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The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards South East showcase 2018’s most inspiring small businesses

Kent-based Bedfont Scientific Ltd, the creators of cutting-edge breath and gas analysis equipment, is one of the businesses that has beaten off stiff competition to be crowned one of the South East’s best small businesses. 

It was named as the South East’s Exporter of the Year – one of 12 award category winners at the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards held on 6 March at Sandown Park Racecourse.

Jason Smith, Managing Director at Bedfont Scientific said: “We work really hard with our distributors who we consider an extension of the Bedfont Family. Winning awards like this really resonates through the business, it allows us to reward them too for the hard work they do in their territory.”

Other winners on the day included Hampshire-based WetWheels, recognised for its Triumph over Adversity. Founded by disabled yachtsman Geoff Holt, the company helps disabled people of all ages, including wheelchair users, to enjoy adventures on water and has helped more than 4,000 people safely take to the sea.

Brian Woods, FSB SE Regional Chairman, said: “Congratulations to all this year’s South East FSB Business Award winners. They are reflective of the vibrancy, innovation and tenacity that makes up our region’s small business community. It’s been thrilling to see so many of the region’s businesses enthusiastically take part in our awards and the sheer scale and diversity of those who entered is a testimony to the vitality of the small business community in the South East. The best of luck to all our winners for the UK national award finals in May.”


Commenting on the event, sponsor Nick Paterno, Managing Director, McBrides Accountants, said: ““We were very happy to sponsor the Family Business of the Year category at the FSB Celebrating Small Business Award South East heat. We thoroughly enjoy advising family businesses and seeing them succeed makes our job so much more worthwhile.

"Family businesses have traditionally formed the backbone of our economy and it's encouraging to see the calibre of businesses represented at the awards and the number of Kent businesses among the finalists more generally. We wish all the regional finalists the very best at the national event later this year.” 

The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards celebrate the best small businesses from the length and breadth of the country, offering national recognition for those who have made the biggest impression over the last 12 months. Twelve area awards finals have taken place between January and March. South East finalists will join other area winners at a national event in London on 3 May 2018, hosted by impressionist and comedian Jon Culshaw.


The South East winners were announced by Master of Ceremonies and BBC broadcaster Dave Sharpe at a ceremony at Sandown Park Racecourse.

Congratulations to all the South East winners who are:

Business Exporter of the Year: Bedfont Scientific, Maidstone, Kent

Community Award: New Style Events, Hastings, East Sussex

Ethical – Green Business of the Year: Eshcon, Crawley, West Sussex

Business and Product Innovation Award: Bruce’s Doggy Day Care, Shepperton, Surrey

Digital Business of the Year: Boostberry, Peacehaven, Brighton

Microbusiness of the Year: Ladybird Photography, Hastings, East Sussex

Start-up Business of the Year: The Massage Company, Camberley, Surrey

Scale-up Business of the Year: Creative Nature, West Molesley, Surrey

Family Business of the Year: Fitlife Health Club, Crowell, Oxfordshire

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Boostberry, Peacehaven, East Sussex

Employer of the Year: Langdale Nursing Home, Gosport, Hants

The Triumph over Adversity Award: Wetwheels Solent CIC, Fareham, Hampshire