Greenwich is open for business: Firms toast success in South-east London

BY CALUM FRASER
shuz@slpmedia.co.uk

On a day that buzzed with excitement, more than 350 people attended the inaugural Royal Greenwich Business Awards ceremony at the Intercontinental O2 hotel on Friday

The awards showed that business is booming in the borough while the gigantic towers of Canary Wharf looked on in the background across the river.

Nick Hewer, of The Apprentice and Countdown, hosted the event where ten awards were given out to local businesses celebrating start-ups, digital leadership, social enterprise and much more.

Mayor Peter Brooks with Nick Hewer

Council leader Denise Hyland said: ““I am absolutely thrilled. Greenwich is open for business and today has really shown that.

“Look at the companies and the quality of the companies. We have Ottie and the Bea from Blackheath and then we have NEC and Nokia here as well.

Bridge Support – winner of the Digital Leadership award.

“Multinationals and locals all competing together. That is what Greenwich is all about. A very diverse borough.”

While the multinationals like McDonald’s, Ikea and NEC sponsored the event, it was the smaller, independent businesses in the borough who stole the show.

Seven of the 10 winners were small and medium employers (SME) and a majority of the 11,435 businesses that Greenwich is home to fall into this category.

Old Royal Naval College – winner of Tourism and Culture with category sponsor MBNA Thames Clippers.

An SME is a non-subsidiary, independent firm which employs fewer than 250 staff.

It is expected that 21,000 new jobs will be created in the borough by 2028.

Clockwise from top left, Bridge Support – winner of Digital Leadership with category sponsor Russell King Associates, Council Leader Cllr Denise Hyland and Cllr Sizwe James, Cabinet Member for Transport, Economy and Smart Cities, J7 Security – winner of Business Start Up with category sponsor Grant Saw Solicitors and MJ Rooney – winner of Employer of the Year with category sponsor London South East Colleges

Cllr Hyland said: “The best bit for me was the energy. The fact that so many people had such a good time.

“If you’re not careful to highlight business, all these people who are doing an amazing job in the services they provide and the inspirational businesses that they run are hidden. This was about giving them that platform. We are definitely going to do it again.”

From left Christina Reynolds, Jacqui Perseva, Beth Bourrelly and Julia Dyer

Businesses across the borough were encouraged to nominate themselves for any of the 10 categories.

The announcement of the shortlisted finalists was made on December 6 and then the public were given the chance to vote on two of the awards – Independent Retailer and Food and Hospitality. The rest were decided by a panel of judges.

The winners were as follows:

  • Business Start-Up: J7 Security
  • Digital Leadership: Bridge Support
  • Young Entrepreneur: Archery Fit
  • Food and Hospitality: Feast London
  • Independent Retailer: Ottie and the Bea
  • Innovation: Inside Out Contracts
  • Social Enterprise: First Step Trust
  • Sustainability: Redurchin Ltd
  • Tourism and Culture: Old Royal Naval College
  • Employer of the Year: MJ Rooney Construction Ltd.

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