A small, orthopaedic footwear business based in Stratford Upon Avon has been named among the shortlisted finalists in the UK’s inaugural Small Awards in association with Facebook, which has been established to recognise the achievements of small and micro-businesses.

ShoeMed Limited, which was set up by husband and wife team Lisa Preston and Karl Norman in 2011, has been named as a finalist in the ‘At Your Service’ category. This award celebrates the best small service businesses in the UK. Shortlisted businesses have had to demonstrate a strong record of serving their target customer set. The judges have been looking for exceptional levels of service demonstrated along with evidence of strong customer engagement.

The foundation of the business is referrals from health practitioners seeing people with lower limb problems. The local NHS regularly refers people in order to free up appointment spaces for those with chronic, high-risk foot conditions. Last year, the business opened its first franchise shop in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

ShoeMed will find out if it has won the award at a special ceremony in London on May 25th hosted by comedian and television personality, Sue Perkins.

Service is the foundation of the business. Every customer has their feet measured, and a personal fitting record kept securely with every detail of their foot problems and the shoes, which they purchased.  Customers visit from all over the UK.

“Being a shortlisted business for The Small Awards has given us a huge boost,” says Lisa. “Being a small business is not easy and takes a great deal of determination, investment and a downright stubborn attitude to never give up.  We have never doubted the need for our business, which has helped thousands of people to walk without pain, but at times the going has been incredibly tough.  Just to have this recognition of our achievement brings great happiness to us.”

The Small Awards in association with Facebook will recognise the achievements of small businesses in ten categories across multiple sectors and areas of activity, including high street businesses, family businesses, start-ups and business-to-business companies, as well as those that export, and even companies that contribute most to their community. One of the individual category winners will also be named overall Small Business of the Year. Facebook will give that business £1000 worth of free advertising credit.

The judges for this year’s Awards include the former Business Secretary Sir Vince Cable; 2014 Apprentice winner Mark Wright, who now runs SEO and PPC agency Climb Online, and former Digital & Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.

Small Awards director, Michelle Ovens MBE, says:

“There is so much vibrancy in the UK’s small business sector, so many great stories and examples of innovation, achievement, community spirit and social responsibility. We are thrilled to be able to shine a light on some of the best, like ShoeMed.”

For further information visit www.thesmallawards.uk or follow on Twitter @thesmallawards or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thesmallawards