Big night celebrates the best of business

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When it comes to the economy, a lot of the talk has been about the doom and gloom that’s struck in recent times.

No-one is disputing the fact that businesses have found it tough of late.

But if ever there was an event that proves hard work, dedication, talent and drive can pay off, then it’s The News Business Excellence Awards.

Last night’s award ceremony was a great way to celebrate all the good things that are going on across our business community right now.

And it was the perfect chance to really showcase all the innovative ideas that have helped our local firms weather the storm of recession and come out the other side fighting.

We’re delighted to be able to honour individuals and companies at this annual event because it’s vital that we recognise and reward the many outstanding success stories.

All those who were nominated have every reason to feel proud of their success and we say a big ‘well done’ to those who subsequently made it on to the final shortlist.

Up and down the country, it’s been a worrying time for all those in business, and not every firm has survived.

But here in Portsmouth there have been real signs of prosperity and 2012 is already shaping up to be a good year, as the city moves ever closer to the regeneration plans that will bring investment to the area.

All those who won awards last night have their own reasons for looking forward to the future.

And for the winner of our prestigious Business of the Year award, this looks set to be a particularly exciting time.

Online bike and sportswear shop Wiggle has achieved the kind of expansion that other businesses can only ever dream about.

Despite the challenges, the company has spread its wings and now serves customers from across the globe.

Today we list the names of all our winners and runner-ups – and wish them well in the hope that they continue to flourish.