Winners of Hertfordshire Business Awards 2018 revealed
PUBLISHED: 14:36 23 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:56 23 November 2018
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The cream of Hertfordshire's businesses have been celebrated at a glittering awards ceremony.
There were smiles and cheers all round as businesses scooped much-sought after accolades at Archant’s Hertfordshire Business Awards, in association with KPMG.
About 450 proud business owners and dedicated staff enjoyed bubbly, a three-course meal, silent auction and a range of entertainment at the beautifully decorated Knebworth Barns.
They were bursts of laughter as the evening’s host, well-respected comedian Dominic Holland warmed up the audience ahead of presenting awards for the 17 categories.
Winner of the Social Enterprise of the Year Award was Liberty Tea Rooms Community Hub, based in Hemel Hempstead.
The charity operates a cash only cafe where people are invited to donate what they can.
All the staff are volunteers and the charity supports people in the local community.
Kerry-Anne Cooper, founder and CEO, said: “We’re over the moon to win.
“It has been a really lovely evening.
“At Liberty Tea Rooms every day is rewarding when you see people’s lives being transformed.
“We have people who have been long-term unemployed or have mental health issues and we want to enable each person to be the best version of themselves that they can be.”
The winner of Commercial Business in the Community went to Redsquid, based in Borehamwood, which is a leading independent provider of business voice, data, IT, Cloud and Technology Services.
The award for Supporting Young People was picked up by Watford Mencap, a charity which supports people with learning disabilities to reach their full potential.
The charity supports 1,550 people of all ages in south west Hertfordshire.
Cafe manager Leah Walsh said: “We feel incredibly proud to have won this award.”
Joe Kitts used to be a client of Watford Mencap and then trained up to become a support worker with the charity.
He added: “It’s amazing to win. It’s such an honour.”
Extrastaff, which has branches in St Albans and Watford, was thrilled to be crowned Employer of the Year.
MD Steve Hill said; “We’re just really proud.
“We have 80% staff retention year on year, which is really unusual in the sales and recruitment sector.
“We look after our staff and they look after us.”
CEO Tim Millward added: “Any sales industry has massive staff turnover, but we don’t.
“We’re a well-organised and efficient business.”
The worthy winner of the Innovation Award was Vetsure, a Hatfield based business which offers dog and cat insurance with a network of trusted vets.
MD Ashley Gray said; “I was absolutely thrilled with the award.
“It means the world to our team to be recognised like this.
“The awards night was a fabulous evening.
“It makes you proud to be involved with Hertfordshire businesses.”
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year award went to Lewis Remington Golf Holidays, based in Letchworth.
It was also a hugely successful evening for Weston-based Lintbells Ltd, which provides natural healthcare products and supplements for pets.
Lintbells CEO John Howie was crowned Business Person of the Year.
Lintbells also won awards for Customer Service, Medium Business of the Year and Company of the Year.
Mr Howie said; “We’re feeling fantastic.
“We’re really proud to be taking home these awards.”
Company co-founder John Davies said Mr Howie thoroughly deserved the Business Person of the Year award given how he had driven the business forward.
The award for Business Growth went to DLRC Ltd, based in Letchworth, which provides regulatory affairs consultancy services to companies in the pharmaceutical industry.
The team at Watford-based Sigma Pharmaceuticals, which specialists in the distribution of medical drugs and healthcare products, were delighted to win Family Business of the Year.
The New Business of the Year award went to Bethnal and Bec in Buntingford, which is run by Vicky and Chris Saynor.
The couple saw a gap in the market for high-end self catering holiday lets.
Mr Saynor said: “We’re delighted with this award. It’s fantastic.
“We wanted to set up a business that people would enjoy and at the same time allow us to move out of London.
“Within a year, we’re pretty much 100% booked up and every single review is five star.
“We’re very happy.”
Mrs Saynor added: “The awards evening has been very professional and very well run.
“I’m impressed by it all.”
Small Business of the Year went to family-run metal polishers and stove lacquerers Osprey Metal Finishers Ltd, based in Borehamwood, while the Large Business of the Year award went to GAMA Heathcare in Watford.
The award for International Business of the Year was proudly received by DV Signage, based in Knebworth, which is a company specialising in digital experiences - technical interiors and creative showcase environments.
The Judges’ Awards was scooped by Austin’s Funeral Service, which has branches across Hertfordshire and a head office in Stevenage.
For more information about the awards, you can also visit http://www.hertsbusinessawards.co.uk/
Archant’s publishing director Kimberly Black-Totham said: “These businesses should all be very proud of themselves.
“I see what goes in to the judging and it is very rigorous indeed.
“The result is an evening full of a range of businesses with one thing in common.
“They all demonstrate excellence and commitment.
“Congratulations from all of us at Archant. It was our honour to host you!”