Mercury Business Awards winners 2017 revealed at glittering ceremony

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The winners of the Mercury Business Awards 2017 were revealed tonight at a glittering ceremony held at Greetham Valley Hotel.

After months of anticipation, the 2017 finalists, main partners, category and associate sponsors, judges and guests gathered to celebrate all that is great about business in the Rutland and Stamford area.

The evening began with a drinks reception, giving guests the chance to network with other members of the business community. Guests were then called to their tables, where a delicious three-course meal was served. Entertainment was provided during dinner by classical guitarist Steve Bean before the presentation of the Mercury Business Awards 2017.

Ahead of the awards starting, Richard Parkinson, managing director of Iliffe Media - which owns the Mercury, told the audience that the awards were about “celebrating inspiring stories - acknowledging those who are reaching for the stars”.

The awards were hosted for the first time by Rutland Radio breakfast presenter Rob Persani, hho was joined on stage for the big reveal of each award winner by a representative of the sponsor company.

Three finalists in 10 categories waited with bated breath to learn whether they were winners. And although there could only be one winner in each category, each and every finalist was congratulated on their fantastic achievements.

As an added surprise, each winner returned to their table to find a congratulatory bottle of Champagne awaiting them.

Videos produced by England’s Finest Photography were shown throughout the presentation, giving guests a flavour of each business or individual and why they deserved to be finalists.

And the winners each received trophies carved from stone, kindly donated by Clipsham Stone Cutting Company - meaning each award was as unique as its recipient.

Now in its 12th year, the business awards have become hugely successful and that is in large part thanks to our partners, sponsors and panel of judges.

Many thanks go to our sponsors: Greetham Valley, SKDC, Larkfleet Group of Companies, Bluebird Care, Chattertons, Duncan and Toplis, Hegarty Solicitors and Landmark IFA; as well as our event partners: Rutland Radio, Greensleaves Florist, Smith Eliot Financial Management, Hawk AV, England’s Finest Photography and Clipsham Stone Cutting. Also to our chairman of judges, Richard Olsen, of Stamford Chamber of Commerce and Olsen Metrix.

The winners and runners-up for each award were:

Best New Start Up - Sponsored by Hegarty LLP Solicitors

Winner: The Little Lane Nursery

Runners-Up: Opal and Pearl, Wright Care at Home

Best Independent Retailer

Winner: Village Stores, Ryhall

Runners-Up: The Wedding Room, Murano Silver

Business Innovation - Sponsored by South Kesteven District Council

Winner: Charles and Dean

Runners-Up: The Catering Crew, Cell Regeneration

Best Social Enterprise - Sponsored by Larkfleet Group

Winner: Evergreen Care Trust

Runners-Up: Nene Valley Railway; Active Melton & Rutland

Customer Care - Sponsored by Bluebird Care:

Winner: Simmons Optometrists

Runners-Up: Greensleaves Florist; Priory Veterinary Practice

Great Taste Award

Winner: Aloha Foods

Runners-Up: The Catering Crew; The White Horse, Baston

Employee or team of the Year - Sponsored by Landmark IFA

Winner: Acorn Childcare Centre

Runners-Up: The Yard; Wright Care at Home

Businessperson of the Year - Sponsored by Duncan & Toplis

Winner: Khadija Kalifa, of Opal and Pearl

Runners-Up: Kerry Walsh, of Hatch Events, and Victoria Binley, of Nimble Media

Business of the Year (small) - Sponsored by Greetham Valley

Winner: Acorn Childcare Centre

Runners-Up: Hatch Events; Opal and Pearl

Business of the Year (large) - Sponsored by Chattertons

Winner: Larkfleet Homes

Runners-Up: Dynamics Cleaners; Golding Young & Mawer