Hundreds headed to Worthing Pavilion last night (November 11) to celebrate the best in business in Adur and Worthing.
The Adur and Worthing Business Awards, held annually, celebrates business excellence within the circulation of the Worthing Herald.
Now in their sixth year, the awards are organised by JP South Events.
The black tie awards ceremony kicked off at 6.30pm and was presented by BBC One Show presenter, Nick Wallis and the ceremony was introduced by Blaise Tapp, communities content editor of Sussex Newspapers, which publishes the Herald.
Guests enjoyed a drinks reception and three-course meal before the awards were presented.
Ricardo scooped a hat-trick of awards including the Overall Business of the Year and the global engineering and environmental consultancy, based in Shoreham, said they were ‘delighted’ to have won the trio of awards, which ‘contribute to people’s work and efforts in the business’.
The first award of the night was for Customer Service and went to electrical wholesaler and DIY supplier, Gardner and Scardifield.
The award was sponsored by Worthing and Adur Chamber and was presented by Tina Tilly, from Worthing and Adur Chamber.
The winner needed to ‘demonstrate a creative and dedicated approach to customer service and demonstrate that going that extra mile for customers is integral to positive business’.
Managing director from Gardner and Scardifield, Nick Neale, said he was ‘surprised’ to have won and that it was the company’s first award at the annual ceremony.
“It is our first time here and it is very well organised and well attended,” he added.
Henry House claimed the Highly Commended award in the category.
The Best Start-Up award went to Bespoke You Beauty Retreat, who are based in Broadwater, Worthing.
The award was sponsored by Adur and Worthing Council and was presented by councillor’s, Bryan Turner and Brian Boggis.
When presenting the award, Nick spoke of the company’s ethos and said it is ‘allowing the customer to escape the stresses of daily life’.
He also said the beauty team have been involved in helping raise money for Worthing Churches Homeless Projects and said judges said it is ‘nice to see a new business who are happy to give back to the local community’.
Judges were looking for a new company who has ‘caught the imagination of the local community’ in Adur and Worthing.
Go Gecko claimed the Highly Commended award in the category.
The third award was for Innovation and went to Ricardo, who claimed overall business of the year at the end of the night.
The global engineering and environmental consultancy is based in Shoreham.
The award was sponsored by Pixel by Pixel and was presented by managing director, Chris Painter.
The winner needed to show an ‘adaption to change’, or who had ‘utilised an innovative idea in order to be a successful business’.
The Small Business award went to Bloomfield Digital, based in Shoreham, and judges said the company ‘ensure customers have the best available digital media’ and place importance upon ‘building strong relationships with customers’ and ‘delivering what they promise’.
The award was sponsored by Adur and Worthing Partnership and was presented by the chairman, Andrew Swayne.
Judges were looking for a business with up to nine employees, capable of producing a ‘quality product’ whilst remaining ‘committed to great client/customer service’.
Business partners, Martin and Ollie Bloomfield were very happy to have won the award and said they have had ‘great support from the community’ and hope the award will ‘increase the profile of the business’.
Momentum Business Support claimed the Highly Commended award in the category.
The fifth award of the night was Green Business and went to The Nature Shop and judges said the Worthing-based online retailer are ‘environmentally friendly’, which is one of the ‘main driving forces in business’.
The award was sponsored by Sussex Hamper Company and was presented by Nick Sandford.
Managing director, Mel Piagesti, said it felt ‘fabulous’ to have won the award and ‘proves all the stress and hard work of running a small business is worth it’.
She added: “It gives you great encouragement when you win an award like this’.
Perch Lancing Beach claimed the Highly Commended award in the category.
The Training and Development award was presented by David Carter, manager from sponsor ETI Commercial.
Worthing-based, PEP the Printers claimed the award and judges were impressed to learn that staff productivity, morale and skillsets have ‘all improved’ at the business.
The winner needed to demonstrate a ‘commitment to encouraging and motivating their workforce’.
Director of the business, Mark Landon, said it was their first award and it is a ‘great honour to be recognised’.
The next award was Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure and went to Worthing Food and Festival.
The award was sponsored by Final Touch and was presented by Kelly Yates.
