and branded merchandise products, from USB sticks and pens to branded clothing. After launching in January 2017 initially selling just one range of products, BIG has grown and expanded to now supply over 500 customers across the UK, as well as companies in Sweden, Germany and Ireland.
Speaking on behalf of 1 Events Media, organiser of the awards, Managing Director Mubarak Chati said: "We've seen fast-growing businesses, dedicated staff and employers and fantastic examples of innovation at this year’s awards. To win an award in the face of such impressive competition is an achievement of which Branded Items Group should feel justly proud, and I congratulate them."
Louise Fairhurst said "We took a big risk when we set the business up and we made several sacrifices. I left a well-paid secure job, with no guarantee of a salary to work in the business, but our goal is to build a family business that could create a legacy for our children. We were shocked but delighted to win the award as it’s recognition of the hard work we have put in and it’s nice to win it as a St Helens company.”
The business itself, was over two years in the making and only launched after considerable preparation and research into the promotional items industry.
“We ran an online test company for two years, selling a narrow band of promotional items before launching the Branded Items Group. In the process, we constantly mystery-shopped some of the largest companies in our sector and learned a lot about how they operated. We felt there was a market for a company that delivered old-fashioned customer service and advice, in an industry that, at times, can be too transactional and e-commerce driven.”
Despite working UK wide and with customers like NHS England, Cancer Research and Ministry of Defence, the business is focused on working with more local companies. Steve continued
“We are gradually raising our profile locally and are really grateful to be working with some amazing local organisations like St Helens Chamber, The Steve Prescot Foundation, Willowbrook Hospice and St Helens RLFC. As a family-owned company, service is the major focus with our business, and we believe this will continue to underpin our growth.”
- Dan Sheard
- Tags: NEWS
Branded Items Group targets online growth with NPIF investment - NEWS
The Branded Items Group in St Helens is set to build on it’s early stage growth by investing a £25,000 loan from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund through GC Business Finance.
The Branded Items Group (BIG) offers over 10,000 different promotional items and branded merchandise, from USB sticks and magnets to branded clothing. After launching in January 2017 initially selling just one range of products, BIG has grown and expanded to now supply over 500 clients including NHS England, the MOD, Cancer Research and St Helens Chamber of Commerce.
After being introduced to GC Business Finance by Dropjaw Ventures, BIG owner Steve Fairhurst will now use the £25k investment to catalyse further growth by investing in a new online platform, CRM, IT and marketing with an initial plan to create two full time roles at the company’s St Helens site.
Steve Fairhurst said: “We ran a test company for two years before launching The Branded Items Group and in the process mystery shopped and learned a lot about some of the largest companies in the sector. We felt there was a market for a company that delivered old fashioned customer service in an industry, that at times, can be too transactional and ecommerce driven. We are set up to compete with anyone on pricing, but as a family owned company, service is the major focus of our business and this has allowed us to grow our client base to include some of the largest organisations in the country. The funding from NPIF means that we are able to invest online and help us plan for further recruitment, build on our reputation and develop our client list even further.”
Mark Gibbons of GC Business Finance said: “In the last two years Steve has developed his business from a start up supplying branded magnets to a really exciting and ambitious company with an extensive portfolio of products. We’re delighted that the NPIF investment will now fund the next stages of the BIG journey and look forward to working with their growing team for many years to come.”
Roy Shelton, Managing Partner of DropJaw Ventures, said: “Working with Steve and the team at Branded Items Group team is at the core of the access to finance and advisory services we deliver to companies looking to scale up. We’re thrilled to have worked with the GC Business Finance team on the BIG and several other transactions.”
Sue Barnard, Senior Manager at British Business Bank, said: “We’re pleased that NPIF has supported BIG in its plan to invest in a new online platform and marketing activities, alongside funding its headcount growth. The company already has an impressive customerbase of over 500 clients including NHS England and Cancer Research, and we look forward to seeing it scale up further, with the use of NPIF investment.”
NPIF - BFS & MSIF Microfinance is a product fund managed by GC Business Finance GC Business Finance in partnership with MSIF and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF). The NPIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
Businesses seeking further information about the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund can contact http://www.businessfinance.growthco.uk or call 0161 245 4977.
- Branded Magnets Admin
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NEWS - Steve Prescot Foundation forms partnership with Branded Items Group
The Steve Prescott Foundation are delighted to announce their partnership with Branded Items Group.
Linzi Prescott Trustee of the Steve Prescott Foundation said "We have teamed up with BIG as we feel passionate about supporting the local businesses within our town. It has been a pleasure to work with Louise and Steve over the past few weeks with their professional, yet friendly approach to business. After years of dealing with companies in the marketing industry who do not offer that personal touch, it is really refreshing to know that we have a great company on our door step that will support the work of the SPF!"
BIG will be kindly providing a branded ‘Pride of St. Helens’ pen for each guest at the Community Awards this coming Friday, 16th November.
Louise Fairhurst from Branded Items Group said "The Steve Prescott Foundation work tirelessly to improve the health and well being of our community in St Helens, we are elated to help, support and hopefully encourage more people to go that extra step or mile to help those less fortunate than ourselves. We look forward to our partnership and making a difference."
The SPF will continue to work closely with Branded Items Group for the supplies of merchandise for all future events including the GPW Recruitment St Helens 10k Run that takes place on the 10th March 2019.
- Branded Magnets Admin
- Tags: NEWS