ICON Awards 2022

The ICON Awards are Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce's annual business awards, celebrating local business achievements and talent in Inverclyde.

The new awards were launched in January 2020 and revealed our new ICON Award branding, new categories and our aims for the awards which are replacing the popular Bee's Knees Awards.

After careful consideration and discussions with its partners, the Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has taken the decision to postpone the planned ICON Awards in 2020 and 2021 with the aim to return in June 2022.

This is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty around the restrictions this may bring for gatherings over the coming months.

Further information on the awards will be shared prior to the launch and ICC will continue to provide regular updates.

How To Enter

Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce has taken the decision to postpone the planned ICON Business Awards until 2022.

We have provided a short guide and FAQ's in the meantime to better inform those looking to enter the Awards once rescheduled. Click on the button below for the low down on all you need to know.

For any further advice or an informal chat, contact our Chief Executive, George McKay at chiefexec@inverclydechamber.co.uk or call 07855 223039.

Category Criteria

Outstanding Charity/3rd Sector Organisation of the Year

This category recognises Charity and 3rd sector organisations who offer services and support to people within the Inverclyde area. The winner of this award will also be designated as 3rd sector partner for the ICON Awards Dinner and will subsequently receive a donation at the end of the awards ceremony from monies raised during the auction/raffle at the Awards Dinner.

Who should enter?:

Open to all charity and 3rd Sector organisations serving the residents of Inverclyde so long as you are a charity or charitable organisation registered in the Inverclyde area.

Previous winners:

None - New Category

What the judges are looking for:

Entrants should be able to demonstrate self-sustainability and have a robust board, clear vision and business plan showing social objectives. This award is aimed at organisations who may not be a trading enterprise for profit but behave like one and are not 100% reliant on donations.

Judges would like to see evidence of initiatives and support provided to local people and the impact this has on the lives of those individuals as well as the impact this has on public welfare, the local environment and/or the economic well-being of the people of Inverclyde.

Best Food & Drink

This category is aimed at all food and drink led businesses in Inverclyde who not only offer a quality experience and product but also pride themselves on providing exemplary customer service.

Who should enter?:

Open to restaurants, bars, home bakers, food/drink producers and suppliers of any size and any culinary influence who are based in the Inverclyde area.

Previous winners:


What the judges are looking for:

Judges will be looking for clear evidence of good quality and value food and drink products combined with proven customer service success. They will also be looking for clearly identified business goals and objectives, a solid marketing strategy, incorporating innovative ideas to ensure sustainable future growth.

The business must also demonstrate positive financial growth (turnover/profit) and show evidence of adaptation of offerings based on customer demands and external factors. The business must be invested in Inverclyde with a real emphasis on the use of local produce and supporting other local businesses and, in turn, the local economy. The business should also be able to showcase their contribution to reducing their carbon footprint in line with their environmental goals.

Rising Star Award

This award seeks to recognise young Inverclyde talent and celebrate the achievements of an individual under the age of 25 who has shone over the last year within their field and made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the company that they work for.

Who should enter?:

Open to inspiring young people (under the age of 25) working in the Inverclyde area, whether they be an employee, trainee, graduate or apprentice, within any sector or business. Also open to young business owners and entrepreneurs from Inverclyde.

Previous winners:

Carys Knox (Waterfront Cinema) and Claire McParland (Holiday Inn Express Hotel)

What the judges are looking for:

Someone who has gone the extra mile to develop their skills and experience and brings real added value to their organisation. Entrants should be able to demonstrate how their commitment and drive have helped bring a new skill set or perspective that adds value to the organisation they work for.

Our judging panel will be looking for a successful, outward looking individual who can evidence that they have helped to grow or develop the company through a mixture of sound business techniques, use of latest technology or innovation, creativity or entrepreneurism.

Best Tourism Business

This award celebrates the positive contribution of local tourism or hospitality related businesses in encouraging local spend, attracting visitors to the area and enhancing the profile of the Inverclyde area through what they can offer.

Who should enter?:

Any organisation of any size which is tourism or hospitality focussed/led. This includes hotels, food and beverage, retail or leisure activity providers located or based within Inverclyde.

Previous winners:

None - New Category

What the judges are looking for:

The judges are looking for tourism organisations that demonstrate innovative campaigns and strive to offer a great experience to every visitor. Judges will be looking for clear evidence of your business’ unique selling proposition (USP) and evidence that these USP’s encourage spend as well as drawing visitors from out with the area to your business.

You should also be able to show how your business has contributed to an increased number of visitors to Inverclyde and also evidence the businesses’ growth and sustainability strategy for the future.

Best Small-Medium Business

This category shines a light on small to medium businesses in Inverclyde who can evidence that they have grown and will continue to grow in light of successes and strong business plans actioned by the company.

Who should enter?:

Inverclyde based businesses with between 1 and 50 employees across any sector.

Previous winners:


What the judges are looking for:

A company with clear goals and objectives and a present and future strategy across all areas of the business to ensure growth. This company should have the ability to identify their target market and have a strong Customer Focus with marketing that demonstrates raising the organisation's profile and increased turnover.

