2017 Sussex Business Awards Winners Announced

Around four hundred of the county’s leading business people, including the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Mayor of Brighton & Hove and Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, gathered to celebrate business excellence across the region, with 17 awards presented by comedian, Ian Moore.

The winners were drawn from 40 finalists representing 17 Sussex towns – from Albourne to Uckfield and Worthing.

The Awards were presented at The Grand Brighton on Thursday 30 November.

The big winner on the night was Bluebird Tea Co. which took home awards for Best Employer (sponsored by Midnight) and Customer Service (sponsored by Checkatrade.com). The husband and wife team behind the enterprise, Mike Turner & Krisi Smith, were named Sussex Businessperson of the Year (sponsored by HARE.digital).

Frontier Pitts, a finalist in last year’s International Business (sponsored by HSBC) was this year named the outright winner. The ultimate accolade of Sussex Company of the Year (sponsored by Mazars) was awarded to Rinkit Ltd, finalists for International Business and Entrepreneur of the Year awards which was won by its commercial director Richard Goss. Rinkit Ltd is an online retailer selling home and garden products across the UK and Europe.

Mike Herd, Executive Director of the Sussex Innovation centre and chairman of the judges commented: “This year was a record year! With the amount of entries received, the judging process proved a difficult task. The exceptional quality of the entries really shined through, and many worthy winners were chosen.

“Congratulations to all the winners!”

This year’s sponsors include Checkatrade.com, Coffin Mew, Gemini Print, HARE.Digital, HSBC, Legal & General, Mazars, Midnight Communications, Sussex Chamber of Commerce, Sussex Innovation Centre, The Goodall Foundation, University of Sussex, Vantage Professional Risks, Platinum Business Magazine, The Argus, Title Sussex and Heart FM.


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“Everyone in Sussex wants to win a prestigious SBA and I was lucky enough to win on the first time around. It’s allowed HARE to approach bigger clients with confidence knowing we’re award winners…”

Hare, Sussex Graduate of the Year

“We are incredibly proud to have won two awards at the prestigious Sussex Business Awards. These highly sought-after awards have been of great interest to our clients and I am proud of our team for their fantastic success…”

Haybury (formely Stelfox), International Business of the Year, Award for Best Employer

“Winning a SBA validates the fundamental reason why we came to be, to give Bognor Town a leisure facility which it could be proud of. It reinforces the culture within our passionate team to provide a wonderful place for young people to feel at home in an ever stressful and difficult world where youth provision is lacking…”

The Base Skatepark, The Award for Leisure & Tourism

“Sussex is home to a fantastic business community, so picking up a Sussex Business Award last year was a real honour. It recognises our hard work and determination, and raises awareness of what we’re trying to achieve as a company. Industry awards such as this also help no end in attracting investment to fund our ambitious plans for growth…”

Darren Fell, Crunch, Sussex Businessperson of the Year

“Winning the Professional Services award has been extremely rewarding for Yelo and helped to further raise our profile as one of the leading architecture practices in Sussex. It\'s great for our staff to receive recognition for their dedication and the quality service they provide to our clients, and the whole experience was topped by a fantastic awards evening…”

Yelo Architects, The Award for Professional Services