Firms from across the area celebrated after being declared the best around at the Mercury Business Awards 2012 gala dinner last night (Tuesday).
People from a variety of companies packed Greetham Valley Hotel, Golf and Conference Centre for the dinner to see who the awards went to.
The top award of the night - business of the year - was shared between Simmons Optomestrists and MMT Digital.
James Cannings, who founded MMT Digital with Ben Rudman, said: "I am very proud to have won this award, which is not just for me and Ben but for all the staff.
"We have 32 highly intelligent people working for us and any business is only as good as its staff.
"We didn't expect to win at all."
James Alexander, who owns Simmons Optomestrists with his wife Manjula, was delighted after the business in Oakham also picked up the customer care award.
He said: "We entered the Mercury Business Awards to get some recognition for our staff.
"I am really chuffed to win because there are so many good local businesses here tonight."
As usual there were two community champion winners and Linford’s Traditional Fish and Chips and the Boundary Fish and Chips and River Restaurant picked up the awards.
Pat and Paul Linford, who own Linfords were celebrating after also picking up the team of the year award.
Mr Linford said: "I think it is great that we have been recognised for the service to our customers and the community contribution to the Deepings for our charity work.
“I’d also like to thank all our customers for voting for us in the community champion category."
Owner of the Boundary Fish and Chips Bill Shaw was equally delighted to win.
He said: “The Mercury Business Awards are brilliant for the area and we are very proud.
"It is very fortunate that a small town like Market Deeping has two award-winning restaurants."
The lifetime achievement award went to Frank Hinch, who founded Greetham Valley Hotel, Golf and Conference Centre.
He said: "As long as you work hard and you enjoy what you are doing, you will get enjoyment back.
"At the end of the day, I've enjoyed what I've done and this award does not mean I am retiring."
Winner of the best new start-up award was TMV Architectural Design.
Director Marcus Vanner said: “It was a brilliant night, really impressive.
“We have only been going for two years so to even get nominated and shortlisted was a huge achievement and to win was a great surprise.
“Looking at the other candidates, they were very strong, so I was very pleased.”
Ellie Thompson from Wildcats Theatre School picked up the apprentice of the year award. She thanked Wildcats for its wonderful support.
Welcoming people to the evening, Mercury editor Eileen Green said: “It is hard to believe it’s only been a year since the last Mercury Business Awards but once again, despite the economic gloom, we have another fine crop of enterprising talent tonight.
“It is always a pleasure to be able to highlight the success and achievements of local companies and organisations.”
Afterwards, she said: “It was a fantastic night and I would like to thank all the sponsors and Greetham Valley Hotel, Golf and Conference Centre for once again being great hosts.
“I would also like to congratulate all our winners.”
The winners were:
Customer Care Award, sponsored by South Kesteven District Council
Winner: Simmons Optometrists
Boundary Fish & Chips and River Restaurant
Landmark IFA Ltd
Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by Peterborough Regional College
Ellie Thompson, Wildcats Theatre School
Best New Start-up Award, sponsored by Hegarty LLP Solicitors
Winner: TMV Architectural Design Ltd
The Rural Business Community
Community Champions, sponsored by Cummins Generator Technologies
Linfords Traditional Fish and Chips
Boundary Fish and Chips and River Restaurant
Employee/team of the year, sponsored by Larkfleet Homes Winner; Linfords Traditional Fish and Chips
The Pickled Village
Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored Duncan & Toplis
Business of the Year, sponsored by Anne Corder Recruitment and Greetham Valley Hotel, Golf and Conference Centre
Joint-winners: Simmons Optometrists & MMT Digital
The Pickled Village
Landmark IFA LTD