Colors: Purple Color



The category finalists in the Black Country Chamber Business Heroes Awards were announced in a colourful digital event that also marked the close of the third Black Country Business Festival – an initiative that is also led by the Chamber of Commerce.

Jude Thompson, president of the Black Country Chamber revealed the category finalists, who will now go forward to the final on Friday 13 November. This will be an exciting, high-energy digital event that will be live-streamed to the world. 

Jude said, “I would like to thank everyone that has entered the Black Country Chamber Business Heroes Awards. We have genuinely been overwhelmed by the ingenuity, determination and resilience of the local business community in meeting the challenges of 2020.

“We have received an exceptional number of extremely high-quality entries in every category and the judges have found the shortlisting process extremely difficult. I would like to offer very many congratulations to all the finalists.”

The Awards are headline partnered by the University of Wolverhampton which has contributed and judged three of the 12 categories. The category finalists are:

Large Business Hero of the Year – sponsored by chartered accountants, MHA MacIntyre Hudson

  • Compton Care
  • HomeServe NHS and Frontline Free Service
  • National Express West Midlands
  • Robinson Brothers Limited
  • SIPS Education
  • Supporting Communities
  • Wintech Group

Small Business Hero of the Year – sponsored by Nant Water Safety Specialists

  • Clover HR
  • Cox & Plant
  • Deans Management Services
  • Fit Mommas Ltd
  • Lord Combustion Services Limited
  • Lotus Sanctuary CIC
  • Penny Post Credit Union
  • Switch Midlands

Family Business Hero of the Year – sponsored by CK Chartered Accountants

  • Dancers
  • Incomm
  • Lawrence Cleaning Ltd
  • Lord Combustion Services Limited
  • Robinson Brothers Limited

International Trade Hero of the Year

  • Foundry Machinery & Spares Limited
  • Intralox
  • Keltruck Limited

Start-up Business Hero of the Year – sponsored by Forresters patent and trademark attorneys

  • ADL Bespoke Security Systems Limited
  • Isabellas Homes
  • SBF Consultancy
  • TP Squared

Retail Resilience Hero of the Year – in association with our venue partner, the Black Country Living Museum

  • Compton Care
  • HugglePets Retail Store
  • Midcounties Co-operative

Business Hero / Young Business Hero of the Year – sponsored by machinery specialists, FMS

  • John Donovan, JJX Logistics
  • Adrian Hanrahan, Robinson Brothers
  • Bradley Moore, Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundatio

Outstanding Collaboration & Partnership – sponsored by Walsall College

  • Compton Care and NHS Royal Wolverhampton Trust
  • Health and Housing Working Together

Outstanding Key Worker of the Year

  • Darren Cook
  • Navjitpal Kaur

Adaptability & Innovation – University of Wolverhampton

  • Acorns Covid-19 Emergency Response Plan
  • Coinadrink Limited
  • Midlands Air Ambulance Charity - Rapid Response to the Pandemic
  • Saz's Ceramics & Crafts
  • SIPS Education
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation

Kindness in the Community – University of Wolverhampton

  • Beacon Centre for the Blind
  • Compton Care
  • HugglePets in the Community
  • Midcounties Co-operative
  • One 4 You Services
  • Steps to Work

Exceptional Employee or Team – University of Wolverhampton

  • Amy Whitter, Fit Mommas Ltd
  • Blackthorns
  • IPU Group - Fuel Cleaning Team
  • Lord Combustion Services Limited
  • Nant Ltd
  • Sarbjit Singh, Wolverhampton bus driver, National Express West Midlands

The finals event takes place from 3.45-5pm on 13 November and tickets are now available.

There are two tiers: a paid ticket at £30, which includes a unique drinks and nibbles gift package that is delivered directly to homes or offices. This ticket also includes a donation to Black Country Chamber President’s Charities; Teenage Cancer Trust and Parkinson’s UK.

Alternatively, the event can also be viewed on the free ticket. Registration is still required.


