The Business of the Year was announced as CWJ Landscapes at Seahaven Business Awards in front of the Vietnamese Ambassador who was the event’s special guest on Friday May 9.
A record number of more than 1,100 nominations were made and a total of 74 companies entered.
And there was a full house for the President’s Grand Gala Awards Dinner at Woody’s Bar and Grill at Peacehaven Golf Club, with 100 guests.
President of Newhaven Chamber of Commerce Annie Lorys said: “This has been a fantastic event.
“We had a record number of nominations this year – the standard was exceptionally high and the judges had a very tough job when it came to selecting the finalists and then whittling this down to the winners.
“Our congratulations to all the finalists and winners, but I would like to say to the businesses that weren’t placed this year – please don’t be disheartened – the standard of all the nominations was very high and we hope that they will consider entering again next year.”
For the second time in the Chamber of Commerce’s history, it had to turn people away from the dinner because the venue had reached capacity.
The judging panel included Lewes MP Norman Baker, the outgoing mayor of Newhaven Julie Carr and the presidents and chairmen of the Newhaven, Peacehaven and Seaford Chambers of Commerce.
The awards were followed by a grand raffle and the evening finished with an auction of two discounted return airline tickets to Vietnam which had been donated by Le Thanh Dzung, from Vietnam Airlines.
The tickets were presented to the winner, Shem and Liz Gardner of The Hope Inn by the Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Vu Quang Minh.
The tickets raised £602.00 and the raffle raised £275.00.
All proceeds from the auction and the raffle were donated to the Hillcrest Community Centre in Newhaven, a registered charity.
Other guests included MP Norman Baker, leader of Lewes District Council Rob Blackman and outgoing mayor Julie Carr.
Annie added: “On behalf of Newhaven Chamber I would like to say a really big thank you to all our sponsors, in particular our key sponsor Wave Leisure; Sustrans who sponsored some of our advertising and the six sponsors of the awards, without whom this event would not be possible.
“We are also delighted that Peacehaven and Seaford Chambers came on board this year and encouraged so many businesses in the Seahaven area to take part.
“Also, thank you to all the businesses that participated - please take part again next year – a larger venue is planned for an even bigger and better event in 2015.”
Vice chairman of Peacehaven Chamber Phil Merry presented the annual chairman’s award trophy to Helen Macaulay for her achievements throughout the year and chairman of Seaford Chamber Gerri Ori awarded its chairman’s trophy to Dave Argent.
The winners of the six categories were:
Business of the Year (sponsored by Swindells Chartered Accountants) Ist place, CWJ Landscapes; 2nd, Seaford Chiropody and Podiatry 3rd, Fundraising Auctions tied with Badger Inks.
Business Person of the Year (sponsored by Autowise) 1st, Simon Studd of Cleancut Gardening Services; 2nd, Ian Kerr Complementary Practitioner and 3rd, Alison Campbell of The Co-operative Funeralcare Newhaven.
Best Customer Service (sponsored by The Hope Inn) 1st, Dial a Pet Service; 2nd, HSBC Bank Newhaven and 3rd, The Co-operative Funeralcare Newhaven.
Best Retailer of the Year (sponsored by The Sussex Sign Company) 1st, Badger Inks; 2nd, Osborne’s Fish Bar and 3rd, Grab N Go.
Best Environmental Business (sponsored by HM Bookkeeping) 1st, Cleankill Environmental Services, 2nd, Age UK East Sussex and 3rd Screen Solutions.
The President’s Award or Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Badger Inks), 1st, Peter Crowley (formerly of Wave Leisure,) 2nd, Bob Welch – Wasp Printers and 3rd, Mike Shorer of Mike Shorer Fine Jewellery. For information about Newhaven Chamber of Commerce go to www.newhavenchamber.co.uk or call 01273 517544.