Recognising the best of local businesses

Alan Mak MP with guest speakers and winners at the Havant Small Business Awards. 

Picture: Sarah Standing (160654-6058)
Alan Mak MP with guest speakers and winners at the Havant Small Business Awards. Picture: Sarah Standing (160654-6058)
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A showcase of local enterprise celebrated the achievements of Havant businesses with a special ceremony that gave firms some well-deserved rewards for all of their successes. KIMBERLEY BARBER reports

Businesses from across Havant won some well-deserved recognition at an MP’s inaugural awards.

Alan Mak hosted the first-ever Havant Small Business Award at South Downs College.

Thirty-one finalists competed across 12 categories in the showcase of local enterprises and businesspeople and more than 150 people attended the event.

The evening’s top award went to Emsworth’s Fresh From the Boat.

The family-run sustainable fishing company fought off strong competition to be crowned Havant Small Business of the Year 2016.

Having received scores of public nominations, and earned rave reviews from judges who were impressed by inspiring initiatives such as the Community Fish Box, Fresh From The Boat also took away the prize for Family Business of the Year.

Community Fish Box is a subscription service for residents which ensures they receive regular deliveries of fish, helping to support the local fishing trade while ensuring local families receive regular deliveries of fish, and reducing food miles.

The ceremony featured some wise words from guest speaker Paul Lindley, founder of the multimillion-pound organic baby food company Ella’s Kitchen.

The self-made entrepreneur spoke to finalists, residents, and community representatives about his struggles to build a business and his views about the role of business in wider society.

Special mentions were reserved for Havant’s historically-themed café, 19 Fourteas Tea Rooms, for its educational service to local schoolchildren; and Purbrook’s Cut ‘n’ Dry Salon – which has been a family-run local favourite in the area for more than 30 years.

Hayling Island’s Tina Heath secured the award for Greatest Contribution to the Community in recognition of her work leading the Mengham Traders’ Group and organising the popular late-night festive shopping evening in Mengham.

The finalists in each category had been determined by the number of nominations and tributes they had received from the public, with individual winners then selected by a judging panel made up of leading local business figures and community representatives.

There was success too for George ‘Topsy’ Turner and his personal training business Innovations Fitness.

In the Best New Business Category, the popular new nano-brewery at The Emsworth Brewhouse scooped the prize ahead of excellent contenders Turbulent Designs and Obsession Hair and Beauty Salon.

The evening was marked out by its commitment to the community, with Julie Parham of Cut ‘n’ Dry rewarded for her 30-year contribution to customers and local residents.

Students from South Downs College’s enterprise society, Evolve, were involved in the organisation the ceremony itself – and were duly thanked by Mr Mak in his closing address.

He said: ‘Congratulations to all the winners and the many businesses who were nominated by residents. A special well done to Peter and Chantelle Williams – the husband-and-wife team behind Fresh From The Boat. Their Community Fish Box initiative and approach to business is inspiring; they fully deserve their Havant Small Business of the Year award.’

Guest speaker Mr Lindley added: ‘The awards have been a great success and exactly what a local MP should be doing. It was a terrific event to be a part of.

‘I know how difficult it can be starting out with the dream of running your own business, but the drive and innovation was truly inspiring. Congratulations to Alan for putting on such a fantastic event and I look forward to hearing how all the finalists get on.’

THE RESULTS

Apprentice of the Year

Matthew Winslade from Fasset, property solutions, Langstone Road, Havant - winner

Runners-up were Michael Rees from Aura Gas, gas and heating engineer, New Road, Havant, and Joshua Smyth-Robins from P & I Generators, manufacturer of hot air generators, Downley Road, Havant

Best Health & Beauty Business

Chapel Medi-Spa, West Street, Havant - winner

Runners-up were Headromance hair salon, in Park Road, Havant and The Hair Advice Centre, in Elm Grove, Hayling Island

Best Street Vendor / Home-Based Business

Innovations Fitness, personal training and boot camp, Emsworth - winner

Runners-up were The Dust Dolly, domestic cleaning company, in The Pallant, Havant and Polka Dot Cakes, bakery, in Fern Drive, Havant

Personality of the Year

Julie Parham from Cut n Dry Hair Salon, London Road, Havant - winner

Runners-up were Gary Robinson from Aura Gas, gas and heating engineer, New Road, Havant and George ‘Topsy’ Turner from Innovations Fitness, personal training and boot camp, Emsworth

Best Takeaway

Coastguard Café, Hayling Island - winner

Runners-up were the Taste of India, in High Street, Havant and Sophie’s Kebab, in North Street, Havant

Greatest Contribution of the Community

Tina Heath from Mengham Traders Group, Hayling Island - winner

Runners-up were Gary Robinson from Aura Gas, gas and heating engineer, New Road, Havant and George ‘Topsy’ Turner from Innovations Fitness, personal training and boot camp, Emsworth

Family Business of the Year

Fresh from the Boat, commercial fishing boat, Emsworth - winner

Runners-up were Cut n Dry Hair Salon, London Road, Havant and 19 Fourteas Tea Rooms, West Street, Havant

Best Restaurant

Fat Olives, South Street, Emsworth - winner

Runners-up were The Ship Inn, Langstone Road, Havant and Grastar, North Street, Havant

Best Pub

The Blue Bell Inn, South Street, Emsworth - winner

Runners-up were the Old House at Home, South Street, Havant and The Coal Exchange, South Street, Emsworth

Best Local Tradesperson

Kelly Edney from The Dust Dolly, domestic cleaning, The Pallant, Havant - winner

Runners-up were Andy Watts from the Motatalk Garage Services, South Street, Havant and Ivor Copeland, heating & plumbing services, Hayling Island

Best Café

19 Fourteas Tea Rooms, West Street, Havant - winner

Runners-up were Driftwood Café, High Street, Emsworth and Lavender Tea Rooms, North Street, Havant

Best New Business

The Emsworth Brewhouse, craft ale brewery, Hollybank, Emsworth - winner

Runners-up were Obsession Hair & Beauty, North Street, Emsworth and Turbulent Designs, 3D assets and immersive environments, Langstone Road, Havant