Small businesses in Portsmouth and Hampshire get recognition at first My VIP Card awards

Some of the winners with host Annelies James and awards founder Maddy Alexander-Grout at the inaugural My VIP Card Awards at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
Some of the winners with host Annelies James and awards founder Maddy Alexander-Grout at the inaugural My VIP Card Awards at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
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SCORES of businesses put their best foot forward for the inaugural VIP awards last month.

Friday, October 4 saw over 170 Portsmouth and Hampshire-based business owners attending the awards.

Organised by entrepreneur Maddy Alexander-Grout,who is the founder of My VIP Card, the awards celebrate the best of Hampshire businesses.

Maddy, who created My VIP Card to help people to shop locally and support their high street, wanted to help smaller businesses to be recognised after she won her 10th award in two years. 

She noticed that some awards locally did not have suitable categories for the businesses she was working with and wanted to create something to help them get noticed.

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Hosted by Annelies James and held at the Hilton Ageas Bowl in Southampton, the awards recognised the hard work of some of Hampshire’s best businesses, with 16 categories with two highly commended and a winner in each category.

3000 votes were cast and 48 awards were given out after the entrants went through a panel of well-established highly regarded business people.

Over £900 was raised on the night for The Courage Foundation.

Maddy said: ‘It was amazing to see so many Hampshire businesses in the same room celebrating what they have achieved, connecting communities is what I strive to achieve with my business and seeing businesses from all over Hampshire winning awards was truly remarkable.’

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My VIP Card is a discount card and employee benefit scheme, set up in 2017 to help people to shop local, support their high street and save money.

Founder Maddy was inspired to start the business after meeting a group of first-time mums who were struggling to get out and about with their little ones because of how expensive it was.

The new app is due to launch this month, which hopes to see even more businesses signing up to the VIP community she has built.

Although her business is currently only based in Hampshire, Maddy has plans to expand across the UK and take her awards nationwide.