Business Excellence Awards 2021: Much-anticipated event returns to the Portsmouth Guildhall

The much-awaited News Business Excellence Awards are now under way – bringing a touch of black-tie glamour to what has been a hard year.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 8:04 pm
Katie Ware & Michelle Peskett from Ruby Funerals. Picture: Keith Woodland (080721-2)

Talk of lockdowns, furlough and other bleak terms can – at least for the night – be forgotten as we celebrate the best of business in the area, highlighting the movers and shakers that keep our economy moving and help bring prosperity to the region.

The awards are usually held in February, but for obvious pandemic-related reasons were unable to take place then.

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The guests seated at the awards Picture: Keith Woodland (080721-33)

This evening Portsmouth Guildhall is hosting the glitzy event, albeit one that is operating, regrettably but necessarily, at a reduced capacity and with different rules to usual. There have been distanced queues outside the Guildhall, and the guests are now seated, awaiting a dinner and then the award announcements themselves, which will start at about 9.15pm.

Editor of The News Mark Waldron said: ‘In the past 16 months many businesses have been forced to pivot and show enterprise as government restrictions and lockdowns affected their ability to trade. How they have coped and adapted has been inspirational.

‘So tonight is an opportunity to reflect that the Portsmouth business community has stood strong throughout the pandemic and has dealt with everything that has been thrown at us. It’s been quite an achievement.’

Billy & Steve Barrett from Diamond Cut Refinishing. Picture: Keith Woodland (080721-4)

The awards are being hosted by BBC News presenter and Portsmouth High School alumna Anjana Gadgil.

Also speaking tonight is Professor Jeremy Howells, executive dean of faculty of business and law at the University of Portsmouth, this year’s lead sponsor.

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Guests queuing up for The News' Business Excellence Awards Picture: Keith Woodland (080721-17)