Local MP Alan Mak has launched his second Havant Small Business Awards, backed by the News. He is encouraging all residents and News readers to nominate their local favourites online.
Helping to launch the Awards were 2016 Café of the Year winners Fourteas Tea Room in central Havant, who have continued to thrive since scooping the prize.
This year 12 different categories are open for nomination as well as the coveted overall Havant Small Business of the Year – last year won by Emsworth-based family fishing business Fresh From The Boat.
Whether it's a favourite cafe, pub or restaurant, a tradesman who has gone the extra mile, or a local business leader or apprentice who has inspired you, all nominations are welcome.
Mr Mak said that having worked in his own family’s small business he is keen to celebrate the thriving small businesses in the Havant constituency which are the “backbone of the economy”. Last year’s inaugural Awards were a huge success, with hundreds of nominations received and over 200 people attending the Awards ceremony at South Downs College. He said this year’s competition would be even better.
He said: “Backing our economy and celebrating the hard-work done by local business owners is a top priority for me as local MP. Our small businesses create jobs and generate wealth for our area, and I’m delighted to organise the Awards again for a second year to put them in the limelight.
Mr Mak added, “Having worked in my own family's small business on a busy high street, and then started my own small business, I know exactly how much hard work goes into making each one successful. That is why I want to recognise our fabulous shopkeepers, landlords, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs from across Havant. I urge everyone to visit my website to nominate now.”
All nominations must be for businesses within the Havant Parliamentary Constituency, which covers Havant Town, Emsworth, Hayling Island, Bedhampton, Langstone, Purbrook, Stakes, Widley and Leigh Park.
Everyone who nominates will be entered into a prize draw to win tickets to the summer awards evening at South Downs College and House of Commons Champagne.
Mr Mak will be joined on the judging panel by Gary Medlow, who is Managing Director of Fasset, the property and facilities management specialist which runs of Langstone Technology Park. The business park is home to a number of expanding small businesses including Turbulent Design, a software firm which was finalist in the Best New Business category last year.
Mr Medlow said: “Fasset are proud once again to be supporting the Small Business Awards and I am personally delighted to join Alan on the judging panel for the second year.
“This year’s event is bigger than last year’s and I am really looking forward to seeing which businesses are nominated by their customers. These Awards are a great opportunity to acknowledge the diverse range of excellent companies which operate in our area.”
Nominations can be submitted via www.AlanMak.org.uk/Nominate
Photo caption: Alan Mak launches the 2017 Havant Small Business Awards with Fourteas Tea Room in Havant