The finalists for the 2021 Kingston Borough Business Awards, which celebrate the contributions of local businesses, were announced on December 10.
The inaugural awards were organised by the Kingston Chamber of Commerce.
Kingston University serves as the awards’ headline sponsor, while its gold sponsors are Kingston College and Kingston Council. Other sponsors include prominent consumer goods company Unilever.
Camilla Wheal, communications officer at Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness, which was nominated for the Contribution to the Community Award, said: “I’m just so proud of the team, and we’re so excited to be recognised and seen on a list of the most extraordinary organisations that did such outstanding work during such a crisis. It’s a real honour.”
The other finalists include independent pub The Wych Elm, which was nominated for the Digital, Marketing and Social Media Award, the Excellence in Customer Service Award, and the Resilience and Adaption Award.
Michael Pearson, The Wych Elm’s owner and director, said he was surprised to see the pub nominated after “a tough couple of years”.
He said: “To be recognised is quite something – we’re just delighted to be open and still trading. To actually be nominated for an award is quite the icing on the cake.”
Over 200 businesses from various sectors entered at least one of the awards’ 14 categories. Each category will be overseen by three judges.
The categories with the most entries were the Resilience and Adaption Award, the Health and Wellbeing Award, and the Contribution to the Community Award.
Kingston Chamber of Commerce chief executive Forbes Low said: “I think these awards will shine a light and say, well done, you’ve done a great job in a really difficult time. We don’t say thank you enough to businesses, for doing what they’ve done.
“And this is one of those fleeting times when we can try and do it and just recognise what Kingston actually has, which is a real breadth of diversity, creativity and a lot of really hardworking people.”
The winners will be announced on March 17 2022, at All Saints’ Church in Kingston.
A full list of finalists and judges can be found at https://www.kbba.co.uk.