Background to the Ely Standard Business Awards winners - and more photos of our guests enjoying the celebrations at Ely Cathedral
PUBLISHED: 13:06 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 24 September 2019
Ely Standard Business Award winners and finalists partied the night away inside the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral.
It was, once more, one of the highlights of the year for businesses of all sizes across East Cambridgeshire and wild applause greeted the names of each finalist as they were announced.
Here's some of the background to those finalists and winners.
The new business of the year award went to Head Fen Country Retreat.
The judges said: "A year and half ago, brothers Richard and Mark Taylor decided to diversity their second generation farming and fishing lake businesses by building eight wooden holiday lodges just three miles north of Little Downham.
"High first year occupancy rates have confirmed their entrepreneurial instinct and that the Ely area has an under-supply of self-catered holiday accommodation, so they have already made plans to expand this start-up by building more lodges."
The finalists were AAA Motorcycle Training Ltd, Clare's Kitchen and Avocet Staffing Ltd.
This award was sponsored by JDR Cables Ltd and presented by UK planning manager Stephen Weeks.
Page Medical Communications Ltd won the small business of the year award.
Debbie Cockayne, founder and managing director, said: "It's fabulous, we've been going for four years and this award now shows people what we are doing.
"It's a nice opportunity to let people know that we exist and it will help with recruitment".
The judges said: "We were impressed with their presentation which demonstrated the key areas of managing a small business with huge potential for global reach.
"Their vision involves the stakeholders to become the 'go to' agency for healthcare and commercial organisations are very realistic with a robust strategy to sustain their growth."
The finalists were Busy Bee Recruitment Ltd, Fenland Physio, PA Answer Ltd and Spa Ely.
The award was sponsored by Labour-tech and presented by managing director Keith Wilson.
Family Business of the Year went to AAA Motorcycle Training Ltd, who said "We're stunned, especially because we have only been trading for six months.
"We're absolutely gobsmacked. Family values are really important to us, so to be recognised is amazing."
The judges said: "We agreed that despite being a very new family business, the experienced owners fulfil a specialist training need for which there is considerable demand.
"Using social media to promote their business and input from extended family members, AAA has the potential to become a sustainable family business."
The finalists were Interiors of Ely and SE Electrical Services.
This award was sponsored by Deanta and presented by operations manager Marie O'Toole.
Dynamic Creative won the Supporting Young People Award, which was a new category for 2019.
Rob Barton and Gary Nicholls, from the graphic, web, digital, advertising and packaging design company, said: "It's just something we love doing. We've had 15 students so hopefully this will allow us to get more. We're doing what we're doing because we love doing it - everyone deserves a chance. We believe in people and support them."
The judges said: "This company has a genuine passion for supporting young people with time taken out of a busy schedule; a very selfless approach."
The finalists were Cambridgeshire Expressive Arts and Counselling Centre, Farrow and Smith Hair Design Ltd and Rae Guest Racing Ltd.
The award was sponsored by King's Ely and presented by Jordan Day, who is head of media and public relations.
Life Fitness UK - which has been based in Queen Adelaide since 19992 - was named Employer of the Year at this year's awards ceremony.
Leah McMullan, HR advisor, said: "We've retained the award for a second year and are very overwhelmed."
The judges said: "In addition to an extensive training and development programme as well as innovative incentives, Life Fitness has introduced new initiatives that foster employee interactions and provide more career development opportunities.
"A new focus on mental wellbeing and an enhanced appraisal system were also introduced in the past year."
The finalists were Busy Bee Recruitment Ltd, PA Answer Ltd, Bluebird Care and Maximum Precision Ltd.
The award was sponsored by Thorlabs and presented by customer operations and marketing manager Buki Dada.
The Business Growth Award was won by Asynt Ltd, which develops novel tools for chemistry research and development laboratories.
Martyn Fordham, managing director, said: "We're ecstatic. It's recognition of all our team's hard work. They've all worked really hard. It'll be great to go in the office with this award on Monday!"
The judges said: "Asynt is an outstanding and exciting local success story. They have grown from a start-up to a multi-million pound international business.
"Asynt thrives on innovation, designing and developing novel tools and equipment for laboratories.
"Asynt are agile on their feet, forecasting and adapting swiftly to economic and marketing changes by diversifying products and distribution channels accordingly.
"Staff are well looked after and loyal, receiving shares in the business; Asynt demonstrates strong strategic leadership, growing from strength to strength."
The finalists in this category were Almost Angels Tattoo Family and ALS Global.
The award was sponsored by East Cambridgeshire District Council and presented by chairman Lis Every.
Kayleigh Bysouth, director/owner of Busy Bee Recruitment Ltd was left a little teary after being named Business Person of the Year.
Her role within the company is the business owner and founder alongside being the hands-on manager to seven members of staff.
The judges said: "This is an outstanding example of what may be achieved over a short period of two years in terms of high business growth and a scalable business model.
"Kayleigh has been focused on self and colleague motivation which is inspiring. Her achievements are a result of being driven, learning from past experiences and managing crisis and rapid change with confidence, commitment and self belief.
"Kayleigh is a very capable and ambitious, self-taught business owner."
The other finalists were Faye Peters-Tucker of Almost Angels Tattoo Family, Eleanor Port-Burke of Cambridgeshire Expressive arts and Counselling Centre and Caroline Bailey Tait of 35 ForeHill.
This award was sponsored by Fraser Dawbarns LLP and presented by chartered legal executive and senior associate Jackie Jessiman.
The Judges' Award went to Cambridgeshire Expressing Arts and Counselling Centre.
Eleanor Port-Burke, owner, said: "I'm really proud of the team because creating a service like this was the main aim. I think that this award will highlight the importance of wellbeing in the community."
The judges said: "Cambridgeshire Expressing Arts and Counselling Centre impressed us with its unique and colourful approach to applying creative therapies toward mental health and wellbeing.
"In two years they have provided support services to almost 200 individuals and families, leading to their recent move to larger premises within Ely.
"A recent highlight was receiving a letter from Kensington Palace to acknowledge artwork sent by CEACC clients.
"We look forward to seeing CEACC do more to highlight Ely as a great community." This award was sponsored by the Ely Chamber of Commerce and presented by John Bridge, who is chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce.
Bluebird Care were the big winners at the 2019 Ely Standard East Cambridgeshire Business Awards, taking home three of the gongs on the night.
The company won the customer service and medium business of the year awards as well as being business of the year.