Dozens of firms were recognised at the second Havant Small Business Awards.
The event, organised by the town’s MP Alan Mak, saw the skipper of the Hayling Ferry honoured for his work in getting the vital transport link up and running again.
Mr Mak said: ‘Meeting so many hard working and enthusiastic business owners was truly inspiring.
‘Not only do these people put in long hours to make their business a success, many spend so much time and effort giving back to the community. Celebrating and recognising some of these local companies is why I organised the awards.’
There were hundreds of nominations made by readers of The News and Havant residents – inspired by businesspeople who all had the same desire to go the extra mile for customers and shared a wish to give something back to the area.
Mr Mak added: ‘Colin Hill, of the Hayling Ferry, which won the overall prize, epitomised this exemplary attitude, tirelessly working to ensure that the business not only works as a commercial success but becomes a valuable community asset.
‘Others, such as the Lifeboat Inn, in Hayling, which won the Best Pub category, demonstrated remarkable charity fundraising, with publican Hayley Wallage and her team raising an astonishing £18,000 for the RNLI.’
However, it was not all about raising money. Kuru, winner of the Best Health and Beauty Business, offers opportunities for college students studying hairdressing the chance to work part-time to gain industry experience.
Another, Perfect Plumbing from Leigh Park, winner of the Best Local Tradesperson, has carried out free work for a local family which cares for a disabled child.
While Astares in Havant, winner of Best New Business, donates shoes to the Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice charity shop and to the schools for their drama departments.
‘Every single firm had an inspirational story to tell’ said Mr Mak. ‘And from seeing the nominations it’s obvious to see why small businesses in our area remain so popular.
‘I’d like to thank you everyone who contributed to our charity raffle, helping to raise more than £500 for two excellent charities – the Royal British Legion and the South Domestic Abuse Service.’
To see a full list of winners go to alanmak.org.uk/SBA.
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