Congratulations to the 31 businesses who beat strong competition to reach the final of my Havant Small Business Awards.
Narrowed down from hundreds of nominations from readers of The News and local residents, these firms and entrepreneurs demonstrate the remarkable depth and variety of small businesses across the Havant constituency.
There are established local favourites like Hayling Island’s Coastguard Cafe and Purbrook’s Cut ‘n’ Dry hair salon and new businesses such as Emsworth Brewhouse.
The weight of positive endorsements and tributes for these businesses from the public was great to see.
The finalists will be competing across 12 categories, with category winners also in the running for the night’s most prestigious award – Havant Small Business of the Year 2016.
The News is media partner for the awards.
As well as our brilliant businesses, it will be great to showcase and celebrate the extraordinary individuals who contribute to the local economy and community.
Residents like Tina Heath – who pioneered Mengham’s successful late-night shopping initiative – and Emsworth’s fitness guru and motivational master George ‘Topsy’ Turner are up for individual awards.
Lewmar, a marine manufacturer based on Southmoor Lane in Havant, has produced some beautiful trophies for our winners.
I visited the factory to thank staff for their hard work and craftsmanship.
It was great to present Peter McQuade, the inspirational president and founder of the Hayling-to-Paris bike ride, with a congratulatory letter after he was awarded an MBE for his work, having helped raise over £1.5m for 500 different charities and organised and taken part in every ride since 1986.
Peter is a real source of pride for the entire constituency.
I also met the team at The Dust Dolly, whose domestic cleaning service has spruced up many homes around Havant.
Managing director Kelly Edney and her ‘dollies’ work tirelessly for local residents.
I’m delighted this has been recognised by their nomination for the Small Business Awards.
My next drop-in surgery will take place at Emsworth Church on Friday May 6 (4.30pm to- 6pm). No appointment needed.
To keep up to date with my work as your local MP across Havant and in Westminster, please sign up for my regular MP newsletter via my website alanmak.org.uk
Thanks to all residents for your continuing support.