Two Somerset businesses –a 21-year-old entrepreneur, and a Swindon business - were crowned as among the ‘best in the West’ at the FSB ‘Celebrating Small Business Awards 2018’ held in Taunton last week.
The South West finals of the national FSB contest took place at Somerset County Cricket Ground and were designed to find the best small businesses from Tewkesbury to Penzance.
Among the 12 winners were Limitless Ltd, of Frome, who won the Business and Product Innovation award, Taunton Cider who scooped the Start-Up Business trophy, Shaunessy Abrahams, of Sedgemoor Caravans, Highbridge, who was chosen as the Young Entrepreneur of the year and Excalibur Communications, of Swindon, who were chosen as the South West small business employer of the year.
The event also saw Highly Commended awards across various categories go to fellow Somerset and Wiltshire companies Red Berry Recruitment Ltd (Shepton Mallet), Back2Market Removals & Clearances (Yeovil), CM Sourcing (Taunton), Onion Collective CIC (Watchet), Glentham Life Sciences Ltd from Corsham, Independent Living Solutions Ltd of Salisbury, Pipster Solutions from Trowbridge and MG Cannon Limited of Westbury.
Pandora Jacobs, from natural lights systems firm Limitless said they were delighted to win.
“It feels ridiculously exciting to have won. To have this sort of acknowledgement means so much to a small business and is affirmation that we are on the right track“
Taunton Cider’s Crispin Reed said his team would be ‘cracking open a case of vintage Taunton Cider’ after his firm won the Start-Up Business of the Year for resurrecting a famous name company which first appeared in 1911.
“This was a real surprise, especially as there was some very stiff competition, but it is a real recognition of the hard work the staff have put in over the past year.”
Peter Boucher, from IT and business communications frim Excalibur (pictured above), said they were delighted to win.
“It feels amazing and it is good news for all the members of the team. Having the best staff is the best thing that we can offer our clients.”
And there was special applause at the event for the young entrepreneur of the year, Shaunessy Abrahams, who sold his first caravan at the age of 16 and now has a successful company in Highbridge.
“It is great – I didn’t expect to win but I want to give credit to all the team back at the site. This means I am going to have to go back to the office and buy everyone a curry!”
All of the local winners will now be reassessed against winners from 11 other UK FSB regions and could then be shortlisted to go through to the UK national FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2018 final in London in May.