Rapper Killer Mike has partnered with civil rights legend Andrew J. Young and entrepreneur Ryan Glove to launch the country's newest Black-owned bank and financial institution. Having already secured $3 million in seed funding from private investors, Greenwood Bank will be the first digital banking platform for Black and Latinx people and business owners.


Greenwood's initial products are savings and spending accounts that come with a stunningly designed black metal debit card for customers who sign up by the end of the year. Advanced features like Apple, Samsung, and Android pay, virtual debit cards, peer-to-peer transfers, mobile check deposits, and free ATM usage in over 30,000 locations are offered with no hidden fees. Customers who invite their friends to open accounts receive cash awards as a thank you from Greenwood. All deposits are FDIC insured by a partner bank.


Glover, who is also the founder of Bounce TV, said: "It's no secret that traditional banks have failed the Black and Latinx community.


"We needed to create a new financial platform that understands our history and our needs going forward, a banking platform built by us and for us, a platform that helps us build a stronger future for our communities. This is our time to take back control of our lives and our financial future. That is why we launched Greenwood, modern banking for the culture."


"Today, a dollar circulates for 20 days in the white community but only six hours in the Black community," said Michael 'Killer Mike' Render. "Moreover, a Black person is twice as likely as a white person to be denied a mortgage. This lack of fairness in the financial system is why we created Greenwood."

Ambassador Young said: "The work that we did in the civil rights movement wasn't just about being able to sit at the counter. It was also about being able to own the restaurant"

"We have the skills, talent and energy to compete anywhere in the world, but to grow the economy, it has to be based on the spirit of the universe and not the greed of the universe. Killer Mike, Ryan and I are launching Greenwood to continue this work of empowering Black and Brown people to have economic opportunity."

The Greenwood name pays homage to the prosperous "Black Wall Street," part of the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the early 20th Century -- a centre of African American enterprise, entertainment, skills, wealth and investment capital.


An exhibition has opened for passengers at London Euston explaining the fight of a pioneer for race equality who overturned a racist recruitment policy at the station in the 1960s


Asquith Xavier was a guard with British Rail and was denied a promotion based on the colour of his skin in 1966. Despite being the year after the 1965 Race Relations Act banning discrimination in public in Britain, the law did not cover workplaces.


With union backing, Asquith fought the policy in the courts, lobbied MPs and the government and on 15 July British Rail bowed to mounting pressure and scrapped its ‘whites only’ recruitment policy. His success is now the focus of an exhibition on Euston Station’s concourse which was opened by his daughter Maria.


Network Rail has also produced an educational leaflet in partnership with Mr Xavier’s family in the hope his determined fight for racial equality can be taught in schools today.

The learning resources have been sent to 1,150 primary and secondary schools in Network Rail’s North West and Central region, which spans from Euston to the West Midlands, North West and Cumbria.


Some of the first children to learn about Asquith’s life using the new materials were from Netley Primary School who met his family at the opening of the exhibition.


Asquith’s daughter Maria said: “My brothers, sisters and I see this exhibition as a great opportunity for our father’s fight for racial equality within the workplace to be recognised.


He faced racial threats to his life, whilst attending court and work and had to have police protection during this time.


“Our father’s actions, we believe, initiated changes made to the Racial Equality Act of 1968, paving the way for other unsung heroes within the workplace and the UK.”


Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, James Dean, said: “Asquith Xavier is a name many children today will never have heard of, but this exhibition and education leaflet aims to change that. I’m immensely proud that we have been able to work with Asquith’s family to tell their story, simply to be treated fairly in the workplace, to the next generation.


“His determination and courage need to be known far and wide because even though this happened 55 years ago, our society still has some way to go to ensure everyone is treated the same regardless of their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender.”


Loraine Martins, director of diversity and inclusion for Network Rail, said: “It’s extremely poignant that this exhibition is here at Euston. This is where Asquith Xavier became the first black train guard by challenging a colour bar, which was British Rail policy at the time.  Asquith Xavier did this in the face of great adversity and threats to his life.


