Young entrepreneur Aled Woosnam, whose businesses have continued to thrive despite the pandemic, collected the main accolade at the Powys Business Awards.
Aled, 26, who owns AL Technical, an electrical and specialist communications business and 23 Social, a flagship, multi-purpose bar and grill in Newtown, collected the overall Powys Business of the Year award, sponsored by Powys County Council.
He also won the Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored by the Welsh Government, at the drive-in awards ceremony held in Newtown last Friday.
Organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group, the Powys Business Awards showcase business excellence across the county.
“I am absolutely speechless and can’t believe we have won this award which will hopefully take my businesses to the next level,” said Aled. “We have a lot of things to come in the pipeline and none of this would have been possible without the two strong teams that we have brought in. I would also like to thank my family and friends for supporting me.”
AL Technical Services has grown stronger under Aled’s leadership during the pandemic, and he achieved a dream by opening 23 Social, having always had a passion for hospitality.
Established in 2017, AL Technical employs 17 people and achieved record turnover in 2020, with further growth expected this year. Spotting a gap in the market for rural internet solutions, he introduced 4G Broadband and provides modern and progressive business solutions to his clients.
Aled opened 23 Social, which has 30 employees, during the pandemic. The venue has a rooftop bar, disability access, TV and state of the art sound systems and utilises social media throughout the premises with talk points, live counters and a greenery wall.
He has also launched a website design, marketing and branding consultancy, is working collaboratively with other businesses to promote Newtown and to host events and is a partner in Severn Valley Events, a Powys-based mobile bar company.
Powys Business Awards judges described Aled as “an inspirational and worthy ambassador and standard-bearer for Powys”. They praised the strong leadership of his companies, investment in training and developing employees and commitment to creating more opportunities for local people and supporting the community.
Two Judges’ Special Awards were presented this year, sponsored by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group, to Red Kite Health Solutions CIC and SWG Group, Welshpool.
Red Kite Health Solutions CIC in Brecon works with GP practices across South Powys to provide cost-effective and innovative health solutions, while Welshpool-based SWG Group has established the SWG Construction Academy in partnership with Ysgol Llanfyllin to promote construction industry careers.
Brothers Scott and Luke Williams, who established Caersws-based Team Elite seven years ago to make attractive retaining wall products from concrete, won the Small Business Growth Award, sponsored by EDF Renewables.
CellPath, a Newtown company which specialises in cancer diagnostic products and services, added to its collection of Powys Business Awards with the Technology and Innovation Award sponsored by Industry Wales.
Two Llandrindod Wells companies collected awards. Cherry Build, Llandrindod Wells, won the Start-Up Business Award, sponsored by NPTC Group of College, while Asiantaeth Ynni Severn Wye, won the Social Enterprise/ Charity Award, sponsored by Myrick Training Services.
The other winners were: Cellar Drinks Company, Crickhowell, Micro Business Award (less than 10 employees), sponsored by Welshpool Printing Group. Gloversure, Welshpool, Small Business Award (under 30 employees), sponsored by the Powys County Times. Trax JH Ltd, Newtown, Growth Award, sponsored by Development Bank of Wales.
The other finalists were:
Start-up Business Award: By the Wye, Hay on Wye and Network Praxis, Newtown.
Entrepreneurship Award: SWG Group, Welshpool and HILLS, Brecon.
Micro Business Award: Cradoc’s Savoury Biscuits Ltd, Brecon Etic Lab LLP, Newtown and Team Elite Ltd, Caersws.
Growth Award: CellPath Ltd, Newtown and Radnor Hills, Knighton.
Small Business Award: AL Technical Service Ltd, Newtown and HILLS, Brecon.
Small Business Growth Award: Beacon Detection Ltd, Brecon and Hughes Architects, Newtown.
Social Enterprise/ Charity Award: Going Green for a Living Community Land Trust Ltd, Newtown and Red Kite Health Solutions CIC, Brecon.
Technology and Innovation Award: Parry and Evans Limited, Welshpool; Trax JH Ltd, Newtown and Wipak UK Ltd, Welshpool.