On Friday 30th November, we were on our way to check in at the Fountain hotel in Cowes, to prepare for a fantastic night at the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Business awards. As I sat browsing my e-mails, I turned to Matt and said you are not going to believe this! Matt was curious and I explained I had just had an e-mail to let us know that we had been shortlisted for the Portsmouth News Small business of the year!
We were absolutely thrilled to receive this news and couldn’t wait to tell the team. We told Dale and Vicky as soon as we saw them at the awards and messaged Alan and Bob the good news along with the news that we had won the Marketing and PR Chamber of commerce award. As I’m sure you can imagine, we had such an incredible night after hearing this news and winning an award on the evening.
We started to receive information about the awards night and were informed that one of the award sponsors from the Portsmouth University would pay us a visit to ask us some questions and find out more about Brightbulb.
We were contacted by Pat Smith, the Small Business manager at the University of Portsmouth who advised that Professor David Grant Pickernell was based on the Island so he would come and meet us and ask us some questions.
David visited us on the 18th December and we prepared a short presentation to fill him in on all we have been working on over the last few years. We enjoyed talking with David and awaited the judges decision on the awards evening.
Friday 1st February soon arrived, and the team travelled over to Portsmouth full of excitement. We got ready at a nearby hotel and made our way to the Portsmouth Guildhall. The champagne reception was very busy with an air of nerves and excitement building amongst many prestigious businesses.
We arrived at our table next to the stage and found we were sat with Pam and Craig from Living Your Learning along with their guests. We sat down to a 3 course meal and talked with Emma Wilson, the CEO of the EMARI Group, who was one of the guests invited by Pam and Craig.
After dinner, Nick Wallis took to the stage and introduced himself, also introducing the Editor of The News – Mark Waldron, followed by Lucy Gleisner from Trethowans to discuss the awards and the huge number of entries this year. They mentioned that the entries this year were of such a high standard, that they introduced a Highly Commended award in 3 categories.
When they said there was a highly commended in the Small Business category, we were delighted to hear our name called! Matt did a small speech about how we want to put the Isle of Wight on the map and encourage more Hampshire businesses to work closely with Island businesses and we went backstage for a photo before heading back to our table. The winner of the Small business of the year was the Chilli Mash Company who are Portsmouth’s leading manufacturers of chilli based condiments.
The other nominees in our category were Redwood Family Wealth, Runr, Portsmouth RVG Distribution, Swan Systems Furniture, Skore and Toro Recruitment.
We finished the evening with Drinks with the team and with our friend Debbie Bramson from Santander. Debbie was at the awards with Tecsew who were nominated for two awards. We were thrilled the next morning when we picked up a copy of the News to see a photo of all the winners on the front page.
It was a great night celebrating the Best in business in Portsmouth and surrounding areas and we look forward to a celebratory lunch that we have been invited to at the University of Portsmouth in April.