It certainly was a Grand evening as businesses from across the south coast gathered in Brighton to celebrate excellence, but also to compete for the top prize.
Returning for a seventh year, the Johnston Press South Business Awards are dedicated to recognising, rewarding and celebrating local businesses.
Taking place at Brighton’s Grand Hotel, the awards were presented by TV personality Nick Wallis on Friday night.
After a strong showing at their local JP Awards, Chichester’s Guardian Angel Carers sccoped the top prize Overall Business Of The Year, as well as Large Business of the Year.
Business owner and managing director, Christina Bassadone, said: “It’s absolutely amazing. It’s just such a privilege.
“We had a hard year last year, this is such a huge boost to the team.
“I do not think staff always get the recognition they deserve. I really hope that they take a lot of inspiration from the award.
“Also a huge thank you to all of our carers for all of the wonderfuil work in the community.”
With so many fabulous restaurants and eateries across the region, it seems impossible to pick one to top them all.
But judges singled out Olive and Vine in Midhurst for the coveted Place to Eat or Drink Award, praising a business formed when its founders took a leap of faith and backed themselves.
Dean Brown-fuller, owner of Olive and Vine, said: “It’s an amazing experience for a small business like ourselves to get the recognition.
He praised the work of his staff, adding: “They do really hard work and it is great to see it rewarded.”
Looking ahead, Mr Brown-fuller said he is looking forward to growing the business’s outdoor catering arm and work more events in the open air.
The world of business can be tough for anyone, especially for those who are just starting out.
Brandon Relph from Go Creative in Eastbourne wowed judges for all he has achieved at such a young age, taking home the Young Achiever award.
Sam Worsey said it was ‘overwhelming’ to win the Retailer of the Year award for her business, Southsea Bathing Hut in Portsmouth.
Beaming as she held her glass trophy she said: “We were thrilled to win Retailer of the Year on our home turf at the Portsmouth awards.
“We never would have imagined we would go into this huge event [JP South Business Awards] and win.
“It is amazing for our confidence, we are still a team of three.
“Things like this genuinely give us an extra rocket.”
One of the things the JP South Business Awards seeks to celebrate is companies making a difference in their local area.
This year Talks at Six, a Chichester forum which provides interesting talks on a range of subjects in aid of charity, took home the Outstanding Contribution to the Community award.
Marilyn Humphrey, the founder of Talks at Six, said: “It is a forum for local people. We have raised over £7,500 for in the last 15 months.
“Thank you to my son Freddie who has always been a support to me.”
Full list of winners:
Customer Service award – Gardiner and Scardifield, Worthing
Best Startup Business – Bespoke You Beauty Retreat and Spar, Worthing
Innovation award – Ricardo Plc, Shoreham
Small Business award – Pearl Fit Out Ltd, Portsmouth
Green Business of the Year – Nature Shop, Worthing
Training and Development award – Tim Sorensen
Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure award – Bunn Leisure
Medium-sized Business award – Transalis, Portsmouth
Outstanding Contribution to the Community – Talks at 6, Chichester
Employer of the Year – Digi Tool Box Ltd
Best Employee or Best Team – GTMS, Waterlooville
Place to Eat or Drink award – The Olive and Vine, Chichester
Young Achiever award – Brandon Relph, Go Creative in Eastbourne
Manufacturing and Construction award – Si Protech
Large Business of the Year – Guardian Angel Carers, Chichester
Retailer of the Year – Southsea Bathing Hut, Portsmouth
Business Personality of the Year – Dawn Lawrence, managing director of Q Hair and Beauty, Chichester
Lifetime Achievement award – Martin Putman (retired) Port Director, Portsmouth
Overall Business of the Year – Guardian Angel Carers, Chichester