THE very best in business achievements across the Wee County were recognised at the 2018 Clacks Business Awards on Thursday night.

There were winners from a wide range of backgrounds, including new upstarts, established organisations and not-for-profit groups.

Hosted by presenter David Farrell, the fifth annual awards showcased the wealth of talent the county has to offer, noting the impressive forward strides made by all those who made the shortlist.

And the winner of the Business of the Year Award sponsored by Ceteris was Safequip Limited, a company based on its ethos in supplying innovatively designed water rescue equipment to the emergency services, not only at home but also to all corners of the globe.

Margaret Mary Rafferty, Managing Director of Ceteris, said. “The judging for this category was extremely difficult and all the finalists are to be congratulated on their applications and the excellent businesses that they are running.

“Safequip Ltd is a deserving winner; they have obviously worked so hard to win a number of large contracts, and they have taken a quite traditional business and ensured it has prospects for the future.

“I believe the awards ceremony was enjoyed by all attending, and on behalf of Ceteris, would like to congratulate all the finalists and winners this year. These awards are going from strength to strength and it is testimony to the thriving business community in Clackmannanshire.”

The Apprenticeship Award sponsored by Forth Companies, which recognised those excelling in the early stages of their career, went to Callum Bonner of Clackmannanshire Council. He was praised for his willingness to listen and learn, positive attitude, hard work and determination, while being singled out as an inspiration to others.

Meanwhile, it was Forth Plant and Sons who scooped the Family Business of the Year Award, one of this year’s new awards for 2018.

The Most Impressive Employee of the Year was 22 year old Luke Pickerill, the “go to” person at Tesco Extra Alloa who has worked for the company for six years.

Jump ‘N’ Joy Trampoline Park won the Most Promising New Business Award for their performance in their first year bringing a brand new experience to Clackmannanshire while attracting outside visitors to the area.

Alison Davidson, manager of the Business Gateway service in Clackmannanshire, who sponsored the award, said: “Once again, the Clackmannanshire Business Awards have shone a spotlight on the very best examples of business excellence throughout the region.

“We were delighted to be involved in the awards programme and our congratulations go to all the winners.”

Receiving the Excellence in Staff Development Award sponsored by Highland Reserve and Forces Cadets Association was Flourish Hope Support Services. The company was recognised for their efforts towards striving to achieve the highest standards through the quality of their staff and their commitment and dedication to delivering care, support and enablement to all those that they work with.

The Excellence in Customer Service Award went to Tron Barbers, who have been a staple in Tullibody for over 52 years.

Makers Café and Community Hub part of Scottish Autism were the recipients of the Best Not-for-Profit Organisation Award after delivering day and vocational opportunities for autistic people aged 16 and over and individuals with learning disabilities who would otherwise lack opportunities to experience a supported working environment.

Keeping on the theme of supporting others, Wee County Wellness won the inaugural Community Spirit Award for their support to the local community through their health and fitness business. Owner Celia Peat has raised over £27,000 in fundraising to date for local causes.

DigitalBoost sponsored the third of our new categories for 2018, the Embracing Digital Technology Award. The award went to local family business AHC Tools (Alloa Hire Centre Ltd.) as they demonstrated how the business diversified and embraced digital technology to help grow the company.

The award was sponsored by Business Gateway with Gillian Timmons, Forth Valley Manager and DigitalBoost Programme Steering Group Member, saying: “There are some hugely impressive digital projects being undertaken across Clackmannanshire and it was fantastic to see this inspirational work being recognised in the Business Awards.

The Success through Sustainability Award saw a tough decision for our judges. Looking to recognise those who are putting sustainability at the heart of their business the judges decided to award two outstanding companies in this area, Ceteris and SV24-7 Vending.

The judging panel also awarded commendations on the night to The Sorting Office for their innovative and caring business of transforming the local Post Office and also to Sophie Fraser of Ceteris and Rhys Phillips of SV24-7 Vending, both Apprenticeship Award finalists, for their outstanding efforts in their chosen career paths.

During the night over £1,000 was raised for the charities in the “Best Not-For-Profit Organisation” Award category.

Group Captain Dai John, head of engagement group at HRFC, said: “HRFCA hosts and guests thoroughly enjoyed the evening, and had an excellent time networking with local employers. It was great to celebrate business success in the Clackmannanshire area.”

Grant Sleith, of Forth Companies, added: “We feel all the winners on the evening were more than worthy a true reflection on the talent we have in the Wee County.”

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