An amazing array of small businesses - ranging from a Dorset biscuit manufacturer to a Bristol cats’ café - were unveiled as the ‘best in the West’ at the FSB South West small business awards final.
The South West area finals of the FSB ‘Celebrating Small Business Awards 2020’ were held at the Somerset County Cricket Ground and SMEs from a far apart as the Forest of Dean and the Isles of Scilly were on the shortlist for the highly-prestigious awards.
Among those claiming the trophies were Dorset based babies’ sleeping bag manufacturers Slumbersac (International Business of the Year winners) and 26-year-old Cheltenham man Oliver Bruce who was chosen as the region’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Other well-deserving companies who emerged victorious on the day came from Salisbury (Wiltshire), Truro (Cornwall), Bristol, Ilminster (Somerset), Hayle (Cornwall), Cheddar (Somerset), Swindon (Wiltshire) and two from Torquay in Devon.
Indian cookery school Pure Punjabi Ltd from the New Forest, near Salisbury, won the prized Family Business of the Year Award trophy and Surinder Hothi-Bellamy said she was thrilled to be taking the award back to her three children in the family business - Safia Hothi-Bellamy and Samir and Aaron Bellamy
“We are delighted to win this award as the whole reason we created this business was for the family. My real purpose in starting the company was so that if my three children ever needed to take time out of work to look after their children they would be able to so and always have a good business to go back to.”
Equally delighted were the Micro Business of the Year award winners, Bristol cat café You&Meaow. Their director Ewa Rukat, who had also been shortlisted in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category, said she was stunned to hear she had won an award against very tough opposition.
“I am very emotional to have won this and very grateful. This feels very special to me especially as it is the same week we have passed our third anniversary in Bristol. This will be a great encouragement for the business going forward.”
Lee Nathan, whose business has offices in Plymouth and Bristol and is the FSB Regional Chairman for the South West, said the diversity and strength of the region’s small business community was perfectly illustrated at the awards
““It was a fantastic day which showed the amazing range of small businesses we have in the South West. More people than ever entered our awards this time and we would urge all the small businesses in the South West to follow their example and take part next year to make it and even bigger and better celebration of the small business community,” he said.
All the winners – apart from the regional Community winners – will now qualify for the national finals taking place in London in May.
The full list for the South West area ‘FSB Celebrating Small Business Award’ winners for 2020 is:
Business & Product Innovation Award
The Great British Biscotti Co (Christchurch, Dorset)
Family Business of the Year
Pure Punjabi Ltd (Salisbury, Wiltshire). Pictured below Surinder Hothi-Bellamy accepts the FSB award as Family Business of the Year from FSB South West Policy Lead Iain Wallis from Devizes.
International Business of the Year
Slumbersac Trading Company Ltd (Wimborne, Dorset)
Total Renewable Solutions SW Ltd (Ilminster, Somerset)
Start-up Business of the Year
Ocean Adventures (Cheddar, Somerset)
Digital/e-Commerce Business of the Year
Refresh Cartridges (Torquay, Devon)
Micro Business of the Year
You&Meaow (Bristol), pictured below Ewa Rukat, who runs the first Bristol cat café with the FSB award presented by FSB Area Leader for Gloucestershire Russell Warner
Self-employed/Sole Trader of the Year
The 25 Boutique B & B (Torquay, Devon)
High Growth Business of the Year
Ultrabeam Hydraulic Ltd (Hayle, Cornwall)
Wellbeing Award of the Year
Excalibur Communications (Swindon, Wiltshire)
St Petrocs (Truro, Cornwall)
Young Entrepreneur of the Year (under 30 years of age)
Oliver Bruce of PinPoint Media (Cheltenham, Gloucestershire) pictured below, Oliver Bruce (left) with his FSB award presented by regional chairman Lee Nathan.
The South West final is one of 12 regional finals place across the UK taking place until March. For more details see www.fsbawards.co.uk