The winners of the first ever Kensington & Chelsea Business Awards were announced last night (18 October) at a glittering ceremony at the Millennium Gloucester Kensington Hotel.
Hosted by the Kensington & Chelsea Chamber of Commerce in association with Banham Security as headline sponsor, the 2018 Kensington & Chelsea Business Awards aimed to recognise and reward the achievements of the local business community across the whole of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
The winners of the 13 categories are:
Best business for customer service: The Capital Hotel Kensington
Best bar or restaurant: The Chelsea Cellar
Employer of the year: London Marriott Hotel Kensington
Small employer of the year: Draycott Nursing
Best SME business: Food Alert
Best new business: Please Connect Me Ltd
Entrepreneur of the year: Katharine Pooley
Young entrepreneur or apprentice of the year: Annys Fairweather – LEGS
Best hotel: The Capital Hotel Kensington
Best charity or social enterprise: Solidarity Sports
Special Recognition Award: The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation
Independent retailer of the year: Coleman Douglas Pearls
Business of the year: Food Alert
Speaking at the ceremony, Michael Stone, chairman of Kensington & Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, said: “These inaugural awards demonstrate that we have a vibrant and engaging business community in Kensington & Chelsea. I am completely amazed at the quality and high standard of the businesses we have in the borough and I’m proud of all those who entered the awards. They’re employing serious numbers of people, they are innovative, they’re trading internationally and they’re growing.
“There is economic uncertainty ahead and I am confident that the businesses who are here tonight are going to be those providing employment and prosperity in the borough and across the country going forward. I applaud them all.”
Recognition from these awards can make a difference when securing new customers and new business, according to Martin Herbert, managing director of headline sponsor Banham Security. He commented: “I am impressed with the dynamism, diversity and entrepreneurial flair of all the businesses here tonight. They should be truly proud of their achievements, whatever their size. The awards are a great accolade for those who win, helping them gain new business and win new customers. Tonight’s event also provides recognition, peer-to-peer endorsement and valuable networking opportunities for everyone here.”
Especially in this period of change for business, the council feels that winning an award will help businesses stand out from their competitors and that developing the skills that businesses need will help them thrive.
Councillor Catherine Faulks, lead member for skills and enterprise at the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, said: “I am delighted and excited to see so many here at these first awards. The talent and flair of businesses large and small is what makes the borough a special place. The skills and enterprise portfolio is hugely important, recognising the value local businesses and entrepreneurs bring to the borough. We want to develop close relationships with all businesses to understand the barriers they face and how we can best support them.
“We also support young people to develop their skills and get into work. We want to talk to local businesses about how we can work together to contribute to the local community. By providing work experience, internships or apprenticeships – or something new – they can support young people in starting work.”
Presided over by Chris Gilbert, former presenter of Sky Sports World Cup Show, the awards were presented by category sponsors in front of an audience of more than 240 people from across the local business community, following a gala three-course dinner.
The sponsors were: Banham Security, Jamieson Stone Chartered Accountants, Ashley Wilson Solicitors LLP, Lots Road Auctions, Peter Jones, Susan Metcalfe Residential, Cadogan and Handelsbanken.