Portsmouth area firms dominate at big awards night

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It was a grand evening for Portsmouth businesses on Friday as they celebrated taking home trophies at this year’s Johnston Press South Business Awards.

Seven winners from the Portsmouth area – all of whom had already triumphed at The News Business Excellence Awards – won again at the regional event held at the Grand Hotel in Brighton.

Retailer of the Year Samatha Worsey

Retailer of the Year Samatha Worsey

Samantha Worsey said it was ‘overwhelming’ to win the Retailer of the Year award for her business, Southsea Bathing Hut.

She added: ‘We were thrilled to win Retailer of the Year on our home turf at the Portsmouth awards.

‘We never would have imagined we would go into this huge event and win.

‘We are still a team of three.’

Fareham-based IT company Digi Toolbox Ltd took home the Employer of the Year award.

Founder Mark Viccars said: ‘It was nice to win the Portsmouth award and then to win this award is a great achievement for us.

‘We are only as good as our staff members.’

Mark revealed he is planning to recruit five new members of staff in 2018.

Leigh Rowsell, director of Small Business of the Year winners Pearl Fit Out Ltd, said: ‘It’s absolutely fantastic.It boosts confidence and opens the playing field.’

Other winners from the Portsmouth area include: Transalis (Medium-sized Business), GTMS Waterlooville (Best Team), Bunn Leisure (Leisure & Tourism) and Martin Putman, former port director (Lifetime Achievement).

Aniello Sabatino, founder of Transalis, who won the Medium-sized Business award, said: ‘The young guys we brought in right at the start have helped us grow an idea into a successful business.’

He added that the award would allow the company ‘to take the next stepping stone into the big wide world’.