More than 500 small business owners, key stakeholders and FSB members gathered at the spectacular Battersea Evolution on May 23 for the final of FSB’s Celebrating Small Business Awards 2019.
And it was family business Cruise Loch Ness that was named as the FSB UK Small Business of the Year 2019. The top 11 small businesses were also named.
Sara Davies, who the BBC recently named as Jenny Campbell’s successor on the Dragon’s Den panel, won International Business of the Year for her globally successful firm Crafter’s Companion, based in County Durham.
Hampshire vegan pet food brand, Vegeco, created by two eco-entrepreneur bothers, was named as Ethical-Green Business of the Year, whilst independent Kent Crisps Ltd., which was taken from loss to profit in six months by new entrepreneur owner Laura Bounds, was named as micro business of the year; and Pioneering high-tech Pharma Packaging Ltd. from Worcester, which has taken the global industry by storm, were among 11 winners from across the UK.
A special FSB Chairman’s award was given to company Allegro Optical, West Yorkshire, because of the way it has overcome adversity to grow despite one of the co-founders being struck down by a life-threatening illness just months after opening its doors.
FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “This year’s award winners illustrate how small businesses are embracing and driving investment, innovation, technology and creativity to better the UK’s economy and inspire the next generations. Small businesses make for a strong economy, and it is through supporting small businesses such as these that we’ll continue to lead the world in entrepreneurialism.”
Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “Congratulations to all of the fantastic small businesses who have won and been nominated for this year’s FSB Small Business Awards.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and as a former small business owner, I’m passionate about helping them seize opportunities and ensuring they can thrive in the future. Through our modern Industrial Strategy we are committed to growing our status as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.”
Established in 1968, Cruise Loch Ness won both Family Business of the Year and the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards grand prize triumphing against more than 100 finalists from across the UK. The business, which has in the past set sail with Ewan Macgregor and the Olympic torch aboard its boats, was singled out for its sustained investment over its 50 years in operation. It also launched a bespoke online booking system.