It was an emotional evening for businesses from across Bognor Regis as their hardwork and achievements were recognised.
Held at the Shoreline Hotel in Butlins, the 19th Arun Business of the Year Awards was attended by over 200 people eager to pay homage to local individuals and companies.
Host of the evening, Arun District Council officer Miriam Nicholls shared her delight in the popularity of the evening, and said: “This is the biggest Business Awards we have had yet.” A record number of entrants provided encouragement about the growing level of interest in the district’s businesses, she stated.
The sponsor of the Business in Education Award, the University of Chichester agreed with this. Professor Seamus Higson said: “These awards are all really important for local businesses.
“It is amazing for us to see the impact these local businesses have on our students. It gives them the chance to learn which skills are really important.”
Tor Walmsley who has recently started her own business, Mindful Moments UK, was there last Friday to gain inspiration for her work.
She said: “I’m here to have a look at other small businesses and what they have achieved.
“It’s also really important to build a relationship with other businesses in the community.
“I’m hoping to enter next year.”
The excitement in the room was palpable as the ceremony began. People from businesses of all types were seated together and happily discussed their work and expressed their pride in what others do.
The first award of the night was for New Business of the Year. The owner of the Tonsorial Parlour in Bognor Regis, Ben Yilmaz, displayed the same confidence required to open a new business when collecting the award. He expressed his gratitude for the award.
He said: “It means a lot and shows that the community and other businesses have accepted us. It’s amazing.”
The sense of community mentioned throughout the awards was present all evening as businesses congratulated each other on their successes. This was never more apparent than when the sponsor of the Business Marketing and Promotion Award, NL Autos, happily presented Kate and Georgia Alston of Pinks Vintage Ice Cream with their award and said: “We are very happy and chuffed for them”.
Former winners, Regis Removals, were honoured again this year at the ceremony. David Wride from Regis Removals accepted the award for customer care. He explained how he sought this award for years.
He said: “I always wanted to get this on behalf of our staff who work tirelessly for our customers.”
Many employers spoke highly of their workers in the success of their companies.
Sue Pegrum from Enable Me thanked the volunteers of the charity after receiving the Disability Awareness Award. She said: “This is a fantastic credit to volunteers. We couldn’t do what we do without them.”