On 3rd December, over 500 businesses across Sussex joined together at The Grand Hotel in Brighton to celebrate business excellence for the 27th year. As Sponsor of the awards, we’re here to bring you an overview of the evening and the list of deserving winners…
The Sussex Business Awards, held on Thursday 3rd December at The Grand Hotel in Brighton, was an evening dedicated to celebrating business excellence across Sussex. The sixteen prestigious awards themselves, lending to the longest established scheme of its kind in the county, were presented by ITV’s star of the Chase, Paul Sinha. In their twenty seventh year, this was a night to be remembered, with five hundred of the county’s leading business people gathering together to celebrate everyone’s hard work and dedication throughout the county. This year marked the first time that a ‘One to Watch’ accolade was also added to the shortlist, in which seven companies were named.
This year, AJS Labels, a Littlehampton-based business ‘did the double’ and was awarded the highest accolades at the annual Sussex Business Awards. The company took the prize of Sussex Company of the Year whilst its managing director, Andrew Scrimgeour, was also named Sussex Businessperson of the year.
The venue, The Grand Brighton itself took the title of Best Place to Entertain Your Clients. Commenting on this award, Andrew Mosley, General Manager said: “The team and I were delighted to be awarded a Sussex Business Award for Best Place to Entertain. It was also a real pleasure to host such a prestigious awards ceremony, celebrating business success within our county. We pride ourselves on offering businesses in Sussex and beyond a wide selection of options in which to entertain their guests.
He added: “The team work incredibly hard to deliver unforgettable experiences which leave lasting impressions on clients, so to be credited for our efforts was hugely rewarding.”
Another big winner on the night was Ridgeview Wine Estate who was named Small Business of the Year, whilst its CEO, Tamara Roberts, was a finalist for the Sussex Businessperson of the Year. This latest accolade for Ridgeview rounds off a fantastic year for the wine producers who are celebrating their 20th Anniversary. Tamara Roberts said: “It really has been an exceptional year for us in this our 20th Anniversary year and we thank the Sussex Business awards. This is a great acknowledgement of local support in an ever-increasing competitive Sussex wine industry.”
Ryan Heal, Chief Executive at Rockinghorse was named as the individual who made the ‘Greatest Contribution to Charity’, whilst Brighton Pride celebrated its twenty-fifth year by being named as the ‘Greatest Contribution to Charity’ by an organisation. Ryan said: “Winning this award was an incredible surprise – it’s obviously nice to be recognised for trying to make a difference. I’ve enjoyed supporting a number of charities over the years, most notably Rockinghorse, and this award is shared with the incredible team at the charity who put in so much hard work to make a difference to the sick children of Sussex. I’d also like to dedicate the award to everyone I’ve ever tried to help through the charities I’ve supported over the years.”
Rob Fawcett, Partner and Head of Property at Bennett Griffin LLP, which won the Professional Services Award, commented: “The awards night was a great evening in a beautiful venue. It was fantastic to see so many Sussex companies coming together to recognise business in Sussex.
We were delighted to win the Professional Services Award in what was a very competitive category. As a firm, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with specialist legal advice combined with the highest level of care and service and this award is a real recognition of that and the hard work of all our staff.”
Creative Pod, the Marketing and Print Agency, took home the Responsible Business Award after judges were impressed by their own social initiative, Young Start-up Talent.
Matt Turner, MD of Creative Pod said: “I am delighted that Creative Pod have been recognised for this award. We are absolutely committed to being socially responsible and making sure that we have a positive impact in our local community within every aspect of our work. This is a fantastic achievement for all of the teams at Creative Pod and Young Start-up Talent.”
Alan Margetts, winner of the Boss of the Year award, and finalist for Sussex Businessperson of the Year, is no stranger to wins like this. He, and his business, The Kitchen Store has previously won awards such as, Best Independent Retailer 2015 at the Brighton & Hove Business Awards, and in 2014 they were winners of the Fastest Growing Business award. Alan commented on his most recent win: “The night got off to a great start with a birds-eye film of the sights and sounds of Sussex which I thought was breathtaking. Paul Sinha was a superb host and overall Midnight Communications did a fantastic job of organising the awards – it was a stellar year. The Kitchen Store was fortunate to be finalists in three categories so it made for a nail biting evening. We were really proud to be nominated in the Company of the Year and Sussex Businessperson categories, and to have won Boss of the Year was a great honour for all the team.”
Sussex Business Times proudly sponsored the Entrepreneur of the Year award, which was won by Andrew Stenning, Managing Director of Searches UK, and presented by our own Mason Ponti. Commenting on his win, Andrew said: “I am truly honoured to be awarded Entrepreneur of the Year and it is with huge thanks to the team at Searches UK for their continued hard work and dedication that I’ve been able to achieve this. Without their help, I would not be able to drive the business forward or deliver the excellent service that our clients deserve. I offer my congratulations to everyone shortlisted and all of the winners at the Sussex Business Awards. I’m delighted to be held in such high regard alongside so many other admirable business people.”
Mike Herd, Executive Director of the Sussex Innovation Centre and Chairman of the judges at the SBAs, commented: “This year was a record year! With the amount of entries received, the judging process proved a difficult task. The exceptional quality of the entries really shined through, and many worthy winners were chosen.”