Bridport Business Awards 2022
In only three years the Bridport Business Awards have become an important event in the Bridport calendar of events. Nigel Reeve, of Marketing West, which runs the awards, said this year the event had received 108 entries from around 50 different businesses, up from 94 last year and 32 the year before. In particular, ‘green’ entries had tripled year on year and had become one of the biggest categories, an indication of the way in which businesses are responding to the various environmental threats we face.
The awards ceremony was held in Martin’s Bar and Restaurant at Highlands End Holiday Park in Eype, where business owners and representatives gathered to see if they had won in their respective categories. Nigel Reeve welcomed everyone and opened the ceremony. I then made a short speech, followed by Robert Muhl, president of Bridport Business Chamber of Trade and Commerce. My speech included the following lines:
As a Town Council we recognises that Independent Businesses are a key part of the local economy.
Business is a vital part of what makes Bridport such a vibrant town in which to live. It is not only the high street with its range of wonderful shops but businesses large and small beavering away on trading estates, in offices and at home that make this an economically healthy town throughout the year. That said, we are a coastal town and there is a distinct seasonality to the trading that takes place in some sectors more than others. The hope is always that the peaks are sufficiently high to fill the troughs.
The Bridport business community is resilient. By their very nature, business people are optimists, innovators and above all entrepreneurs. Running a business is a very risky occupation and it takes a special kind of person to be willing to potentially risk all in order to do so.
To that end, as Mayor, I will be supporting the Totally Locally group in their efforts to increase footfall to the Independent Businesses in the town. But increasing footfall is just the first step, it is important that once here potential customers have a positive experience and access to the things they want to buy. It is in reality a three stage process Stage 1 enticing people into town, Stage 2 enticing people into businesses, Stage 3 enticing people to purchase.
There is much work to be done and I am sure that by working together we can take Bridport forward into a new, more prosperous era for businesses, and pleasanter shopping and socialising experience for potential customers.
The winners of the Bridport Business Awards 2022 were:
Local Artisans and Market Vendors – sponsored by Bridport Town Council
- Oleo Bodycare
Independent Business of The Year – sponsored by Bridport Business Chamber
- Gunz Barbers
Digital Innovation Award – sponsored by Porter Dodson
Excellence in Customer Service – sponsored by Cornish Mutual
- Rural Ranges
Rising Star/Young Entrepreneur – sponsored by The Property Company Holdings
- Toddle and Born
Family Business of the Year – sponsored by Action Coach West Dorset
- A.G. Down
Green/Eco Business of The Year – sponsored by Bridport Town Council
- West Dorset Leisure Holidays
Café, Pub, Casual Dining – sponsored by NFU Mutual
- The Olive Tree
Best Place to Work – sponsored by Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants
- Cherries, West Bay
Service Provider of The Year – sponsored by Footeprints
- Gavin Dixon Finance Solutions
New Business of The Year – sponsored by St Michael’s Trading Estate
- Hurt Locker Bridport
Retail Business of The Year – sponsored by Higos Insurance
- The Alleyways Antiques Centre
Community Support – sponsored by Watershed PR
- Survivor to Thriver
Overall Business of The Year
- West Dorset Leisure Holidays
Congratulations to all the winners!
Plastic Free Bridport Awards
Two more Bridport businesses, R.J. Balson & Sons and West Dorset Leisure, have met the challenging criteria set by Surfers Against Sewage to become Plastic Free Champions. Both have been working hard over the past year to completely remove at least three items of single use plastic from their operation.
R. J. Balson & Sons
Achieving the Plastic Free Champion standard is particularly difficult in the food sector where hygiene and public safety are paramount, and the legal requirements are exacting, but that has not prevented Richard and his team from rising to the challenge and showing it can be done.
West Dorset Leisure Holidays
For a business a large and diverse as West Dorset Holidays to achieve Plastic Free Champion status is a big ask. But rather than take the simple route and remove a few token items of single use plastic such as cutlery and bags, West Dorset Holidays have adopted a whole business approach and addressed a raft of ways in which they can tackle the issue. This includes ways in which their visitors can contribute to reducing single use plastic waste. This is an outstanding achievement. Congratulations to all involved in achieving this.
Local Rivers Treated Like a Waste Disposal System
Earlier this week I was contacted by a Helen, a Litter Free Street Champion, to bring my attention to the shopping trolleys and other large items that had been dumped in the river. She also sent me the photographs below.
I contacted Daryl Chambers, the Town Surveyor, and he immediately contacted the local Environment Agency requesting that they deal with the issue as a matter of priority. I await evidence of their response.
In my travels all over the world, I have seen some pretty appalling ways people dispose of their rubbish. For some reason people across the globe appear to think of rivers as open waste disposal systems.
Some supermarkets use coin slots to encourage people to return trolleys e.g. LIDL locally. I have also come across electronic tags on trolleys which lock the wheels as soon as the trolley reaches the edge of the supermarkets property. Sadly, even those solutions do not completely stop trolleys being stolen and dumped. Whilst on a canal boat holiday around the Worcester ring, I was amazed to see trolleys in the water some miles from the nearest town.
All too often the supermarkets, fast food outlets and locally our visitors are blamed for the ‘litter’ we see everywhere. As a regular litter picker, I know the reality is that this problem is with us all year round, and local people have to shoulder some of the blame and accept some responsibility. When someone walks away from a supermarket or other food outlet with a sandwich or chocolate bar, is it the premises they purchased it from responsible for how the wrapper is disposed? For example, is Leakers responsible for the odd paper bag of theirs I see on East Street? I think not!
We are not short of litter and dog poo bins across the town and still some people still feel it is acceptable to just drop their rubbish where they happen to be standing.
The ever growing army of Bridport Litter Free Street Champions are doing something positive about it and by picking regularly where they live their local area is kept litter free. If you would like to become a Litter Free Street Champion on the street where you live click here to register your interest. [email protected].
West Bay Beach Clean
On Sunday I joined a large group of beach clean volunteers at West Bay. Speaking to Roy Beal, the organiser after the event, he told me that 56kilos of waste had been removed. Given that much of it was made up of items such as plastic straws, masks, wet wipes, bits of plastic string, fishing line and net, food wrappers and cigarette buts, that is a huge number of items.
The images below show Roy weighing one of the bags of rubbish collected and a volunteer holding a large block of pre-production natural rubber that had washed ashore.
My thanks to all those who took part on Sunday and Gordon Gleave for the images.
‘From Street to Sea‘ – Bridports Mass Litter Pick
The next ‘From Street to Sea’ mass litter pick is scheduled to take place on the morning of Sunday 15 May. Will you and your family, friends and neighbours be out on the streets, along and on the rivers and on the beaches removing other people’s rubbish?
Please make a note of the date and if you would like to get involved email [email protected].
You can also keep up with what is happening by checking the Litter Free Street Champions Facebook page.
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