The Hayling Ferry scooped the top prize at the Havant Small Business Awards 2017, hosted by Havant & South Downs College.
The service, which is owned by Baker Trayte Marine, transported 50,000 passengers from Hayling Island to Eastney over the past year and beat hundreds of other nominations to win the coveted prize on Friday, 3 November.
Businesses from across the Havant constituency were recognised at Havant MP Alan Mak’s prize-giving ceremony, with winners announced in 12 separate categories from Best Café, Takeaway and Pub to Best Family Business, Apprentice and Business Personality.
Meanwhile, the award for Greatest Contribution to the Community also went to Hayling Ferry Skipper Colin Hill, who was recognised for the dedication and hard work he has put in during the last 12 months to get the ferry operating commercially.
Alan Mak MP said: “This year, with so many excellent nominations, deciding the winner was particularly difficult, but everyone agreed that the work done by Colin Hill, Baker Trayte Marine and the whole Hayling Ferry team really stood apart from the rest.
“Seeing the business grow over the last year has been fantastic, and I’m proud to continue my backing for them through my awards.”
He added: “Across all the categories we had so many brilliant nominations from local residents. What’s clear from these awards is that across the Havant constituency we have so many thriving businesses, which are really appreciated by their customers.
“As we head towards Christmas, let’s keep backing our high streets and local businesses.”
Colin Hill said: “I am delighted to win and it was totally unexpected. Absolutely brilliant. It’s nice to be appreciated and recognised at an event like the Havant Small Business Awards.”
Winner of the Business Personality of the Year award, Jacqui Unal from 19 Fourteas Tearoom, said: “Winning the award was completely unexpected and I’m overwhelmed. It was a fabulous evening and I’m already looking forward to next year.”
The guest speaker on the night was Will Butler-Adams, Managing Director of Brompton Bicycle, who spoke about his work growing an iconic British brand.
Will Butler-Adams said: “The Havant Small Business Awards is an outstanding example of bringing a community together to be inspired by the best examples of entrepreneurial small businesses.”
Aside from the awards, a charity raffle helped to raise more than £500 amount for both the Southern Domestic Abuse Service and the Royal British Legion, two causes Alan Mak has supported since he was first elected to Parliament.
Mike Gaston, Principal of Havant & South Downs College, said: “Havant & South Downs College were once again delighted to support Alan Mak MP in the Havant Small Business Awards. The synergy between innovation and the Small Business Awards is something that the college is very keen to promote.”
Full list of winners:
Best Takeaway – Timeout Café
Best Café – Boswells Café
Best Pub – The Lifeboat
Best Restaurant – Coastguard Café
Best Health and Beauty Business – Kuru
Best Family Business – Treagust Butchers
Best New Business – Astares
Best Local Tradesperson – Perfect Plumbing
Best Street Vendor or Home-Based Business – WagTimes
Business Personality of the Year – Jacqui Unal (19 Fourteas Tearoom)
Best Contribution to the Community – Colin Hill (Baker Trayte Marine/Hayling Ferry)
Best Apprentice – Abigail Gigg (The Chapel Medi Spa)
Havant Small Business of the Year 2017 – Baker Trayte Marine/Hayling Ferry