Suffolk dominates regional awards

BUSINESSES from Suffolk have won four out of the seven categories in the East of England regional round of the British Chambers of Commerce 2006 Business Awards.

BUSINESSES from Suffolk have won four out of the seven categories in the East of England regional round of the British Chambers of Commerce 2006 Business Awards.

The Suffolk winners are Bury St Edmunds-based veterinary products company Genevet (Exporter of the Year), Ipswich professional insurance specialist Blyth Valley (the Microsoft Award for Innovation through Technology), The Hearing Care Centre, Ipswich, (Skills and Workforce Development Award), and Bury-based Denny Bros (Business of the Year).

They now go forward to the national finals in London next month where they will hope to match the success last year of Karen Finch, founder of The Hearing Care Centre. She was named both regional and national Entrepreneur of the Year in the 2005 BCC awards, in which her company was also East of England Business of the Year.

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “The chamber is delighted to have four regional winners from its membership.

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“I think this goes to reinforce the fact that Suffolk is certainly a county in economic boom, a county not only to live in, but also to work and invest in.”

He added: “We're particularly pleased to see that one of our members has won a regional award for skills development. The chamber has long been an advocate of the importance of investing in the skills development of your workforce.

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“A strategic skills and workforce development programme is one of the most effective investments any business can make.”

John Mullin, managing director of Composite Legal Expenses, sponsor of the Business of the Year category, said: “This award is reserved for the very best businesses across the country. “Congratulations to Denny Bros, who join a very small and elite band of businesses that exemplify this pinnacle of achievement.”

Natalie Ayres, Microsoft's senior director for small and medium solutions and partners group, said of Blyth Valley: “In an ever-more competitive market, businesses are on the hunt for anything that can give that all important competitive edge.

“The most innovative are looking closely at their technology investment to identify not just where they can streamline their business processes but how they might enhance or create products and services. We are proud to celebrate the best of these ideas.”

And Andrew Cahn, chief executive of UK Trade & Investment, sponsor of the export category, said: “I congratulate Genevet on becoming regional Exporter of the Year for the East of England. Exporters like Genevet make a crucial contribution to the economy and it is good to see them receiving recognition for this. I wish them all the best in the national competition.”

The national winners of British Chamber Awards 2006 will be announced at a gala dinner at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, on November 23, where the top prize is £25,000 donated by Microsoft.

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