THE BEST in business was celebrated at the seventh Leamington Business Awards.
Eleven winners were named during the event which took place live, at business hub at 1 Mill Street, for the first time in three years.
It marked the completion of two stages of the awards which earlier recognised Covid Business Resilience, Business Pivoting and Lockdown Heroes of 2020/21.
More than £1,000 was also raised through a raffle on the night which is being divided between the three finalists in the South Warwickshire Charity of the Year category – Molly Ollys, Safeline and Brunswick Hub.
Established in 2014 and now organised by Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, the LBAs champion and celebrate the work of local businesses, individuals and organisations.
Jonathan said: “More so than ever, the judges were inspired by the resilience and ingenuity local businesses have shown in dealing with the pandemic and coming out the other side stronger and even more determined.
“It was a delight to read all the entries and learn so much more about the local individuals and their businesses and how they adapted and developed and used the challenges of the past two years to develop themselves, their people and their services.
“With businesses and organisations concentrating on getting their businesses and teams back up to speed, we decided to postpone the planned awards deadlines into 2022 and host the awards presentation in March. This was definitely the right decision as the volume and quality of entries we received for this year’s awards blew us away.”
The winners were chosen by a panel of five judges, including Roger Scott of Lloyds Bank and Sarah Windrum the chair of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Each winner received an award designed by Warwickshire College design student Ollie Hill.
Outstanding achievement – Vogue International
Judges’ comments: “Vogue and Liz have committed to the town for over three decades and played a crucial part in the fabric of Leamington on a local and global stage. Vogue, shows significant international achievement in their industry over an extended period of time along with contribution to local charity.
Employer of the Year – Aubrey Allen
Judges’ comments: “Aubrey Allen are clearly a business that take care of their team, have strong values that they live by every day, and they support their team on their own paths to success and greatness through the awards they have picked up.
New Business of the Year – Caremark Warwick
Judges’ comments: “Caremark has set up the business in a challenging sector during the pandemic, showing strong growth and employment and providing a valuable service to the local community.”
Business and the Community Award – Make Good Grow
Judges’ comments: “Make Good Grow are looking at business and community in a totally new, more innovative way, creating connections between the needs of charities and the expert providers of these services and skills.”
Independent Business of the Year – Modern Homes
Judges’ comments: “Loved the Covid hero competition as well as their business resilience and agility over the last two years. Great story about finding a new supplier on Zoom!”
Customer Service Excellence Award – WDC Art Section
Judges’ comments: “Impressive year on year improvement in customer feedback, strong focus on training and implementation of a creative range of ways to provide good service and measure feedback. The team will often be a visitor’s first interaction in our town and it is crucial for the wider business economy that their welcome is warm to keep people coming back!”
South Warwickshire Freelancer of the Year – Washington Levi Music
Creative Business of the Year – Motionhouse
Judges’ comments: “Bringing dance to the masses for over 30 years using the latest technologies and gymnastic skills makes the choice of Motionhouse as Creative Business of the Year a simple one.
Innovation of the Year – Nimbus Maps
South Warwickshire Charity of the Year – Brunswick Hub
Business of Year – Motionhouse
Judges’ comments: “They have made an enormous impact on Leamington, the region and around the world. From the award applications, Motionhouse has done the most for the region, as well as putting Leamington on the map.”
The previous winners of the first phase of the awards were:
Business Resilience Award – CJ’s Events, Warwick
This award went to a business that has demonstrated determination and resilience throughout the pandemic and tackled challenges head-on.
Business Pivot Award – Heartbreak Productions
This was open to any business that could demonstrate how they have ‘pivoted’ their product or service during the pandemic.
Lockdown Hero – Baabzi Takeaway
This award recognised the Leamington business that has gone ‘above and beyond’ during 2020. The business may have provided products to vulnerable groups free of charge, offered their services pro-bono to struggling local businesses or individuals, or spread positivity during challenging times.