The Worthing Food and Drink Festival was held for the fifth time this September and attracted 15,000 people.
Judges said the festival not only brings people into Worthing for the first time, but is a way of ‘promoting the town all year round for its fantastic food and drink offer’.
The winner of the category needed to demonstrate a contribution to the local area by making the community stand out.
Chris Spratt, chairman of the Worthing Town Initiative, said he felt ‘thrilled’ to have won the award’ and it was all down to the ‘huge efforts by people who take part’.
Worthing WOW Festival claimed the Highly Commended award in the category.
The Medium Business award went to Investment Solutions Wealth Management, based in Worthing.
Nick said the judges were ‘very impressed’ by the business, who had a record-breaking year in 2015.
The award was sponsored by Bennett Griffin and was presented by Ian Macara.
The winner needed to demonstrate an ‘innovative ability to identify market opportunities’.
Director, David Connor, said he was ‘incredibly pleased’ to have won the award and that it ‘meant a lot’.
He added: “We try so hard as a business and I would have been devastated if we hadn’t of won an award as we really look after the local community.”
Spicer International claimed the Highly Commended award in the category.
Laroma Therapies won the Outstanding Contribution to the Community award and this was presented by Blaise Tapp, communities content editor of Sussex Newspapers.
The business was launched by Lauren Vaughan in 2008, who has since built up both a ‘strong team and reputation’, Nick said when introducing the award.
Judges said the business ‘believe that everyone is important and deserves care in their lives’.
The award aims to recognise local businesses who have taken the time to give something back.
Lauren and her colleagues, Alex Vaughan and Saffy Bennett, were ‘ecstatic’ to have won the award, especially that the business has ‘not even hit the one-year mark’.
“We want to make a difference to people’s lives, and it feels so great to get recognition for doing this”, the trio added.
The tenth award was a Place to Eat or Drink and went to Perch on Lancing beach.
The BBC One Show presenter, Nick Wallis, said it was a ‘very competitive category with well over 20 entries’.
The restaurant is one years old and has had sales of more than £1.4m.
Judges were impressed that the restaurant has received more than 500 four and five star online reviews.
The award was sponsored by ETI and was presented by commercial manager, David Carter.
Owner of the eatery, Alex Hole, said it had been a ‘phenomenal’ 15 months and was ‘all down to the staff’.
He added: “I am amazingly proud of my team and it feels exciting to see where this business will take us.”
Both Crab Shack and Hummingbird Restaurant claimed Highly Commended awards in the category.
The Young Achiever of the Year award went to Jordan-Hay-Ellis and was sponsored by Northbrook College.
Principal of the college, Sue Dare presented the award and judges were impressed by the ‘ambitious and determined’ 23-year-old, who is already a director of the successful company, Limesphere, which is a family run local construction company.
Judges were looking for enthusiasm, commitment, and the ability to demonstrate results.
Jordan said he was ‘not expecting’ the award and was ‘really happy’ about winning.
He added: “It feels like an accomplishment and it is down to the rest of the team also – it is everyone’s award.”
The Manufacturing and Construction award went to Ricardo, its third award of the night.
Nick said judges thought the award was ‘particularly well deserved’.
Business development director, Martin Starkey, said he felt ‘incredibly flattered’ for winning another award and he was ‘very thankful’ to a ‘supportive and great team’.
The next award of the night was Large Business and went to Guildcare in Worthing.
The award was sponsored by Worthing Pier Southern Pavilion and was presented by Phil Duckett.
The institution was founded in 1933 and is the ‘heart of all that is good in the town’, Nick said when introducing the award.
Judges were looking for a company who can demonstrate their contribution to the local area through enhancing the town’s business reputation.
Trustee of Guildcare, Persey Nowell, said the award was ‘unexpected’ and that people do not realise Guildcare deal with all ages and not just elderly people.
He said: “Guildcare deals with ages from five to our oldest at 105 – including children with learning difficulties and special needs – we cover across the spectrum.”
Gemini Print claimed the Highly Commended award in the category.
VJG Jewellery claimed the Retailer award and the Worthing-based independent manufacturing and retailing jewellers will celebrate 23 years in business next month.
The award was sponsored by Worthing Town Centre and was presented by Chris Spratt.
