Business awards are praised by chancellor in House of Commons

From left, Emma Marsh, Lynsey Lambourne, Alan Mak MP,  Kelly Edney in the drivers seat, and Gemma Colley from the Dust Dolly
From left, Emma Marsh, Lynsey Lambourne, Alan Mak MP, Kelly Edney in the drivers seat, and Gemma Colley from the Dust Dolly
The countryside surrounding Harting Down in the South Downs National Park, in West Sussex.

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THE inaugural Havant Small Business Awards have received recognition in parliament.

Chancellor George Osborne praised Havant MP Alan Mak for organising an event to showcase and celebrate the best of local business initiative and enterprise.

Last week saw the unveiling of 31 finalists for the awards – the first of their kind in Havant.

Mr Osborne said: ‘I congratulate the small businesses in the Havant constituency, they are thriving and we are helping them with major improvements to roads and major infrastructure in the area.’

The Havant Small Business Awards are taking place at South Downs College on Friday, April 29, where the winners will be announced across 12 individual categories.

Hundreds of residents submitted nominations for their favourite local businesses – from hairdressers to plumbers – before a guest panel of business and community leaders named their short-listed finalists. Category winners will also be in the running for the prestigious overall award – Havant Small Business of the Year 2016.

Mr Mak said that excitement was building for the awards.

He has visited various finalists in the last couple of months.

Last week he went to The Dust Dolly, a domestic cleaning company in Havant and Emsworth, which is a finalist in the Best Street Vendor / Home-based Business category.

The small firm was set up in 2010 by Kelly Edney, from Havant, who is also in the running individually in the Best Local Tradesperson category.

The Dust Dolly is now in its sixth year of trading, with more than 60 clients and an expanding staff team.

Mr Mak said: ‘It was great to see the stream of nominations and public tributes for The Dust Dolly, which is a true family and community-orientated business. They are what the Havant Small Business Awards were set up to celebrate. I wish them the best of luck at the awards ceremony.’

Ms Edney said: ‘I’m delighted to be short-listed, and very proud of my team. Getting to the final is a real boost for us.’