“Network Rail is fully committed to being a company where each individual is valued, respected and encouraged to reach their full potential. In keeping with his memory, we’re working hard to ensure our workforce better represents our customers and society as a whole. We will continue to make the best use of our people’s talent and capabilities to provide real opportunities for their professional development.”


The exhibition about Asquith Xavier’s achievements, part of Network Rail’s 2020 Black History Month programme of events, will be on display at Euston station for the next six months.


A link to download the education pack can be found at:

The opening was a true hybrid event featuring live-stream feeds from individuals who were being interviewed on Zoom by Corin Crane, Black Country Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, who was live in a broadcasting studio. 


The speakers comprised a mix of live and recorded interviews, and featured: Andy Street CBE, West Midlands mayor; Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chamber of Commerce; April Pearson Myatt, finance director at Top Tubes; Cllr Patrick Harley and Kevin O’Keefe, chief executive, both from Dudley Council; Jon Kiteley, area director of Balfour Beatty; Anita Bhalla OBE, chair of West Midlands Leadership Commission and Calum Nisbet, the new commercial director at the Black Country Business Festival.


Interviews were beamed onto digital screens on ‘the sofa’ as though the guests were physically in the studio with Corin, and the entire event appeared as a complete production with a 'TV show' feel. Anyone unable to see the event live show can catch the recording on the Business Festival website.


This is the third Black Country Business Festival – an annual event that aims to bring the business community together to incite learning, sharing, networking and business growth.

Postponed from its original May dates due to the Coronavirus, the festival will be running for the next fortnight, with nearly 100 different business events taking place. Most are digital with the festival being adapted with the added facility for event organisers to host their events online.


Corin said, “Like all things COVID19-related, the Festival has, in the main, successfully moved to being fully ‘hybrid’ in format. There are a handful of in-person and hybrid events in the programme but the majority are digital. There are nearly 100 free business events in total which really demonstrates the breadth, diversity, innovation and strength of the region.


“We have been bowled over by the engagement levels so far - never has an initiative been more critical to those of the Black Country and beyond, providing the opportunity to collectively come together during these testing and challenging times, showcasing what is has to offer and present its united economic strength. By doing so, BCBF aims to place the region’s activities front and centre of the UK’s business agenda to drive inward investment and economic growth, through coherent, united and consistent outward promotion of the region’s business activities; whilst not least providing support, guidance and knowledge sharing to those who make up our business community – businesses themselves.


“The Festival will place Black Country businesses at the heart of UK business agenda through its demonstration of the region’s innovation, culture and commerce, it’s truly now a national event, that happens in the Black Country.”


Anita Bhalla added, “I think this festival is great. It shows that we can bring thousands of people together [metaphorically speaking]. It shows the imagination in the region and the sheer talent that exists. What we now need to do on the back of the festival is to build on it and there is a great potential to do that. So well done to everyone that has got behind this initiative.”


The latest research from estate agent comparison site,, has revealed that Man City tops the table where the amount spent in the transfer market is concerned when related to the average cost of buying in the city. took the total spend from each team in the Premier League and looked at how many homes it could purchase in their respective towns based on the current average house price.  

On average, Premier League teams have spent just over £62m in the transfer window. With the average house price in Premier League areas currently £299,318, that’s enough to have purchased 207 homes.

At £226.1m, Chelsea is the team to have flashed the most cash accounting for 18.2% of total spend across the league. However, with the current average house price in Hammersmith and Fulham sitting at £702,961, the club’s spend is enough to purchase 322 homes in the borough. Placing them seventh in the transfer property purchase rankings.

Manchester City tops the table. The club has spent £147m in this transfer window, the second-highest in the league with 11.8% of total spend. With a far more affordable average house price of £170,192 in Manchester, the club could have afforded a whopping 864 properties with the money spent on new signings.