When collecting the award, business owner, Vicki Tully, said she was ‘delighted’ to win and dedicated the award to her staff and family for all the dedicated support over the last 23 years.
She said: “This award reaffirms all I did and proves the blood, sweat and tears over the last 23 years has all been worth it.”
Candle Scentral claimed the Highly Commended award in the category.
The Business Personality award went to Dave Hunt, the man known for ‘bringing fun to this part of West Sussex’.
The award was sponsored by The Martlett Partnership and was presented by managing partner, David Macdonald.
Mr Hunt’s company, Dave Hunt Leisure has provided bouncy castles, slides, candy floss and disco hire for many years.
Judges referred to Mr Hunt as ‘Mr Worthing’ as he is ‘involved in lots of community and local events’ and said whatever is on, ‘Dave is sure to be involved in some way’.
Judges were looking for someone who can demonstrate that their unswerving commitment, business acumen, and approach to the challenges presented by the business world has impacted upon their business’ success.
Mr Hunt dedicated the award to his dad, who passed away ten years ago.
He said: “My dad was very community minded and would have been standing at the memorial for Remembrance this weekend.
“He taught me all I know and this award really means a lot.”
The Team/Employee of the Year award was sponsored by Gusto Wines and went to Hunters Recruitment.
Simon Wallace presented the award.
The independent recruitment agency and business has served Sussex since 1998.
When introducing the award, Nick said their ‘dedicated team’ has achieved their ‘best ever financial results, with a turnover and profitability higher than any previous year’.
The winner needed to show efforts and determination and who had made an exceptional contribution to a business resulting in a positive gain for the organisation.
Managing director, Patrick O’Donoghue, said it was the agency’s first award and was all down to the staff’s ‘hard work’.
“We have had a brilliant but troubled year – so it feels really great to win this award,” he added.
Northwood Estate and Letting Agents claimed the Highly Commended award in the category.
The Employer of the Year award went to ECE Architecture.
The award was presented by Zelda Reeves from JP South Events.
Judges said the business is ‘committed to going the extra mile to make sure that they not only deliver commercially but also to the community as a whole’.
Employee’s, Paul Fender and Rebecca Bignell, said it ‘felt amazing’ to win the award, and felt they had received the ‘best award’ out of the mix.
“It is great to have the recognition of what we do and means a lot,” said Rebecca.
She added: “It shows we treat our employee’s well.”
Guild Care claimed the Highly Commended award in the category.
Pannisa Coffee Lounge claimed the Readers Choice award, sponsored by the Worthing Herald Series.
The award was presented by Tapp, communities content editor of Sussex Newspapers.
The new business, which opened just over 18 months ago serves coffee, home-cooked food, using local suppliers and fairtrade products.
The Lifetime Achievement award went to Peter Davies.
The award was sponsored by JSPC Computer Services and was presented by Tony Dorey.
Mr Davies backgrounds in planning, development and urban regeneration, having worked at a senior management level for several local authorities both in the Midlands and in more recent years in the South of England.
The director of the Adur and Worthing Business Partnership joined Shoreham Port in 2007 and manages the extensive property portfolio, developing the Port’s environmental credentials.
Judges applaused Mr Davies’ commitment, business acumen and approach to the ‘challenges presented by the business world’.
He said: “I am delighted to have won this award and thank all judges and people who thought I deserved it.”
Mr Davies confirmed he is retiring soon and was going to go out ‘quietly’, but now he will be ‘going out on a high’.
When asked by the BBC One Show presenter what his advice was to other business owners, he said they should try to ‘put something back into the community’.
The last award was Overall Business of the Year and went to Ricardo.
When introducing the award, Nick said there were ‘so many winners and it was a tough decision for judges’.
The BBC One Show presenter applaused Ricardo for scooping a trio of awards and said it was ‘well deserved’.
The winner needed to show great staff relations, good staff retention, with excellent training and care for its employees and prove they are the best business to work for.
Johnston Press are ‘dedicated to recognising, rewarding and celebrating local businesses’.
Collections for Help the Heroes went around during the evening, raising £750.
This was then doubled by ETI Commercial, the official sponsor of the ceremony.
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