Posted by Louise Prance-Miles on 27 May 2022
A children’s store and community space in Sheffield has been crowned the UK’s best small high street business at this year's Small Awards, as it made a return at a ceremony in London hosted by presenter, writer, actor, and comedian Sue Perkins.
Small Stuff – which combines a children's store offering sustainable toys and products, and a community hub supporting local businesses and families – won the 'High Street Hero' award, sponsored by TSB, for its positive impact on the community.
Founder Hellen Stirling-Baker, who has grown the business from its roots as a pop-up in 2016 to having a permanent premises in Sheffield's Crookes district three years ago, impressed judges for her passionate support of the local high street.
In particular, Hellen has created a space above the shop where other local businesses can host workshops, events and pop-ups, as well as a rest area for parents and carers, with children actively encouraged to explore and play in-store. Small Stuff also led on creating an online marketplace to support other local businesses during the pandemic, as well as growing its own thriving online store.
"We are so delighted to win this award! The long-term vibrancy of Crookes high street means the world to all of us at Small Stuff," said founder, Hellen.
"We are looking forward to the future of supporting more talented local people in the community, as well as continuing to serve our customers."
Now in its sixth year the Small Awards is a nationwide search for the smallest and greatest firms in the UK. It is organised annually by Small Business Britain which champions, inspires and accelerates small businesses in the UK.
Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain and the Small Awards, congratulated the winners:"Small Stuff's win is very well deserved. Their passion for helping the high street to thrive, by supporting other local firms, is a great example of the power of small businesses to bring communities together and be a shining light in our town and city centres."
This year, the Small Awards received a record number of applications from small businesses, with over 80 finalists shortlisted across 11 Small Award categories that call out the nation's most inspirational business, across everything from sole-traders, to digital stars and purposeful community-driven businesses.