It was a night to remember for all involved in The Observer and Gazette Business Awards.
And unlike the Oscars, all the awards went to the right winners.
The big award of the night, Overall Business, went to Guardian Angel Carers, a care company founded by ex-Olympic sailor Christina Bassadone.
The business also scooped up the Large Business prize earlier in the ceremony.
Business owner and managing director of Guardian Angel Carers, Christina Bassadone, accepted the top prize with her team. She said: “It’s absolutely amazing. We’re so stoked to win the overall business award - I’m completely shocked if I’m honest.
“I’m so hugely proud of our team, our Angel family. They do such rewarding work for the community.”
The awards took place earlier tonight at the Hilton Avisford Park in Arundel, and celebrate the achievements of businesses in the Chichester and Arun districts.
The Lifetime Achievement award went to Norman Reynolds for his 55-year commitment to business in Bognor Regis. Norman is the fourth generation to run the family business Reynolds Furniture, Funeral Directors and Self-Storage which is celebrating 150 years of trading.
In 1953 Norman Reynolds joined the company, starting work as an office clerk working up to the position of director in 1962.
Q Hair & Beauty in Chichester also won prizes: Medium Business and Business Personality for Dawn Lawrence’s leadership.
Double-award winner Dawn said: “I think this is the height of my career.
“I am very much a background person so to receive this level of acknowledgement within the community of Chichester means a lot to me.”
Also picking up two prizes on the night was Marco Polo Intercontinental, which makes Europe’s only 100 per cent plant made bottles. The business scooped awards for Innovation and Green Business.
The special recognition award in the Business Personality category went to Heather Barrie, who runs a coffee bar in Arundel railway station, for standing up to Southern Rail during the strikes.
The first winner of the night was Professor Clive Behagg, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chichester, who was surprised with the Editor’s Special Recognition award for his services to higher education.
The Olive & Vine in Midhurst walked away with the Place to Eat or Drink award, with owners Dean and Jess starting the business while also having their first child.
Manufacturing and Construction went to SI Protech (uk) Ltd, a Littlehampton-based plastic injection-moulding company which makes packaging and other items for some of the biggest names in the drinks industry, including Heineken and Krombacher.
Retailer of the Year went to Condor Blinds, and Employee/Team of the Year was won by The Novium Museum & Chichester Tourist Information Centre, home to the Tim Peake exhibition.
This year’s start-up award went to Headromance, who recently opened a new salon in Chichester.
Thrilled with her award, director Emily Warne said: “We feel like we are really part of the Chichester community now.”
Asked what’s next for her company, she said: “World domination - everyone’s going to be beautiful.”
The awards were judged by an expert panel, which included Sandra Coley, head of employer engagement at the University of Chichester; Jason Miller, director of the Chichester Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a co-founder of SteadyGo, an award-winning creative digital agency; Paul Wells, managing director of Unique Workwear Printing & Embroidery based in Bognor Regis and Blaise Tapp, commercial editor for Sussex Newspapers and is a columnist for a number of Johnston Press titles across the region and nationwide.
For full coverage of the event, including pictures of the winners, pick up a copy of this week’s paper.
All winners will be automatically shortlisted for the Johnston Press South Business Awards which is taking place at the Grand Hotel in Brighton on Friday, October 6.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS AND HIGHLY COMMENDED
Hospitality Tourism & Lesiure: Worthing Ruby Football Club (Angmering)
Medium Business: Q Hair & Beauty; highly commended Super Signs Ltd
Large Business: Guardian Angel Carers
Lifetime Achievement: Norman Reynolds
Outstanding Contribution to the Community: Talks at 6
Innovation: Marco Polo Intercontinental Ltd; highly commended Drapers Yard
Training & Development: Oceanair Marine ltd
Retailer: Condor Blinds; highly commended The Run Company
Employer of the Year: Nurse Plus (UK)
Start Up: Headromance; highly commended Comics Games and Coffee
Small Business: fiftypointeight Architecture + Interiors; highly commended Noble and Stace
Employee/Team of the Year: The Novium Museum & Chichester Tourist Information Centre
Business Personality: Dawn Lawrence Q Hair & Beauty; highly commended Heather Barry
Manufacturing & Construction: SI Protech (uk) Ltd
Customer Service: Edes House
Young Achiever: Liana Martin at Bosham Dental Lab; highly commended Georgia Alston, Pinks Vintage Ice-
Place to Eat/or Drink: The Olive & Vine
Green Business: Marco Polo Intercontinental Ltd
Overall Business: Guardian Angel Carers
Reader’s Choice: MJ’s Relax & Revive