The winners of the 11th annual Brighton & Hove Business Awards (BAHBAs) – presented in association with The Argus – were announced at All Saints Church, Hove on Thursday 15 September.
The sell-out event was attended by over 300 guests from around 100 different Brighton businesses and included the MPs from Hove and Pavilion, as well as the Deputy Mayor and the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field.
The big winner on the night was The Big Lemon, winner of the Best Place to Work, as well as the Judges’ Award for the Business of the year. Managing Director, Tom Druitt, received his award from Caroline Lucas MP.
Jeremy Burbidge, the Managing Director of Ticketmedia which made the shortlist three times, was named Managing Director of the Year.
Peter Kyle MP presented the Creative Industries Award to The Chinese Room which was also highly commended as the one of the best businesses in Brighton.
Mike Gilson, editor of The Argus introduced a new Chair’s Award which went to Matthew Murphy Electrical Services.
Said Mike: “As we went through this long process of arguing and debating about all these excellent businesses it struck me that one type of business was missing from the winners rostrum and I asked my fellow judges whether we should rectify this.
“Brighton has a delicious reputation for being cutting edge and funky and many of its businesses reflect that with their creativity, artistry or green ethos. But that is not the whole picture for of course there are hundreds of other businesses, service contractors, builders, drivers gardeners etc who all have to compete in ferocious markets.
“And there was one such company who really stood out in a number of categories that I would like to give a special award to.
“This company started only three years ago with a single employee and now has a staff of 12 and a turnover of half a million. And wait for this these guys won’t make you wait in all day for them to turn up for they have on the hour bookings.”
Other big Brighton names who took home gongs on the night included Brighton Gin which won awards for Business Beyond the City and New Kids on the Block. The gin distiller was also highly commended as the one of the best businesses in Brighton.
This year’s Outstanding Brightonian was named as Sarah Springford, Director of the Chamber of Commerce since 2008.
Presenting Sarah with her award, Mike Gilson cited Sarah’s terrific work with the Living Wage. Said Mike: “Thanks to her hard work and dedication almost 300 businesses in Brighton & Hove have signed up to the Living Wage.
“Sarah has transformed the Chamber and delivered some really amazing results on behalf of businesses in the city.”
Sponsors for 2016 included Allied Irish Bank, Brighton and Hove Buses, Cardens Accountants, City Cabs, Dental Health Spa, Gatwick Airport, Gemini Print, Graves Jenkins, Martin Searle Solicitors, RBS, Robinson Low Francis, TSS Facilities and Yelo Architects.
Title Sussex, Platinum Business and Juice 107.2FM were media sponsors.
The BAHBAs are supported by the Chamber of Commerce, Brighton & Hove City Council, Brilliant Brighton, the Brighton and Hove Food Festival, the Brighton Business Curry Club and Brighton & Hove Tourism Alliance.
They all came together to create a competition which acknowledges the diversity and uniqueness of Brighton and celebrates those companies, organisations and individuals who really build the Brighton brand.