It was an electric atmosphere at the third Swale Business Awards gala presentation with two of the top prizes going to Kent Science Park based companies.
The evening began with a presentation to local sporting youngsters whose talents (including some Olympic potential) have been supported by Swale Borough Council with funding from the Swale Youth Development Fund. Those receiving cheques from Cllr. Gerry Lewin, were: Holly and Jessica Smith, £200 for swimming; Millie Collett, £200 for swimming, biathlon and running; Deanna Ward, £150 for trampoline and Rachael Page, £215 for women's artistic gymnastics.
The gala was held at the Woodstock Club based at Kent Science Park and this year saw a strong entry list with a competitive final 12 finalists.
Innovation in Business Award – SCIPAC Ltd.
The Innovation in Business Award went to producers and distributers of high quality intermediate reagents to the medical diagnostics industry SCIPAC Ltd, based at Broadoak Enterprise Village.
Small Business of the Year Award – Julie Gamble Skin Care Centre
Best Small Business went to the Julie Gamble Skin Care Centre from Sittingbourne. The company was set up 17 years ago and carries the entire Dermalogica range skin care and beauty services.
Business of the Year Runner-Up Award – Global Associates Ltd.
Runner up was Kent Science Park based Global Associates Ltd. The company specialises in a niche market comprising the design, installation, maintenance and calibration of complex building management and process control systems and associated peripheral equipment. After receiving their cheque for £750, the directors promptly donated the sum to the charity of the night, The Micro and Anophthalmic Children's Society.
Business of the Year Award – GoResponse Ltd.
Winner of the Swale Business Awards 2009 was GoResponse Limited, also based at Kent Science Park. Operating two outsourced contact centres, the firm offers inbound call handling and contact handling, including emails and web order processing on behalf of nearly 500 small to medium sized businesses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It was also voted Best Trading Partner in the telephone answering sector this year by leading industry analysis expert Plimsoll.
Mark Kirby, Managing Director of GoResponse said: "The awards have been a fantastic boost to the company's morale both on the night and on our return to the office. "The key effect has been the enthusiasm that's been generated. We are a family firm and employ quite a number of mother and daughter clans which gives working here a great atmosphere."
Swale Borough Council felt it wanted to offer a special Lifetime Achievement Award to a local outstanding business man and this was presented to Paul Winter of Wire Belt, manufacturer of stainless steel conveyor belts. Mr Winter has been behind many projects to improve the business community and infrastructure in Swale.