The Suffolk Business Awards 2022 finalists have been announced. The Small Business of the Year award, sponsored by JM FINN, is open to organisations with a turnover of up to £1m that demonstrate excellence in all areas of the business. Here are this year's finalists.

East Anglian Daily Times: 6 Alpha Associates helps clients to manage risks in a cost-effective manner6 Alpha Associates helps clients to manage risks in a cost-effective manner (Image: 6 Alpha Associates)

6 Alpha Associates

Based in Woolpit, Bury St Edmunds and with offices in Germany, Spain, Hong Kong and the US, 6 Alpha Associates is a market leader in unexploded ordnance (UXO) risk management consultancy solutions, servicing land-based clients as well as offshore renewable energy and cabling projects.

The business works with clients to help them identify if they are vulnerable to risks presented by UXO, terrorism, or business interruption and, if they are, what they can do about it.

Commending 6 Alpha Associates for its passionate approach, the judges said that this business provides a “clear demonstration of strategic thinking regarding off-shore wind.” They praised its “autonomous leadership” methods and summarised by saying that 6 Alpha Associates is “a great team of people, with set goals and a route map leading to great results focused on clients.”


Launched in 2014, MAD-HR is an HR consultancy with offices in Ipswich, Norwich and Chelmsford. It aims to help local businesses get the best from their employees with multiple levels of support, and is known for its ‘Make a Difference’ brand of HR.

The business is underpinned by a dedicated customer-first ethos and its team members hail from an array of sectors, making them well placed to serve businesses of all scales and in any industry.

The judges called MAD-HR “a strongly led business that could grow over time and benefit from its futureproofing.” Its strong leadership from the directors and managers, doubling of staff numbers over the past year and investment in larger systems have all led to continued growth for the business and greatly impressed the judges.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ocala Healthcare is a care agency and social care recruitment specialistOcala Healthcare is a care agency and social care recruitment specialist (Image: Adam Storey)

Ocala Healthcare

Ocala Healthcare is an Ipswich-based care agency and social care recruitment specialist that provides its own services and supports other care providers across Suffolk. Launched in 2017 by care workers, it aims to improve employment for social carers, setting standards in which care workers are valued and appreciated.

Since its launch, Ocala Healthcare has successfully provided innovative solutions to address issues during Covid-19, and has built a reputation for quality care and employment.

The judges felt that it was clear that Ocala is a “people-orientated” business, that “brings in fun where possible” and both champions and supports personal development. They said that Ocala is “a focused, driven and caring business with a good long-term strategy in place,” and felt that the business demonstrated a “personal story of innovation” to support others.

East Anglian Daily Times: WeHost delivers in-person and virtual eventsWeHost delivers in-person and virtual events (Image: WeHost Ltd)


Based in studios across Suffolk, WeHost delivers in-person and virtual events tailored to a company’s values and requirements. It consists of a team of four full-timers, backed up by 50-plus event hosts, dealers, bookies and drag queens all delivering high-quality entertainment.

During the pandemic, WeHost pivoted early on and embraced eco-friendly technologies and remote working teams to provide virtual entertainment across the globe. This enabled its clients to unite staff, improve team morale and raise funds for charitable causes.

Commending the business’ 5-star Google rating and international customer base, the judges called WeHost “a fantastic business has that has diversified and enhanced its operations dramatically over the last two years.” They also praised the "fantastic” vision of the team and its technical innovation in the face of the pandemic.