Business leaders, council bosses, award nominees and entrepreneurs – plus a certain Paul Ross – rubbed shoulders at the inaugural Bury Free Press Business Awards.
The 250-strong audience was welcomed to The Apex on Friday by Bury Free Press editor Barry Peters, who praised the business community across West Suffolk for its resilience in the current economic climate.
“I am always amazed at the strength and depth and real passion shown by businesses across West Suffolk and in Bury St Edmunds,” he said.
Competition sponsors – who also acted as judges for each of the 11 categories – received special thanks from Mr Peters for their help.
Mr Peters also unveiled plans which will see the Bury Free Press increase its coverage of business in an exciting newspaper relaunch next month – which will see more stories, new features and new columnists.
Cllr John Grifﬁths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, also spoke of the talents within the local business community – and thanked the Bury Free Press for the support it gives to the business community
The Business of the Year title went to Sicon owned and run by Richard and Jane Youngman which provides software accounting services, employing more than 29 staff with a turnover of around £3million a year.
Business Person of the Year was awarded to Karen Finch from the Hearing Care Centre.
Winner of the Independent Retailer award was The Coffee Shop, Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds.
Role of honour:
People Development Winner: Howard Nurseries
Highly commended: Mark Nicol Bootcamps
Contribution to the Community Winner:Workwise
Highly commended: The Self Centre and Abbeycroft Leisure
Employee of the Year Winner: Ashleigh Harrison (Green Duck)
Highly commended: Katie Reffell (Denny Bros Supplies) and Jane Barber (WS Training)
The Bid: Customer Care Winner: Sue Kemp (McDonalds)
Highly commended: Simon Gray (Denny Bros Supplies and Deborah Gardner (Vision Express)
Business Innovation Winner: Century Logistics
Highly commended: Infusions4Chefs andWS
Training Independent Retailer Winner: The Coffee House
Highly commended: Gastrono-me and Croasdales Chemists
Best New Start-up Winner: Tim Freathy (Depden Farm Shop)
Highly commended: Brett Alexander Roberston (Grey Circle) and JoWithers (VTM)
Green/Environmental Award Winner: Howard Nurseries
Highly commended: Abbeycroft Leisure and Denny Bros
Award for International Trade Winner: RC Treatt & Co
Highly commended: Fix-A-Form International and Infusions4Chefs
Business Person of the Year Winner: Karen Finch (Hearing Care Centre)
Highly commended: Matthew Moss (Ensors) and Simon Gray (Denny Bros)
Business of theYear Winner: Sicon
Highly commended: Jacobs Allen and SK Clinic & Spa