Local business people gathered to celebrate the sixth annual Wandsworth Business Awards at a glittering ceremony at the prestigious Roehampton Club on Roehampton Lane last Friday night (16 November).
Hosted by Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce in association with McDonalds as headline sponsor, the 2018 Wandsworth Business Awards aimed to recognise and reward the achievements of the local business community across the whole Borough of Wandsworth. Beginning with a drinks reception at the Roehampton Club, guests from the local business world met and networked with each other before being treated to a sumptuous three-course gala dinner, followed by the awards ceremony itself.
David Blackmore, TV and radio presenter and regular on ITV’s This Morning, hosted the ceremony, with awards presented by category sponsors in front of an audience of nearly 200 people. Awards were presented in twelve categories, including employer of the year, best eatery, innovator of the year and best independent retailer. All category winners were put forward for the coveted title of overall ‘Business of the Year’. The Business of the Year award was presented to Beaver Pest Control, who were also Best SME category winner.
Speaking at the ceremony Steve Pinto, chief executive of Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, said: “I continue to be very impressed with the quality, enthusiasm and passion of the businesses that enter these awards. They demonstrate that Wandsworth is an exciting place to work and recognition from these awards can make a difference when securing new customers and new business. We received so many entries from local businesses in the borough, large and small. To get to the finals is absolutely fantastic, winning an award is amazing, but it’s important to use information to support your employees and customers and bring out the best in what’s happening in your business.”
Mike Smith, of headline sponsor McDonalds, said: “I am delighted that McDonalds is the title sponsor for these very special Wandsworth Business Awards. They recognise the dynamism, diversity and entrepreneurial flair that characterises the business community in the borough. I passionately believe in supporting entrepreneurial flair. I extend my congratulations to all the finalists and winners of the awards and thank the Wandsworth Chamber and FHW for putting on a fantastic, celebratory event.”
Cllr Rory O'Broin said: "What an amazing evening celebrating with some of the most vibrant and successful businesses in Wandsworth! The Council is a proud member of the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce and I'd like to thank them, once again, for organising these awards. Running a business today can be challenging, which is why the Council is constantly exploring ways to help. My congratulations to all of the finalists and winners of tonight's awards. As their success shows, Wandsworth is a great place to start and grow a business."
The atmosphere at the gala event was buzzing all evening, with many attendees praising the celebrations to recognise business achievement. Comments included: Carolina from The Pig & Whistle in Earlsfield said: “I think it’s so important to help and support small businesses; you can really grow when you have that support and these awards are an exciting celebration of that.”
Jamie Stephenson, Director of Business Partnerships at South Thames College: “We’ve sponsored the awards for the last five years. It’s really important for us to engage in the awards because it’s a great way to celebrate local business, an opportunity to network and to share best practice. For us as a college, we want to ensure we support local businesses to grow and develop by helping them to grow the talent of the future.”
Mr Pattni from Minar Jewellers in Tooting: “The Wandsworth Business Awards are a fantastic platform to showcases businesses in Wandsworth. As a previous winner, we’ve seen how entering the awards can do wonders for the types of new clients you’re able to attract. In such tough times for a luxury business like ours, we’ve seen year on year growth partly due to our Wandsworth Business Award. Entering the awards plays a part in a business’s overall success story.”
Helena Roberts, Wandsworth Mediation Services: “The awards help to focus on small businesses, which may not have the marketing budget of big businesses to make people within Wandsworth and beyond be aware of what they have to offer. They also give credibility to a business, as they can say they have been recognised by Wandsworth.”
Simal Raicha from Strategic Web Success: “These awards give SMEs the visibility they deserve and a platform to showcase what they do.”
James Green from Evergreen Growth & Marketing: “It’s lovely for small businesses to get recognition because they work so hard all year round. The awards are a nice opportunity for us to celebrate together about what we’ve achieved and to network with each other.”
Sam Williams of the Daily Press: “This is a night for small businesses to shine. The Daily Press talks all day, every day about businesses in Balham, Tooting and Battersea. We see how hard they work and it’s fantastic to see some of them being rewarded tonight.”