You should also be able to prove your success to date with evidence of your annual turnover / profit, staff numbers, any recent investment, expansion and/or growth. This should also show your contribution to the local economy, local employment and influence on inwards investment to Inverclyde. There should also be clear evidence of a future proofing strategy and the ability to show how the company has overcome threats / weaknesses and how this has been dealt within the business.

Best Large Business

This category highlights the success of large Inverclyde Businesses who can demonstrate the key to this success and how the intend to continue to grow and further establish themselves.

Who should enter?:

Inverclyde based businesses with over 50 employees across any sector.

Previous winners:

Ferguson Marine

What the judges are looking for:

This category should follow the same guidelines as the Small-Medium business category; but must also show the profitability of the business and a demonstration of some social and corporate responsibility e.g. volunteering, fundraising, community engagement. This must be clearly demonstrated in the positive effect these actions have had on the local community and evidence should be provided on how this has been measured by the company.

The business should also demonstrate excellence through the knowledge and skills of their staff, with a strategic commitment to employee learning and development in the future. Evidence should be provided of the opportunities that are available for staff and how this is effective for staff as well as for the business in general in line with achieving business objectives.

Service Industry Business of the Year

This award highlights the companies who constantly strive to exceed customer expectations and deliver industry-leading customer service standards. Can you demonstrate that customers are at the heart of everything you do? Do you innovate around customer experience, measure customer satisfaction and deal effectively with complaints? Can you show examples of customer feedback and demonstrate how your customer service strategy contributed to? Then this is the award for you.

Who should enter?:

Inverclyde based businesses in the service industry and also open to professionals who provide services.

Previous winners:

None – New Category

What the judges are looking for:

Service Industry businesses or professionals who can demonstrate increased growth or market share, enhanced customer delivery and engagement and effective leadership plus more engaged and motivated staff.

You must be able to evidence what processes are in place to train in order to achieve service levels and how the company benchmarks this. You should be able to show your service level standards and how you measure the results and ensure continued service levels. The company should also have processes in place for monitoring and resolving issues or complaints.

Manufacturing Business of the Year

This new category recognises excellence in companies of any size that excel in manufacturing or engineering performance.

Who should enter?:

Any Inverclyde based business that manufactures at any scale and within any sector.

Previous winners:

None – New Category

What the judges are looking for:

The judges will be looking at the processes in place that help your business achieve success and will require evidence of company growth. Applicants will also have to demonstrate how innovation and technology has improved processes and efficiencies within the business.

You should be able to evidence the benefits of manufacturing in the UK for your business as opposed to outsourcing and manufacturing out with the UK. The company should be forward thinking and have plans in place to overcome any possible external factors (e.g. Brexit). The company should also be working towards reducing their carbon footprint.

Inverclyde’s Favourite Business

For the first time, we will be asking the public to vote for an outstanding business, worthy of being titled, ‘Inverclyde Favourite Business’.

In the first instance, we are asking for nominations to be submitted to us in the same format as the other award categories. From here, a panel of local business experts made up of Inverclyde Chamber Board Members and our event sponsors, will work to shortlist 5 companies who will feature on the ICC website and public votes will be submitted. The business with the most votes by the closing date (29th May) will be announced at our Awards Dinner.

To be shortlisted for public vote, the business should have an ambitious vision with clearly defined strategic objectives and a commitment to the wider community. The business will be performing efficiently and effectively and the culture of the company will be entrepreneurial with its innovative approach setting it apart from its competitors.

Customer satisfaction will be at the core of the company’s values and it will be able to demonstrate regularly exceeding customer expectations. The business should be able to evidence growth, sustainability in the Inverclyde area and its success and popularity locally.


To submit your entry please apply online at https://inverclydechamber.co.uk/awards/ or email your application to seo@inverclydechamber.co.uk before the deadline (to be re-established and will be confirmed in due course). All entries must be submitted by the designated deadline and entries received after this time cannot be considered.

Hard copy postal entries will also be accepted and can be posted or hand delivered to: Rachel Burns, Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce, Room 5, Victoria House, East Blackhall Street, Greenock, PA15 1HD

By submitting your application form, you are confirming that you are the person submitting this entry, and that, to the best of your knowledge, the information provided in this form is true and complete. By submitting this form, you also agree that information from this application can be used for publicity purposes and can be accessed by our Board and sponsors (unless non-publicly available details have been specifically and clearly marked).

  • Each category has different requirements for consideration and entrants should use the Category Descriptor documents to shape their application and statement. Copies of these are available on the Inverclyde Chamber website or you can email seo@inverclydechamber.co.uk for more details.
  • Please complete all fields on the form before returning. You may use an extra page for your supporting statement if required, but please keep the statement to approx. 500 words or less. This supporting statement should be used to tell the story of the nominated business and our judges and sponsors want to know what gives the company a special buzz, as well as learning of all the achievements and potential of the business. For this reason, we ask that you consult the category criteria and ensure you provide a compelling and concise statement supporting why this business should be shortlisted above all other entries.
  • Applicants can apply for up to 3 different categories; however, each entry must be submitted on a separate application form.
  • Membership of the Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce is not a prerequisite for entry to ICON Business Awards and all categories are open to any Inverclyde Business.
  • A sponsor may not enter an award in the category that they are sponsoring.

Previous Sponsors

ICON Awards Launch - 30th Jan 2020