THE great and the good of the Island business community came out in force for the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Business Awards For Excellence tonight (Friday).

Hosted by much loved TV broadcaster Anneka Rice, the awards ceremony was bigger than ever with hundreds of Island business people packed into a sparkling Cowes Yacht Haven.

The top award of the evening, the Business of the Year Award, went to Cowes-based software company, Yokogawa Marex.

The judges praised: “Impressive and innovative software solutions. A business with a truly international customer base and many years of sustained business on the Island.”

Wayne Matthews, divisional director, who flew in from the company's Japan site this morning, said: "This is absolutely fantastic. We have had a really excellent year this year and I want to say a big thank you to all the guys in the office.

"We have expansion plans for next year that will bring more investment to the Isle of Wight.

"Who would believe that a small business in Cowes could have an impact across the world.

"Well done to all the businesses on the Island. There is a lot going on and a lot of enthusiasm for business on the Isle of Wight."

The President's Award for Outstanding Contribution went to Peter Morton and Wight Shipyard.

Mr Morton said: "This is a great honour for everyone who works hard across the river.

"Ship building on the Isle of Wight goes back hundreds of years.

"It is all going well and proving that the Isle of Wight is the best place in the world to build high speed ferries.

"We were told you couldn't do this in the UK anymore and we proved them wrong.

"Our little company has had a £50 million impact on the UK balance of trade, which for a little Island company is significant."

The Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year Award went to Hillbans Pest Control.

The award recognises the company that has gone the extra mile to help promote the chamber.

Wrapping up the evening, Anneka Rice told the County Press: "I felt honoured to be asked to present the awards, having been involved with the Island since I was four years old.

"I have a very personal connection to the Isle of Wight and I know a lot of the businesses that have featured in these awards."

Presenting the awards for the first time, she said: "As we all know, the Isle of Wight is a brilliant place to live, work and to do business.

"This year is without doubt our biggest ever Business Awards. The number of entries doubled this year so it’s been a tough battle to get here tonight.

"Being in this room already means your organisation is one of the brightest, most successful businesses on the Isle of Wight."

Picking up the County Press sponsored award, The Marketing and PR Business of the Year Award, was Brightbulb Design, a web, branding and graphic design studio.

This was the third year Brightbulb Design picked up an award.

Chief executive Matt Jeffery said: "We have worked so hard this year and to be awarded for the third time in a row is incredible."

The award was presented by County Press editor and publisher Alan Marriott.

There was also a charity auction for Wight Aid and live music by Indigo Heights.


Business in the Community Award — Southern Co-op Funeralcare

Start Up Business of the Year Award — Jigsaw Training and Development Services

Green Initiative Award — Tipsy Wight

Tourism Business of the Year Award — Vectis Ventures

Retailer of the Year Award — Bayliss and Booth

Marketing and PR Award — Brightbulb Design

The Morris Barton Apprenticeship Business of the Year Award — Hovertravel

Hospitality Business of the Year Award — The Seaview Hotel

Technology and Innovation Award — Innovative Physics

Manufacturing Business of the Year Award — Wight Shipyard

Excellence in Customer Service Award — Wight Fibre

Employer of the Year Award — Lifeline Alarm Systems

Growth Business of the Year Award — PC Consultants

International Business of the Year Award — Yokogawa Marex

Small Business Award — Briddlesford Farm

Isle of Wight Chamber Member of the Year Award — Hillbans Pest Control

Isle of Wight Chamber President's Cup for Outstanding Contribution — Wight Shipyard

Isle of Wight Chamber Business of the Year Award — Yokogawa Marex