Cornish firms shine in South West small business awards

An innovative small business from Cornwall admitted they were ‘amazed’ to be recognised for the second time as being among the ‘best in the West’ at the FSB South West small business awards final this week.

Bodmin firm ARCO2 Architecture Ltd won the FSB South West Ethical-Green Business of the Year trophy in 2019 and this year they were crowned as champions once again in the same green category which now has the title  of the Environmental/Sustainability award.

ARCO2 Architecture Ltd were among ten Cornish firms shortlisted for honours at the FSB ‘Celebrating Small Business Awards 2022’ final which took place at Weston-super-Mare on Wednesday and featured a record entry of SMEs from all across the South West.

The other Cornwall-based firms shortlisted for one or more of the trophies on offer across the 12 categories were Mish (Wadebridge), Freda’s Peanut Butter (St Neot), Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park (Padstow), Harwood’s South West Ltd, The Fish House (Newquay), Innovolo Ltd (Par), Cosmos Currency Exchange Ltd (Truro), Your Partnerships Ltd (Penryn) and Clean Hands Technologies Ltd of St Austell. Also shortlisted was Jason Ratcliffe of Steren Surveyors Ltd of Scorrier, Redruth, who was in the Young Entrepreneur category.

Commenting on their second FSB title, Ian Armstrong of ARCO2 Architecture Ltd expressed delight at being back on the winner’s rostrum again.

“We really didn’t expect to win this year given the people in our category so we are very proud of the team. It feels absolutely amazing and is a huge achievement.’

And his colleague Nathan Davis agreed – saying how collecting a trophy after surviving the tough Covid years for business made it especially pleasing….

“This is the icing on the cake for the team who have worked solidly throughout Covid. It has been a struggle but we have come out of it with our strong ethical standards in place. It  feels fantastic.”

A video clip of the event can be seen here

Lee Nathan, whose business has offices in both Plymouth and Bristol and is the FSB Regional Chairman for the South West, said he was staggered by both the quality and quantity of this year’s entry – especially as so many businesses faced such incredible pressures during Covid.

“We were delighted to discover that we had a record amount of entries this year with so many  small businesses telling us of their triumph against all the odds.

“I know that the judges found even getting down to a shortlist was a major headache – let alone trying to pick a category winner.

“What this all says, I think, is what we all probably knew  – the South West is an absolute hotbed of entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity and small business expertise.”

The full list for the South West area ‘FSB Celebrating Small Business Award’ winners for 2022 is:

 Business & Product Innovation Award

One Big Circle Ltd  (Bristol )

Family Business of the Year

Cofton Holidays (Nr Dawlish, Devon)

 International Business of the Year

Rockit (N2M Ltd) (Bristol)

 Environmental/Sustainability Award

ARCO2 Architecture Ltd (Bodmin, Cornwall)

Start-up Business of the Year

Little Adventures Nursery (Worle, Somerset)

 Digital/e-Commerce Business of the Year

Padpilot Ltd (Gloucester, Gloucestershire)

Micro Business of the Year

Haven Timber Holdings  (Bath)

Self-employed/Sole Trader of the Year

Re Legal Consulting Limited, Rebecca Seeley Harris (Topsham, Devon)

High Growth Business of the Year

Car Connect Bristol (Bristol)

Wellbeing Award of the Year

Beyond Retail (Bournemouth, Dorset)

Community Award

Poppadoms Indian Takeaway (Weston-super-Mare, Somerset )

Young Entrepreneur of the Year (under 30 years of age)

Alfie Jones, the Backyard Barber RWB Ltd (Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire)

The South West final is one of a number of regional finals place across the UK with all of the winners have now been invited to take part in the national FSB final in Glasgow in May.  For more details see