Mint Homes of Kendal is hoping to celebrate its 10th anniversary by winning ‘Small Business of the Year’ in the Chamber Business Awards 2018.
The awards, run by the British Chambers of Commerce, celebrate the best in British business and highlight the positive contribution that businesses make to the UK economy and society as a whole.
Mint Homes is one of the businesses flying the flag for Cumbria this year.
Helen Westwell, who founded the online lettings agency in 2008, said: “I’d been a private landlord and used letting agencies – and thought I could offer an improved service.”
Today the firm has seven staff and manages hundreds of properties across South Lakeland and North Lancashire on behalf of private landlords.
“We’re a specialist letting agency rather than a bolt-on to an estate agency,” Helen explained.
“Being online-only helps us keep down costs to landlords.
“People looking for somewhere to rent search online. The days of walking into an office to look at photographs are over.”
She added: “Everyone who works for us has either been a tenant or a landlord, so they have experience from one side or the other.
“We know all our landlords and tenants really well and we treat every property on our books as if it were our own.
“We have a caring approach to landlords and tenants alike.
“A lot of our tenants have been with us since the start. They may have moved properties but they stay with us.
“We also have landlords who have been with us since day one.”
So why has Mint Homes entered the Chamber Business Awards?
“This is the first year we have entered,” Helen said.
“The process of writing an award submission itself can be extremely valuable because it forces you to really look at the business and achievements.
“Winning awards or being shortlisted is a great way to market your business, stand out from your competitors and motivate staff.
“This year we are celebrating 10 years in business. Winning the Chamber Awards would be a great way to mark our birthday.”
Mint Homes is hoping to emulate the success of TSP Engineering, in Workington, which has an excellent track record in the competition, having been a regional winner two years’ running.
It won the ‘Commitment to People Development’ section in 2016 and then the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ category last year.
Businesses can enter in nine categories:
- Small Business of the Year
- Export Business of the Year
- Best Use of Technology Award
- Employer of the Year
- Workplace Wellbeing Award
- Customer Commitment Award
- Digital Communications Campaign of the Year
- Education and Business Partnership
- High Growth Business of the Year
Entry is free and open only to members of accredited Chambers of Commerce, including Cumbria Chamber of Commerce.
Entries close at midnight on June 29.
Rob Johnston, Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “We know that there’s a wealth of entrepreneurial talent in the county but it’s not in Cumbrians’ nature to shout about their achievements.
“That’s a missed opportunity. We need to share the county’s success stories to show what a great place it is to business.
“The Chamber Awards can bring positive, free, publicity on a regional and ultimately a national stage. I’d urge businesses to enter. You have absolutely nothing to lose.”
The regional winners will be announced on September 24 and the national winners at a Gala Dinner at Tobacco Dock, London, on November 29.
The winning ‘Business of the Year’ will open the market at the London Stock Exchange as a prize, a rare opportunity for a private business.
They will also receive a one-day communication skills and impact course for their team delivered by RADA.
Sponsors include Bibby Financial Services, DHL, Legal and General, The London Stock Exchange, Qdos Consulting and RADA in Business.