The county’s “brightest and best” companies have been celebrated at the 2013 Monmouthshire Business Awards.
Almost 200 guests, including representatives of Monmouthshire County Council, Economy, Science and Transport Minister Edwina Hart, Monmouth MP David Davies and Monmouth AM Nick Ramsay, attended the black-tie event at the Marriot St. Pierre Hotel & Country Club, Chepstow, on October 11.
Now in their second year, the MBAs — dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the Welsh business industry and backed by Monmouthshire County Council with support from Business Wales — recognise innovation, talent and enterprise in the wider local community.
Unlike existing schemes, the £50,000 awards — which attracts both public and private sector funding — are said to boast county-wide appeal to a broad range of start-ups, SMEs and larger companies.
The gala ceremony, hosted by former ITV Wales presenter Hywel James, saw nearly 30 local businesses shortlisted for honours in 13 award categories.
Sophies Creative Bows, the Rogiet-based event decoration firm, walked away with the Most Promising Business Start Up award while Sophie Laurie, founder of Monmouth-based dog grooming company Shampooch, received the Young Entrepreneur award.
The Best Food Tourism Business award went to Welsh wines producer Parva Farm Vineyard in Chepstow, while Abergavenny-based Chantlers Teas picked up the Excellence in Retailing award.
Other winners on the night included the Green Waste Company in Abergavenny for Best Diversity in Farming, Spectrum Internet for Innovation in Business, the Abergavenny Food Festival for Excellence in Environmental & Sustainability, Chepstow Walkers are Welcome for Best Social Enterprise, and the Marriott St. Pierre Hotel for Training and Excellence in People Development.
Transportation firm Hicks Logistics, based in Caldicot, scooped two awards — Excellence in Marketing and Company Demonstrating Sustained Growth — while the Company of the Year title went to Chepstow-based Reid Lifting, a market leader in the design and manufacture of lifting equipment.
The final award of the evening, the Judges Choice award — presented to one of the shortlisted finalists deemed to be the best entrant overall — went to Wynndel Property Management.
Celebrity judges Sylvia Marshall, Daily Mirror columnist and respected entrepreneur, and TV personality and MoneyMagpie.com founder Jasmine Birtles praised the Chepstow-based property developer for an “ incredible year” that saw numerous award nominations and high-profile endorsements for its two luxury residential developments: Severn Quay and Naturally Woodlands.
Each winner received a trophy, cheque for £300, and £500 worth of vouchers for use in the conference facilities at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.
Event co-organiser Janet Harris says this year’s awards have been an “outstanding success”
She said: “It’s been an incredible journey to the 2013 MBA gala awards ceremony, and on behalf of the organisers and sponsors I’d like to thank all the businesses who have made this year’s award ceremony such an outstanding success.
“Each of this year’s entrants has demonstrated incredible business acumen and shown Monmouthshire to be a thriving centre of innovation and enterprise.
“The winners can say with justification that they are at the top of their game, and should be proud of their achievements.”
The MBA winners in full are: Most Promising Business Start Up: Sophies Creative Bows — runners up: Shampooch, Kate’s Country School; Best Food Tourism Business: Parva Farm Vineyard — runners up: Red Door Deli, Wild Food (Henry Ashby), Ancre Hill Vineyard; Best Diversity in Farming: Green Waste Company — runners up: Hidden Valley Yurts, Kate’s Country School; Excellence in Retailing: Chantlers Teas — runners up: Munday Jones, Fabulous Fish; Excellence in Marketing: Hicks Logistics — runners up: Umami, Mabey Bridge; Innovation in Business: Spectrum Internet — runners up: Bitesize, Hicks Logistics; Best Social Enterprise Chepstow: Walkers are Welcome — runners up: Vintage Vision, Made in Monmouthshire; Training and Excellence in People Development: Marriott St. Pierre Hotel — runners up: Penpergwm House, Hicks Logistics; Young Entrepreneur: Shampooch — runners up: Sophies Creative Bows; Company Demonstrating Sustained Growth: Hicks Logistics — runners up: Reid Lifting, Net Support UK Ltd; Excellence in Environmental & Sustainability: Abergavenny Food Festival — runners up: Northern Automotive, Mabey Bridge; Company of the Year: Reid Lifting — runners up: Hicks Logistics, Wynndel Property Management, Chepstow Racecourse; Judges Choice: Wynndel Property Management.
The sponsors of this year’s Monmouthshire Business Awards were Monmouthshire County Council; Palamedes PR; Northern Automotive Systems; Finance Wales; University of South Wales, Newport; CEDS; Adventa; Monmouthshire Housing; Severn Quay; Spectrum Internet; Mabey Bridge; Monmouthshire Enterprise; Parker & Co.