THE winners of the South Coast Business Awards can be revealed.

The trophies for the Daily Echo’s awards covering Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are normally handed out during a glitzy ceremony at St Mary’s Stadium, home of the Saints.

But Covid-19 meant this year’s are being revealed in a video on the Daily Echo website and in print.

Principal sponsor Dutton Gregory and the category sponsors Paris Smith, Hampshire Chamber and Destination Southampton have all congratulated the finalists and he overall winners.

Vincent Boni, regional managing director for the Daily Echo's publisher Newsquest and its digital marketing business LOCALiQ, said: “In these weird and frankly disturbing times, it remains great to be speaking to you all out there about taking part in this fabulous collection of worthy businesses competing to be recognised for their efforts and achievements.

“Here at LOCALiQ, we’re all beavering away like never before to help businesses transition from largely bricks-based enterprises to fully e-commerce digital businesses and they can pivot on a sixpence if necessary to keep the tills ringing while we are all locked up.

“And as such, it’s so important to recognise what so many of you are doing to battle through the adversity and come out on top, given the hurdles and potholes in your way. You are all inspiring and to even get this far already demonstrates how robust and forward thinking you are.

“So keep buying the print version of our paper, keep looking at our websites for breaking news and know that we are here to help you at every turn in this challenging environment.”

Robert Bolwell, partner at law firm Dutton Gregory, said: “This is the one opportunity we have in the calendar to get together as a business community to celebrate the incredible achievement of businesses in Hampshire and across the Isle of Wight. Businesses who have contributed so much to our community, businesses who have made us not just the most successful regions of the country but arguably the most desirable region of the country in which to live and grow.”

He said this year “you will not see a parade of proud directors, proud CEOs and proud business people walking across a glittering stage and walking off with an award”.

“But the fact that we have to do this virtually in no way diminishes the value of what we’re celebrating,” he added.

“It doesn’t diminish the hard work that’s gone into preparing and it certainly does not diminish in any way the achievement of each of those businesses that have made it to these finals.”

The winners:

  • Best use of technology: Applied Driving Techniques
  • Business and Community: Hampshire Fare
  • Business Leader: Peter Taylor, managing partner, Paris Smith LLP
  • Employer: Utilita Energy
  • Entrepreneur: Nikki Tapley, We Are Inspire Limited
  • Innovation Excellence: Diverso
  • Mid-Large Business: PVC Building Supplies Ltd
  • New Business: Single Handed Ltd
  • Service Excellence: Manucourt Ltd
  • Small Business: Diverso
  • Overall Business of the Year: Utilita Energy.