Winners of Business Matters Awards announced

The best of West Sussex business was celebrated at a sparkling ceremony this evening (Friday July 1).

Saturday, 2nd July 2016, 1:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:12 am
Last year's winners at Sussex Newspapers' Business Matters Awards Evening at Gatwick Hilton 3/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150607-091706008

Hundreds of owners, staff and special guests from businesses across the county attended the Business Matters Awards at the Gatwick Hilton Hotel.

Business of the year went to children’s lifestyle brand Zuma the Dog whilst Dominic Sakakini of Sakakini Jewellers, in Horsham, picked up the lifetime achiever.

The winners are as follows:

Start-Up Business

Winner: Strood Copy

The judges said: “The judges were very impressed with the standard of entries, and particularly pleased to see young entrepreneurs well represented in this category. The winner showed exceptional determination, drive and passion, which shone through in the submission.”

Small Business

Winner: Zuma the Dog

The judges said: “This category was especially hard to judge, with some very well presented submissions, but the judges were eventually united in agreeing the winner has achieved exceptional growth, performance and market leadership on an International scale. Special recognition to Sharon Walker Cakes in this category – very close!”

Medium Business

Winner: Bennett Christmas

The judges said: “A great submission is essential, and this company combined all the elements required to show they are up with ‘the big boys’ when it comes to business.”

Large Business

Winner: 1st Central

The judges said: “The judges were impressed with the company ethos, growth and innovative measures used to enhance employee and customer relations and expectations.”

Overall Business of the Year

Winner: Zuma the Dog

The judges said: “This business impressed the judges in all areas. The determination, passion and quality shone through the submission. This company has pushed through some exceptionally hard times, and achieved spectacular growth in a very crowded market. The level of commitment and thinking ‘outside the box’ has clearly paid off for this high achiever.”

Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure

Winner: Hilton

The judges said: “A detailed and well considered submission from the winner, ably demonstrating exceptional financial return coupled with innovation and strong growth.”

Employee/Team of the Year

Winner: Juno

The judges said: “A closely fought category with the eventual winners showing an exceptional contribution the business as a whole.”

Young Achiever

Winner: Josh Hough

The judges said: “This was harder than judging the X Factor, with some truly amazing talents shining through in the submissions! It was a tough decision but the judges were wowed by Josh’s achievements and International business growth.”

Training and Development

Winner: Mewes Vets

The judges said: “The winner demonstrated a truly outstanding training plan, which has been proven to not only work, but enable trainees to excel.”

Place to Eat or Drink

Winner: Wabi

The judges said: “Great customer service and consistently fine food!”


Winner: The Linen Shop

The judges said: “A worthy winner in a close-fought battle, but a business that stands for everything a high street shop should be!”

Outstanding Contribution to the Community

Winner: Susan Fleet

The judges said: “This business plays a significant role the local community.”

Manufacturing and Construction

Winner: Trend

The judges said: “Winner showed innovation and exceptional growth.”

Green Business

Winner: Wobblegate in Bolney

The judges said: “Winner showed a detailed and well-thought out submission, and without doubt demonstrates the qualities required for this category.”


Winner: MAS

The judges said: “One of the judges favourite categories to judge and standard very high, with some ground-breaking ideas.”

Business Personality

Winner: Lucy from Strood

The judges said: “Lucy impressed us with her submission, which showed a larger-than- life personality, coupled with an innovative and hard-working business brain.”

Customer Service

Winner: Hello Baby Gifts

The judges said “A very high standard of entries and this was another hard choice for the judges, but the winner had clearly read the brief and her submission was outstanding. This business is clearly willing to go that extra mile for their customers, and the attention to detail and genuine care was obvious.”

Lifetime Achievement

Winner: Sakakini (Dominic)

The judges said: “A unanimous decision from the judges. The winner has an unrivalled record of achievement within the local community and beyond, and has shown outstanding performance for many years.”

Readers choice

Winner: Business Pulse