A glitzy ceremony took place at the North Lakes Hotel in Penrith on 20th June to announce the winners of Penrith Chamber of Trade’s third Stars of Business Awards, sponsored by Dodd & Co Accountants.
The awards, which were part of the Chamber’s annual dinner, had an ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ theme and saw 140 business people from the area come together to celebrate the wonderful business landscape Penrith has to offer.
Guest speaker of the evening was Sam Rayner, Managing Director of Lakeland Limited who gave an insightful speech about doing business in Cumbria over the years.
The awards, which were put together by Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce and Lisa Coates of Acorn Marketing (Cumbria) Ltd, were to recognise the multitude of thriving businesses in Penrith and the local area and the difference they make to the local economy in our region. Voting for this year’s awards was online and over 220 nominations were made by the general public for a wide variety of businesses.
Winning businesses in the 2014 Stars of Business awards were:
Winner of the Independent Retailer of the Year award (sponsored by Armstrong Watson)
Hedgehog Bookshop. The judges commented that hedgehog Bookshop was extremely focused, had high energy and passion for what they do. They go the extra mile for customers and have received some excellent testimonials that anyone would be envious of. They showed evidence of getting involved with the community and local economy and have shown growth and recently expanded, whilst only trading for 18 months. Hedgehog Bookshop stood out to all the judges and ticked every box as an independent retailer.
Winner of the Independent Business of the Year Award (sponsored by Enterprise Answers)
Salon Rouge. The judges were particularly impressed with the passion Salon Rouge showed and the pride they have in what they do. Not only do they have high standards, but have shown evidence of growth and development, as well as staff training and outstanding comments from customers – some of which brought a tear to the eyes of the judges. The team really gets involved with community events and goes above and beyond for their customers. The judges felt Salon Rouge was progressive, customer focused and commercially minded.
Winner of the award for Outstanding Contribution to Business (Sponsored byCartmell Shepherd)
Tanya Tinkler from Salon Rouge. This category was extremely close with shining examples of some of the successful, determined and passionate business people we have in Penrith. The judges could really feel the passion in Tanya’s application, with the energy and dedication she has to her business shining though. Tanya clearly stands out as a great business driver, commercially strong leader and customer focused and the judges all agreed if interviewing her she would definitely get the job. In all areas Tanya shined and the judges couldn’t have asked for more from a worthy winner.
Winner of the award for Unsung Hero (Sponsored by Penrith Building Society)
Angela Gilmore from Penrith Cinema. This is a really special award as it recognises the work of people that ensure the smooth running of a business, but behind the scenes. It is often the unseen staff that makes a business successful and this award is a celebration of the wonderful achievements of some of these people and the contribution they make to the businesses they work in. There were some fantastic nominations in this category and the comments received were heart warming and praise should be given to each person shortlisted in this category. The judges felt Angela was a genuine ‘Unsung Hero’ – she goes the extra mile, is enthusiastic about her role and is “The heart of Penrith.”
Winner of Star of the Community award (sponsored by the Pride in Penrith Lottery)
The Winter Droving. Applications for this category were selected from all the groups who had received a grant from the Pride in Penrith Lottery in 2103. The public could vote for their favourite community group or event in this category and for the second year in a row was awarded to The Winter Droving. This event is unique not only for Penrith, but for Cumbria and continues to grow and engage with a wide range of people from community groups, schools, young people and businesses.
Finalists and winners of the Stars of Business Awards were all nominated for their contribution to business in the local area and were judged by an independent panel of business experts from out of the Penrith area. Businesses were judged independently from the Chamber Committee and therefore decisions were made on an impartial basis and only on the nominations received online and supporting documentation submitted by each business.