IT was a glamorous night where the very best businesses in the south celebrated their success.
The Johnston Press South business awards brings together the winners of awards from newspapers in Sussex and Portsmouth, to find an overall winner in each category.
TV personality Fred Dinenage compered the awards at The Grand Hotel in Brighton on Friday (September 26).
There was plenty to celebrate for Sussex businesses, who picked up a whole host of awards.
In East Sussex, Newhaven business Basepoint Business Centres Sussex took the green business gong, for its eco credentials.
Roxy Haid who runs the Newhaven centre collected the award and said her team does everything it can to save energy and lead a green lifestyle.
Sussex zoo Drusillas Park took the hospitality, tourism and leisure award.
Collecting the award, Caroline Steer said: “It is fantastic. Getting recognition for all the hard work really pays off.
“The most important thing is people having fun. If the visitors are happy then we are happy.”
Eastbourne jewellery firm W Bruford came home with the retailer of the year award, as it celebrates 125 years in business.
Debbie Pugh collected the award and revealed the firm would be opening a Pandora concept store in Eastbourne to join its two stores in the town.
Community project Hurst Green Shop and Cafe won the outstanding contribution to the community award.
Fundraiser Maureen Harniman said: “We opened in May 2013 but started fundraising in 2009. It’s taken us years.”
She said the community support and help from volunteers has helped the much-needed community shop to flourish.
On winning the award, she said: “It is just wonderful.”
In West Sussex, there were also plenty of winners.
In Worthing alone, four businesses took home awards.
International firm The B and W Group Ltd from Worthing won large business of the year.
Geoff Edwards, said the award was ‘recognition for the staff’.
“No single member of the team could do it, it is a team effort,” he said.
The business personality award went to Worthing Chamber of Commerce chairman Tina Tilley, who has transformed the chamber since she took the helm in 2006.
“I’m shocked,” she said. “It is amazing. I do it because I love it, I love the people I work with.”
Ghodsi Barbers from Worthing took the customer service gong, and Worthing restaurant Brio was given the place to eat award.
Chichester hair salon Creations won the training and development award, for its apprenticeship schemes which help young people into the industry.
And another Chichester-based business, John Brown Architecture won the manufacturing and construction award. Mr Brown said he was ‘delighted’.
Just down the road from Chichester, Bognor Regis firm Regis Removals won the medium business award and said it was ‘great for the town’ to have award-winning businesses.
Haywards Heath business 1st Central Insurance won the employee of the year award.
Jo Cunnington, said: “We started in 2008. We had 20 staff, now we have 550. We’re really pleased.”
Burgess Hill firm C and T Radmall Funeral Services took the gong for best team, for its great customer service and empathy for bereaved families in the community.
And Portsmouth had a whole host of winners too.
Dynamite Recruitment from Havant was the big winner of the night, taking home the small business of the year award as well as the big award of the night - overall business.
Gosport firm Regale Microwave Ovens was the innovation winner.
Brandon Bowman of BAE systems took the young achiever award.
He is a fourth year craft apprentice who has been promoted to a project controller in the Maritime Services.
The winner of the start-up category was Check Recruitment in Portsmouth.
The lifetime achievement award went to Mick Williams, chairman of Williams and Co, a trade-only chain of plumbing and heating supplies.
He started his business in North End in 1972, in a corner shop. Over 40 years, it has expanded to have 27 branches across the south.