The winners of the 23rd Sussex Business Awards and the seventh Brighton and Hove Business Awards were announced last night at The Grand Hotel, in Kings Road, Brighton.

The ceremony was attended by over 400 of the county’s business figures including the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex Mr Peter Field, Mayor of Brighton and Hove Councillor Anne Meadows, John Barradell, Chief Executive of Brighton and Hove City Council and Caroline Lucas MP.

For the first time, the winners of the Sussex Business Awards and the Brighton and Hove Business Awards were announced in a joint ceremony. Eleven Sussex Business awards were presented by BBC1’s The Apprentice star, Ruth Badger.

Hailsham based Club Class Chauffeurs were runners up for two awards before managing director, Jonathan Dow received the accolade of Businessperson of the Year.

The Sussex Company of the Year was presented to Parafix Holdings, the UK’s leading convertor and distributor of self adhesive materials, based in Lancing.

Five Brighton and Hove Business Awards (BAHBA), sponsored by The Argus, were presented including the Best Independent Retailer to The Book Nook Hotel which had previously received this accolade, whilst Hotel du Vin won the title of Best Place to Entertain Your Clients.

Tony Mernagh, Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership chaired the BAHBA judging panel.

Organiser Caraline Brown, managing director at Midnight Communications in Foundry Street, Brighton, said the move to consolidate the two award ceremonies ensured the greatest value to all entrants this year.

She said: “Brighton and Sussex companies have to make their marketing budgets stretch as far as possible in the current climate. By combining the two most important business awards ceremonies in the county we can help firms get the greatest return on their investment and we guarantee to provide the most memorable evening in the Sussex business community's calendar.”

Peter Field, chair of the Sussex Business Awards judging panel and Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex added: “The Awards give our local businesses the chance to demonstrate great performance and excellence in their field. For 23 years Sussex Business Awards have led the way supporting and showcasing some of the most outstandingly successful individuals and businesses in Sussex. Even in difficult economic times the Awards demonstrate our thriving commercial community and what a terrific place Sussex is for creating and doing business.”

The winners on the night were:

The Award for Innovation in Business

Sponsored by Rossetts Commercial

WINNER - Content Consultants



The Award for Leisure & Tourism

Sponsored by Midnight Communications

WINNER - The Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Grounded Events Company (Brighton Marathon)

FINALISTS - Grand Hotel Brighton, Lion Hotels

The Award for the Best Customer Service in Sussex

Sponsored by Domestic and General

WINNER - Total Orthodontics

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Club Class Chauffeurs

FINALISTS - Kineo Ltd, Theatre Royal, Brighton

The Award for the Best Employer in Sussex

Sponsored by

WINNER - Pegasus PR

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Club Class Chauffeurs

FINALISTS - Propellernet

The Award for the Most Promising New Business

Sponsored by Morrisons Solicitors LLP

WINNER - Qualifa


FINALISTS - Cable & Cotton, Ovingdean Hall International Language College

The Business in the Community Award

Sponsored by Brighton's Juice 107.2FM WINNER - City College Brighton & Hove

FINALISTS - Café Rasoi, EDF Energy

The Healthiest Workplace Award

Sponsored by The Grand Hotel

WINNER - Domestic & General

FINALISTS - CH&Co Catering Ltd and Civil Aviation Authority, Propellernet, RSPCA

The Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by Sussex Life

WINNER - Kevin Byrne (Checkatrade)

FINALISTS - Gary Peters (, Phillippa Stephen-Martin (Manor of Things)

The Sussex Businessperson of the Year

Sponsored by Morgan Sindall

WINNER - Jonathan Dow (Club Class Chauffeurs)

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Clive Collins (Catsfield Christmas Tree Farm

FINALISTS - Jacquelyn Appleton (Experience Holidays), Natalie Balmond (Purepotions Skincare)

The Small Business of the Year

Sponsored by Lloyds TSB Commercial


FINALISTS - Sussex Uniforms, Torr Scientific

The Sussex Company of the Year

Sponsored by Deloitte

WINNER - Parafix Holdings Limited

FINALISTS - City College Brighton & Hove, Marlin Financial Group


Sponsored by The Argus

Best Independent Retailer

WINNER - The Book Nook

FINALISTS -, La Cave a Fromage

The Best Place to Entertain your Clients

WINNER - Hotel du Vin

FINALISTS - Sussex County Cricket Club, The Brighton Dome The Creative Industries Award

WINNER - Relentless Software

FINALISTS - Create, Conran and Partners

The Responsible Business Award

WINNER - Jurys Inn Hotel

FINALISTS - Green Mop Limited, Infinity Foods, Shop and Bakery

The Outstanding Brightonian

Sponsored by Absolute Brighton

WINNER - Ryan Heal, Juice 107.2