After weeks of promotion the Council Instagram business photograph competition winners can now be revealed.
Since the beginning of October the Solihull Council Instagram channel has been taken over by the business investment team to engage with the business community. As part of this, the competition was developed, which saw 123 fantastic submissions by an array of businesses from across Solihull.
The top five pictures which received the most likes were then shared with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Solihull Chamber of Commerce judges who then picked their respective winners: Wedges Bakery (Dovehouse Parade, Olton) and New Image Hair in Elmdon.
Wedges Bakery was established in Hockley Heath over 150 years ago. It is a well-loved bakery which has grown and adapted over the years into coffee shops and restaurants. Wedges now has three sites including Earlswood Garden Centre and Dovehouse Parade in Olton, which won the competition. During lockdown, Wedges worked with other businesses to include their products in home delivery.
New Image Hair in Elmdon, Solihull, is a hair salon which was set up during the first lockdown by Sophie Grocott and her partner Mark.
The FSB and the Solihull Chamber of Commerce are giving a year’s free membership and promotion to their winning business.
Councillor Karen Grinsell, Deputy Leader of Solihull Council said:
“Congratulations to both Wedges Bakery and New Image Hair on winning this competition. It’s great to see the contrast between these two very different winners – one very established business that has adapted and made innovations during the pandemic in order to succeed and one whose brave decision to start up in these difficult times has paid off. Both are excellent examples of independent businesses who have worked hard to survive despite the odds.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those who continue to shop local and support the borough’s small retailers – it really does makes all the difference to business owners like Ali and Sophie. If you still have a few Christmas presents left to buy, think about what’s on offer on your doorstep.”
Lee Osborne, FSB Development Manager for Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull said:
“It has been fantastic to see such a range of excellent small businesses entering the competition and it has created a real buzz around the ‘support local’ message. We are very pleased to be able to award FSB membership to New Image Hair. It is really positive to see new businesses starting up during this challenging period and the FSB membership will allow them access to all our services and benefits including specialist business advice and support vital to their business during this time and in the future to help them grow and thrive. Congratulations to New Image Hair.
“This has been an unbelievably testing time for our brilliant small, independent businesses. Many have worked tirelessly to try and stay open and provide invaluable support and service to the community in a safe and secure way and we know being part of a vibrant community with independent businesses is important to local people. We therefore encourage everyone locally to continue to support small businesses in the run up to Christmas and beyond. Many of our local businesses have innovated over the last few months by launching online with ‘click and collect’ services so they need help too – don’t forgot if it is on your Christmas list, think small retailers who can provide it with a personal service!”
Lillian Elekan, Head of Solihull Chamber of Commerce, said:
“The engagement and support for the Support Local campaign has been tremendous, with over 100 local businesses taking part and nearly 2000 likes it demonstrates the support the local community has for their local businesses. We’d like to congratulate Wedges on their win, achieving the most likes of all participating businesses, means I’m honoured to award them with a 12-month membership of the Solihull Chamber. We look forward to working with the team at Wedges to continue to support them and shine a light on them as an outstanding local business
Ali Shale, Area Manager of Wedges Bakery said:
“We are absolutely thrilled and have been overwhelmed by the amazing support we’ve received from the lovely people of Solihull.
“The biggest positive that we will take from all this is the wonderful sense of community spirit we have felt. Our aim has always been to keep our local community & staff safe.
“A huge thanks to our Wedges bakers and shop teams for all their hard work during this crazy time.”
Sophie Grocott, owner of New Image Hair said:
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to take part in the competition, I was very shocked to find out I was a winner as a new business opening in October. Thank you so much for all the local support from Solihull Council and Solihull local residents.”