THERE were celebrations all round as 19 awards were handed out to the best businesses in the south.
The Southern Business Awards, run by Johnston Press, which owns The News, took place in Brighton on Friday, September 7.
The night saw more than 80 people attend a ceremony, presented by Spirit FM's Vicky Edwards. The short-lists were made up of winners of regional business awards.
Overall winner of the night was family firm Woods Travel, in Bognor Regis, which has been going for more than 47 years.
Woods Travel also won the Medium-sized business award.
Managing director Alison Waterfield-Jones put the victory down to 'great staff, great customers and great customer service'.
She said: ‘We like what we do and we all like each other which helps.
‘Thank you to our customer base and staff. We will soon be celebrating our 50 years and we are ready for big celebrations after this.’
Outstanding Contribution to the Community was won by Brad Ainsworth from Cathedral Wealth Management in Chichester.
Brad has given a considerable amount of time and effort to a variety of community activities and raised thousands of pounds for worthy causes.
Green Business of the Year went to co-educational independent school Great Ballard School in Eartham for its work educating children how to protect the environment.
Other winners included; the Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure award went to the Marriott Hotel in Portsmouth, Employer of the Year was won by Digi Toolbox in Fareham, the Manufacturing and Construction award was won by Havant-based Dunham Bush and Best Employee/Team of the Year went to Gemma Lighting in Portsmouth.
Pinks Vintage Ice Cream Vans and Tricycles in Chichester won the Customer Service category, The Beach Kitchen in Eastbourne won Start-up of the Year, Goscombe Homes in Eastbourne won the Innovation Award, Small Business of the Year went to Funky Hampers in Eastbourne and the Training and Development award was won by Egalite in Worthing.
The Place to Eat or Drink award was won by The Green Man in Horsham and Young Achiever of the Year went to Ben Griggs from Worthing.
Large Business of the Year went to First Central in Haywards Heath, Retailer of the Year was won by Sakakini in Horsham and Business Personality of the Year went to Tristan Eves from Chichester.
The most prestigious award of the night – the Lifetime Achievement Award – went to Diane Lenantine from Chichester, for her years of work as chairman and co-founder of The Sussex Snowdrop Trust based in Walburton.