Liverpool takes the second spot, with their transfer expenditure of £81.7m enough to have purchased 608 homes in the city at the current average price of £134,411.  

Wolves (528), Everton (484), Aston Villa (451) and Leeds (450) also spent enough to have bought a considerable number of properties in their local cities.  

Despite being home to the lowest average house price of the lot at £91,505, Burnley also spent the least in the current transfer window (£990k). As a result, they sit bottom of the table with their transfer expenditure enough to have purchased just 11 properties in the local area. 

Brighton and Hove (12) and Fulham (33) were also home to some of the lowest Premier League property transfer spends.  

Founder and CEO of, Colby Short, commented: “The cost of getting on the ladder and the money spent on modern-day footballers are both well documented, but when you add the two together, it makes for some depressing reading.

While many homebuyers are rushing to secure a few thousand pounds discount in stamp duty, Man City has just spent enough to buy nearly 900 homes in Manchester. 

The high cost of getting on the ladder today puts these figures into perspective in terms of the sheer amount spent on footballing talent. Even at the bottom end of the table, Burnley has spent enough to buy eleven homes in the area when many regular homebuyers would gladly settle for one.” 

Table shows the amount spent by each club in the transfer window, the average house price in the local area and the number of homes you could purchase for their transfer sum.


Total Transfer Expenditure


Average house price

Number of average houses

% of Prem League spend

Manchester City












Wolverhampton Wanderers












Aston Villa






Leeds United








Hammersmith and Fulham




Sheffield United






Leicester City






Newcastle United






Manchester United






West Bromwich Albion


















Tottenham Hotspur






Crystal Palace






West Ham United








Hammersmith and Fulham




Brighton & Hove Albion


Brighton and Hove

















Sky News


Land Registry HPI

Total transfer expenditure/average house price


Businesses across Wolverhampton are being reminded they must, by law, create and prominently display NHS Covid-19 app posters at their venues. The posters feature a QR code which customers and visitors can scan using the app to safely and securely 'check in' on arrival. Customers will receive an alert if they have recently visited a venue and potentially come into contact with someone with coronavirus.


Posters must be displayed by law by all restaurants and bars, cafes, pubs; amusement arcades; art fairs; betting and bingo halls; casinos; clubs providing team sporting activities; facilities for use by elite and professional sportspeople; heritage attractions; hotels and other guest accommodation; indoor sport and leisure centres; outdoor swimming pools and lidos; museums and galleries; music recording studios and public libraries.


Close contact services including barbers, beauticians, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers, hairdressers, nail bars and salons, skin and body piercing services, sports and massage therapists and tattooists must also display posters in a prominent location so that visitors can check using the app. If customers don't have a smartphone or are unable to download the app, businesses should take contact details manually for Test and Trace purposes and have the right to refuse entry if these are not supplied.


Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The more people who are able to use the app, the better it will work – helping us get ahead of the virus, preventing further deaths, lockdowns and disruption to the economy.


"I would encourage everyone with a smartphone to download the app – and ask businesses and community venues to ensure they are displaying their posters so that customers can check in when they arrive.


"It's great to see that so many of those venues which must, by law, display their posters are doing so, and I urge others to fulfil their legal obligation by doing the same."


The council last week launched the Covid Compliant scheme to recognise the vast majority of city businesses which are keeping customers and staff safe during the pandemic. Businesses which have passed an inspection by the council’s commercial regulation team are given green tick ‘Covid Compliant’ signage to display in their windows.


The Covid Compliant scheme aims to provide reassurance to the public, increase customer confidence and encourage people to support local businesses.


People with compatible smartphones are encouraged to download the NHS Covid-19 app, which also allows users to report symptoms, book a test and keep track of when any period of self-isolation is due to end, by visiting the AppStore or Google Play. For more information, please visit or


Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. People with symptoms, no matter how mild, should immediately self-isolate and book a test by visiting or calling 119.


Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will be asked to share information about people that have been close contacts recently.